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Acceptance paves the way to true freedom, lasting happiness, and peace.
When you are able to value yourself and others unconditionally, you embrace everything that is good in others and in you, as well as the not-so-good and the not-so-perfect.
Practicing acceptance can be one of the most challenging things we need to do for our personal development, because many of us are our own harshest critics.
In addition, some of us are caught up in prejudices that make it difficult to accept others who are different from us. Throughout history, we’ve seen the heartbreaking consequences of people’s refusal to accept others.
We also personally reap the consequences of our inability to accept who we are. We experience low self-esteem, dissatisfaction with life, and even depression.
How to Become More Accepting
In order to become happier, we need to learn to accept others and ourselves unconditionally. There are some strategies you can use in order to become a more accepting person.
1. Learn to stop judging yourself and others. Stop looking for mistakes in other people and in your own actions and opinions. Instead, make it a habit to focus on what’s positive in any situation.
2. Be mindful of what you have and what you are right now. Getting into the habit of mindfulness teaches you to appreciate what you have right now.
3. Come to terms with the fact that we are all different. This is an opportunity for you to develop more empathy for yourself and others. Understand that we are all unique, with different upbringings and different views of how to live life.
Today’s article offers a collection of songs about acceptance. These songs empower us to come to terms with the imperfections we all possess. They also celebrate the uniqueness of each one of us.
Finally, they are bridges we can use to heal our divisive communities and quiet our inner critics.
Read on and discover powerful songs to add to your playlist today.
1. I'm O.K., Styx
“Cause I believed them when they said I must do things their way. They tried to cast me in their mold. But I just had to say that I'm O.K. I'm O.K. this way. Yes, I'm O.K.”
If you’ve ever been worried about not meeting someone’s expectations of how you should live your life, this song is for you.
It takes inner strength to refuse other people’s demands about how you should live. This song empowers listeners to stand their ground and declare that, yes, they’re okay with how life is going for them.
2. Where Is the Love, The Black Eyed Peas
via Black Eyed Peas
“And to discriminate only generates hate. And when you hate then you're bound to get irate. Madness is what you demonstrate. And that's exactly how hate works and operates. Man, we gotta set it straight. Take control of your mind and just meditate. And let your soul just gravitate to the love so the whole world celebrate it.”
This song encourages acceptance of others. It reminds us that hate comes from discrimination.
The song urges us to become more loving and learn how to control our impulse to judge and discriminate.
3. Work in Progress (Growing Pains), Mary J Blige
via Mary J Blige
“Just like you sometimes I get down. Sometimes I just wanna cry. Sometimes I get depressed. And just like me, tryna be complete. Just understand, we're all just a work in progress.”
This song is about making an assessment of where you are right now. It encourages listeners to acknowledge all that they have been through – the joy and pain – in order to accept these experiences as part of their personal growth.
4. With You, Jessica Simpson
via Jessica Simpson
“But with you I can let my hair down. I can say anything crazy. I know you'll catch me right before I hit the ground…”
This sweet song is about a person expressing her happiness at being totally accepted for who she is by her partner.
People who are unconditionally accepted for who they are can blossom into their fullest potential. This is the restorative power of acceptance.
5. Make Up, Avril Lavigne
via Avril Lavigne Music Discovery
“I'm not wearing any makeup. Won't hide who I am. I'll be what I am. I'm just being honest with myself once again. I'm my only friend.”
In this unreleased single from Avril Lavigne, she expresses how she refuses to hide who she truly is. She does not wear any make up (i.e., a mask) and tries to be honest with herself.
When we practice acceptance, we discard our inner critics and start becoming friends with ourselves.
6. Beautiful, Christina Aguilera
“I am beautiful no matter what they say. Words can't bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way. Yes, words can't bring me down. So don't you bring me down today.”
Media has impossible standards for beauty. As a result, many men and women feel inadequate and pressured to conform to these standards.
It can be demeaning and even dangerous to work so hard to conform that you fail to recognize that you are beautiful in your own way.
This song from Christina Aguilera is a powerful eye-opener about standing up and declaring that you are beautiful, regardless of the media’s standards.
