Young Val and twin bro

I came across this old photograph (of me and my twin brother) and not longer after, found an exercise on self acceptance.

Turns out they both went well together. To find out why, please read the exercise below…. and perhaps take some time to do it for yourself.

Step One
Imagine someone you love and admire sitting opposite you. He or she is smiling at you. How do you feel about them? If this person was to make a mistake, could you, and would you forgive them?

Step Two
Using your imagination, put yourself in the chair opposite you. Imagine you are sitting there smiling back at yourself. How do you feel about her or him? Do you feel the same way about her or him as you did towards the first person, the one you love and admire, or is the feeling different? If this person made a mistake could you, or would you forgive her? Are you more forgiving of the other person?

This exercise often highlights a discrepancy between how we love and accept others, compared to ourselves.

Step Three
Find a photograph of yourself as a child, and place it where you see it everyday. Let this remind you to be loving and accepting of yourself.
This child is precious, as are you.

When I first did this exercise myself, even after the inner work I have done, there was a difference in how I perceived myself making a mistake compared to my response towards someone I love. With the person I loved, there was an surge of love and empathy and urge to understand. With myself, there was an initial  slight withdrawal and contraction in the body and negative feeling before I was able to feel empathy and compassion.

Notice what you notice without any more self judgment.

Its so helpful to keep coming back to where we are on our journey…. and to remind us of our infinite capacity to grow our love. ❤️


About Val Boyko

Val Boyko is originally from Scotland and came to the United States over 25 years ago. At "Find Your Middle Ground" Val brings together her experience as a life coach, yoga teacher and mentor, to inspire awakening to the light and inspiration within us all. This blog is a place of exploration and discovery as we all explore finding harmony and peace, in the highs and lows of life 💛

39 comments on “Self Acceptance and Compassion

  1. Lovely post, thank you! Great lesson in self acceptance.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful exercise — and I couldn’t agree more on your final point – “Its so helpful to keep coming back to where we are on our journey…. and to remind us of our infinite capacity to grow our love.” ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A lovely link between photograph and exercise

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Such a sweet photo that would remind you every day that self acceptance is necessary. Great lesson here.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautiful. Thank you, Val. 💜🙏🏻

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Great, great post Val. Thank you for your insight.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. A beautiful powerful exercise of self love and acceptance 🙏🏼💛

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m guessing most people would be more forgiving towards the other person – which I find to be a wonderful testament of our ability to accept others…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Adorable photo, Val, and a valuable lesson. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. To err is human.
    To forgive (ourselves) divine!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Beautiful way!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Helpful exercise, Val. Like you, there was a difference – my inner critic is still engaged, alas. The inner work is never done… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Beautiful post Val!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. What a lovely exercise. I can completely see how it would help change perspective. A really cute photo too, Val. How sweet.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. important work. thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Beautiful and informative post, Val! Thank you for the tips! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I love this exercise – thank you for sharing it! If you’re not talking to yourself as you would your own family then perhaps you’re not showing yourself the compassion you should? And if you are, perhaps you’re not being as honest with yourself as you should? Food for thought. Thank you 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Anonymous

    Thank you, Val, for that powerful exercise. In grad school I saw the profound insights and self-acceptance
    that took place for my classmates when they practiced this Gestalt “empty chair” exercise.
    What an important reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: Novaturient | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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