Self-acceptance

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Self-acceptance is the ability to rejoice in one’s own good qualities and be at peace with and tolerant towards one’s faults. Some religions encourage a sense of sinfulness and worthlessness, but Buddhism has always considered such feelings to be negative and unhelpful, mainly because they concern dwelling on the past. In Buddhist psychology the terms attapiya (Dhp.157), attakàra (S.I,75) and attakàma (A.II,21) mean ‘self-appreciation,’ ‘self-respect’ and ‘self-love’ and are always used by the Buddha in a positive sense. In the practice of Loving Kindness Meditation, the first step is to develop love towards oneself because we can hardly love, respect and care about others unless we have such feelings towards ourselves. As the Buddha says, ‘One who truly loves himself will never harm another’ (S.I,75).

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