7. Express Yourself, Labirinth
“I say the same thing twice, I'm awkward when I speak. Ain't got the perfect smile, don't turn heads on my street. Trying to be a superstar like everybody else. But being myself is something I do well. Whatever you do, do it good. Whatever you do…, Lord,… do it good. Alright.”
This song exudes a special kind of joy. It is about accepting your limitations and imperfections without complaint. It empowers listeners and reminds us that, despite our shortcomings, what matters most is that we do our best in everything we do.
8. I Am Enough, Daphne Willis
“I am enough for the laughter, for the life that I'm after. Enough for my wildest dreams. Yeah, coz every flaw from my toe to my jaw is exactly where it's supposed to be.”
Speaking of imperfections, here is another song that celebrates our flaws as part of who we are.
In this song, Daphne Willis declares that these flaws are supposed to be there. They are what make us unique.
The song is a powerful declaration that being yourself is sufficient for the life you want.
9. Shine Your Way, Owl City & Yuna
via Owl City
“There's an open sky and a reason why you shine, shine your way. There's so much to learn and now it's your turn to shine, shine your way.”
This next song is an official soundtrack for DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods. This upbeat track is a cheerful reminder for us to accept who we are and use our skills and talents to express ourselves and shine in our own unique ways.
10. Make Your Own Kind of Music, Cass Elliot
via Cass Elliot
“You gotta make your own kind of music. Sing your own special song. Make your own kind of music. Even if nobody else sings along.”
Shining in our own unique ways can sometimes cause people who are not receptive to misunderstand us. Regardless of that, this song encourages us to accept who we are and keep making our own music.
11. You Are a Part of Everything, Josh Kelly
via Josh Kelly
“You are not alone. You are what you believe. You are not alone. You're a part of everything.”
Even when we are misunderstood, this song reminds us that we are never alone. We are part of a bigger whole.
We need to accept our place in the circle and learn to understand that we matter just as we are.
12. Who I Am, Jessica Andrews
“So when I make a big mistake, when I fall flat on my face. I know I'll be alright. Should my tender heart be broken. I will cry those teardrops knowin' I will be just fine. ‘Cause nothing changes who I am.”
One way to thrive in life is to have a strong support system that accepts and celebrates you for who you are.
In this song, Jessica Andrews pays tribute to the people in her family who supported her, teaching her to believe in herself and cheering her on in her personal journey as a musician.
13. Imperfection, Saving Jane
“This is what you get. This is who I am. Take me now or leave me any way you can. Sometimes I trip and fall. But I know where I stand. And if you're thinking about changing my direction, don't mess with imperfection.”
Sometimes, people only love some aspects of who we are. They declare that we are less than perfect and demand that we change the parts of our personalities they find wanting.
This song is about one’s refusal to give in to demands to change who they are. It tells others to accept them in their imperfect form. They can take it or leave it.
14. Just the Way You Are, Bruno Mars
via Bruno Mars
“When I see your face there's not a thing that I would change 'cause you're amazing just the way you are. And when you smile the whole world stops and stares for a while. ‘Cause girl, you're amazing just the way you are.”
Sadly, many people feel that they are not as beautiful or handsome as the celebrities they see on TV, and this makes them miserable.
This song is about acceptance of one’s natural beauty. Perhaps we don’t can’t see it ourselves, but there will always be someone who admires us just the way we are.
15. Born This Way, Lady Gaga
via Lady Gaga
“I'm beautiful in my way 'cause God makes no mistakes. I'm on the right track, baby. I was born this way.”
This song is an anthem of self-acceptance. Its powerful message resonates with those who have been made to feel inferior for how they look and how they live their lives.
Its core message is of acceptance of what we are – our capabilities, limitations, and quirks. We need to remember this if we are to be happy.
There you have it – 15 of the most powerful songs about acceptance.
We hope that listening to these tracks will help you become more accepting of who you are and more willing to view others without judgment.
We know that acceptance, both for others and ourselves, does not come easily for many of us. We have to work on it constantly.
One way to develop this virtue is to practice more self-love. Here are some resources to help you get started:
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more song collections, here are several that are worth checking out:
Finally, if you want to use these songs to make a lasting change to your life, then check out these 100 LIFE GOALS that can help you wake up each morning with a sense of enthusiasm about making progress toward what's important..