"…Self Acceptance and Self Knowing. Allowing God to accept me just as I am helps me accept myself in the same way. This is essential for genuine spiritual transformation. Self-acceptance and self-knowing are deeply interconnected. To truly know something about yourself, you must accept it. Even things about yourself that you most deeply want to change must first be accepted - even embraced. Self-transformation is always preceded by self-acceptance. And the self that you must accept is the self that you actually and truly are - before you start your self-improvement projects! Any hope that you can know yourself without accepting the things about you that you wish were not true is an illusion. Reality must be embraced before it can be changed. Our knowing of ourselves will remain superficial until we are willing to accept ourselves as God accepts us - fully and unconditionally, just as we are.
Gods' acceptance of us as we are is not in any way in conflict with Divine longing for our wholeness. Nor is our acceptance of our self. But until we are prepared to accept the self we actually are, we block God's transforming work of making us into our true self that is hidden in God. We must befriend the self we seek to know. We must receive it with hospitality, not hostility. No one - not even your own self - can be known apart from such a welcome. If God loves and accepts you as a sinner, how can you do less? You can never be other than who you are until you are willing to embrace the reality of who you are. Only then can you truly become who you are most deeply called to be…"
David Benner, The Gift of Being Yourself. Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove. 2004. 56 -57