Here's an interesting paradox: until we accept ourselves just as we are, we can't make the beneficial changes we seek. We might recognize important ways we can change, but growth springs from acceptance not punishment. Once we're comfortable in our own skin, in the deepest parts of our being, we can move forward in positive ways.
John Welwood describes this beautifully: "Forget about enlightenment. Sit down wherever you are and listen to the wind that is singing in your veins. Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones. Open your heart to who you are, right now, not who you would like to be. Not the saint you’re striving to become. But the being right here before you, inside you, around you. All of you is holy. You’re already more and less than whatever you can know. Breathe out, look in, let go."
Open your heart to who you are, right now, not who you would like to be. When we open our heart in this way, we open our heart to the world. We find presence, acceptance, and love. And from this expansive space, anything is possible.