Just those two words are enough to evoke one's anxiety. Of course some may not care, or some may live for it. But really, when it comes to the "self acceptance" (or self denial), it begins to look like way of life itself (to me, at least).
As I live in a country where it is crucial to have a significant other, or you are somewhat considered "flawed," I thought of the strength of self acceptance, or in other words, self love. Even as a person that struggles with depression and anxiety, I think I am pretty ok with it. I never really hated myself. Regrets? Yes, sometimes. But hate? not really.
I have experienced two very different cultures about self acceptance, one emphasizes modesty, and the other has emphasis on confidence. The modest one would look at the confident and see arogance, and the confident would look at the modest and see the timid. When I was younger, I did not know how to cope with the difference as I moved back and forth. I probably still do not know the perfect balance, but I learned to cope with the reactions by acknowledging that I am foreign to them as they are foreign to me.
Under most circumstances I like to think that I'm an OK person, or I try to be one. No one's perfect, every thing and every person has flaws. The problem, I have realized, is that most people do not like having the flaws noticed. For some, it's about themselves, and for others, well, it's about the others. And me being a almost-too-TMI-honest-person (since childhood, my mother tells me) I sometimes am perceived as a complainer, or a person who only sees the negatives in everthing. In actuallity, I do agree to a certain point. The odd mixture of cultures that I am, I'm a skeptic who openly acknowleges too much, even all the flaws. But, I believe that things will eventually become better (though I have lost some - if not huge chunks of - hope since the politics/economy in both the two countries I've lived in and love are going to trash).
I believe in trying hard, learning, adjusting, and growing. To be really honest, (like I have not been already) my anxiety and depression comes when I see the situation unchangable (or being stuck in large crowds of people but that's not the point right now). I try really hard to think and believing in trusting myself and pushng forward, but sometimes, it seems, it's not about me trying. It's not about me moving forward. It begins to feel like I'm on a treadmill going nowhere but sweating myself out to exhaustion.
By traveling, then coming back home, and taking a (very long) break did give me a slight different persceptive to the whole thought; I'm accomplishing something by attempting, at the least. Giving myself room to learn from mistakes, or even just from the process itself. It's not about reaching something and getting somewhere but picking up little things, noticing tiny new specs on the way.
Even so, I still feel anxious and the air thins out when I hear the question, "what's next?" The energy people put into that question is so very heavy that I feel like I need a just as important, hefty answer. However, during the past few months I learned that the heavy energy is counteractable by throwing in somehting light as well. By showing I am comfortable where I stand, and I am and will be trying the best to move forward was enough to most people I've met. Then, I thought to myself, as long as I accept myself, others would have to accept the person that I am, in a way that they would be the one to feel somewhat weird to not accept a person that's happily comfortable in their own skin. That does not mean by anyway I'll stop to improve, but I will walk in my own pace, enjoying the view, taking breaks if needed.
So, to conclude, acceptance is not really about the other person, and self love is not an obnoxious thing to say. Within the norms of society (and law), as long as you learn or know to accept yourself, then the word "acceptance" would have a lighter meaning. Forgive and move on. Be less harsh. Love.