Self-acceptance is no excuse to go easy on your potential or accept passivity where action is required. Self-acceptance means that you go all out on your potential, which can only be done by accepting how you got here.
To explain this, let’s have a look at the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale.
The story of Jonah and the Whale
One day Jonah was sitting on the beach of a small Island near the place we now call Israel. He is visited by God, who tells him to aboard a ship towards Nineveh, an Island that is bound to be destroyed. It is Jonah’s mission to warn the inhabitants of Nineveh, so that they can find a safe place in time.
Jonah, stubborn and young, refuses. It happens a couple of times where God visits Jonah, gives him signals that he must accept is mission but Jonah wants to have nothing of it. To underline his stance, Jonah decided to board a ship that goes in the opposite direction of Nineveh.
And so he finds himself out at sea with a crew that was kind enough to let him travel with them, when all of a sudden a big storm strikes up. As it increases in strength, Jonah starts to think about his mission form God and the reason for this storm.
As he feels guilty he decides to explain his story to the sailors and offers them to throw himself overboard. That would save them and their ship. They initially refuse, but as the storm gets heavier they finally agree and Jonah hits the water.
Only when he is about to drown, he is suddenly swallowed whole by a big whale. And for three days and nights, Jonah sits in the belly of the Whale thinking about his life and what he should do until he finally realizes he can’t escape his purpose. And so he speaks to God; ‘I will fulfil my destiny, I accept the mission that I have’ upon which the Whale comes up to the shore and spits him out. His location: The Island of Nineveh.
Jonah is in time to warn the inhabitants to find a safe place and thus save themselves from the upcoming distater.
So what is the moral behind this story?
Jonah is the part of you that you show to the world, it is what you do everyday. God is this sense is your consciousness or highest potential. It is what is waiting for you to take yourself up on your mission and fulfil your purpose.
Just as Jonah was trapped inside the belly of the Whale, so are we when we don’t use the talents that have been given to us. It is the joy, happiness, love and message that we have to share. Deep down inside we know we have this potential and feel guilty towards ourselves for not using it.
And thus we give ourselves signals on how to access our talents; It is shown in the energy we get from doing things that are in accordance with our mission (instead of the lack of energy that comes from doing things that oppose it), the happiness (or unhappiness) we feel when doing certain things or the amount of passion and freedom we experience.
And so we get signs on what we need to do in order to use our highest potential but when we ignore them or don’t know where to look, they become stronger and stronger. Until we learn to listen to them. To ourselves actually. We can’t escape out highest potential.
And so self-acceptance is about accepting your highest potential. To accept that you are destined for great things and can’t play small any longer. Your mission is larger than yourself.
And so self-acceptance is about accepting your highest potential. To accept that you are destined for great things and can’t play small any longer. Your mission is larger than yourself. Of course this can be scary too, as accepting your talent and purpose means you have to act on it. But this is the only way to truly feel alive and experience deep meaning.
God, in the story of Jonah, is your highest potential that does not let you get away with selling yourself short and ignore your calling. And just as Jonah realized in the belly of the Whale, it is no use to beat oursleves up on all the times we’ve been selling ourselves short in the past. That is only an excuse to not fulfil our potential now. It does not matter how we got to be where we are. It only matters what we start doing now. That is self acceptance too.
And so the Whale stand for self-acceptance, which is the same as accepting your highest potential. And just as the Whale in the sea and Jonah in the Whale, you are part of something larger than yourself. We are all interconnected. Had the whale not accepted this, he would not have been able to float so effortlessly under water and save Jonah.
Are you ready to accept yourself?
Read more on self-acceptance and the Manpower-model here. Did you know the Whale is one of the three Manpower-animals? You can take the free test here and see which one is most prevalent in your life today.