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Learning Self-Acceptance from BTS’s Songs

Learning SelfAcceptance from BTSs Songs

Have you ever listened to the songs of the young Korean band, the Bangtan Boys (BTS)? The popularity of this group—made up of seven men in their twenties—has been truly amazing recently. Their music has been at the top of the Billboard Single Album chart two times now, and they have some 17 million followers on Twitter. Becoming global stars, they frequently appear on the Ellen Show and other famous American TV programs.

I like the dynamic energy of young people, but I'm not especially a fan of hip-hop music, "idol" culture, or K-pop. The reason I've come to have unusual interest in BTS is that six of them are students at the Global Cyber University, an institution I founded.

Curious as to why in the world BTS’s music is so popular, I started listening to their songs one by one; now I'm a fan, too. Critics of pop culture put out various interpretations on the factors involved in BTS’s popularity, including the universal contents of their songs, the brilliant performances created by their amazing teamwork, and their communication with fans using social media.

Personally, I think that one of the reasons their songs illicit a response from so many may be the messages they contain. Sometimes, they speak frankly of the growing pains of youth, criticizing or resisting the absurdities of society as they see them, singing about the life and the world they dream of. Their songs have their own philosophy and authenticity.

As I've listened to BTS songs that have come out recently, I've felt that they have an unusually large number of messages about "self-acceptance." Everyone needs self-acceptance, not just young people, who are BTS's main fans. What you should learn first if you want a life of change and growth is self-acceptance. The Brain Education method I teach also places great importance on self-acceptance, so I was really glad to see the messages contained in their songs.

Epiphany: My Not Quite Perfect but Beautiful Self

"Self-acceptance" is accepting yourself as you are. It's an attitude of accepting your being in its entirety, not affirming what you like about yourself and denying what you don't like. Unless you accept yourself as you are, it's hard to love and master yourself.

"If I acknowledge myself, my inadequacies, like this, how can I improve?" many people retort when I tell them to accept themselves. "Are you telling me, then, to live the rest of my life like this, beaten down and cowed by life?" You should distinguish self-acceptance from resignation and giving up. "This is just the way I've always been." "I guess it's my fate to live this way." Such a passive attitude of self-resignation is not true self-acceptance. Genuine self-acceptance begins in getting a feel for yourself as you are, truthfully and honestly.

We can learn an attitude of true self-acceptance from the lyrics of the BTS song, “Epiphany.”

I’m the one I should love
(I’m shaking and afraid but I keep going forward)
(I’m meeting the real you, hidden in the storm)
Why did I want to hide
My precious self like this?
What was I so afraid of?
Why did I hide my true self?

I’m the one I should love in this world
Me, who shines, my precious soul
Now I finally realize, so I love me
Though I may lack, I’m so beautiful
I’m the one I should love

I may be a bit blunt, I may lack some things
I may not have that shy glow around me
But this is me
My arms, my legs, my heart, my soul

I wanna love in this world
Me, who shines, my precious soul
Now I finally realize, so I love me
Though I may lack, I’m so beautiful
I’m the one I should love
I’m the one I should love

I’m the one I should love

It's not others who give you strength and freedom. It's your heart, accepting you just as you are, loving and grateful for the arms, legs, heart, and soul you've lived with so far; these give you power and freedom. If you've truly accepted yourself, discovering your not quite perfect but beautiful self, you've had a tremendous epiphany.

Love Myself: Only One Answer, from Beginning to End

There are no prerequisites for accepting and loving yourself. That's why you can accept and love yourself more, right now, even though nothing changes about your situation or condition. No condition must be satisfied, no failing remedied, for you to love yourself.

It's not like you can acknowledge yourself only if you lose 20 more pounds, only if you get a $10,000 raise, only if the person you have feelings for comes to you today, suggesting that you start seeing each other. For many people, the conditions they want must be met first; only then do they try to acknowledge and love themselves. If I acknowledge myself, inadequate as I am now, they think, my life won't develop any further, and I'll be at a standstill. But it's just the opposite. The belief that we can love ourselves only if certain conditions and criteria are met hinders our growth.

BTS, in “Love Myself,” honestly admit how difficult it was to love themselves.

Loving myself might be harder
Than loving someone else
Let’s admit it
The standards I made are more strict for you
The thick tree rings in your life
It’s part of you, it’s you
Now let’s forgive ourselves
Our lives are long, trust yourself when in a maze
When winter passes, spring always comes

You’ve shown me I have reasons
I should love myself
I’ll answer with my breath, my path
The me of yesterday, the me of today, the me of tomorrow
(I’m learning how to love myself)
With no exceptions, it’s all me

Maybe there’s no answer
Maybe this isn’t the answer either
It’s just that loving myself
Doesn’t require anyone else’s permission
I’m looking for myself again
But I don’t wanna die anymore
Me, who used to be sad
Me, who used to be hurt
It’ll make me more beautiful

From the very beginning
To the very end
There’s only one answer

Why do you keep trying to hide under your mask?
Even all the scars from your mistakes make up your constellation

You’ve shown me I have reasons
I should love myself
I’ll answer with my breath, my path

The me of yesterday, the me of today, the me of tomorrow
(I’m learning how to love myself)
With no exceptions, it’s all me

When we love and accept ourselves, we can say, "I trust myself in the maze of life." Unless we truthfully accept who we were yesterday and who we are today, we cannot autonomously create who we will be tomorrow. "Whatever kind of life I've lived so far, it was my life. All the moments of my life have come together to make me who I am." When you can accept all the times and spaces and people of your life with such an attitude, and, more than anything else, when you can embrace who you were in all those moments, who you were yesterday and today open a door, leading to who you will be tomorrow. The power to resolve the countless problems you encounter in life is found in accepting, loving, and trusting yourself. It's the answer to all your problems.

Brain Education Meditation for Feeling Yourself

Healing and change begin in knowing what you will heal and change. That's why self-acceptance is important, honestly and truthfully feeling and accepting yourself just as you are. If you try to improve yourself without this process, you'll have only a superficial, temporary fix, not genuine change and healing. You'll feel as if your problems are solved, only to return again to the way things were. This is because your consciousness, merely shifting horizontally, doesn't rise vertically.

I will introduce you to a Brain Education method of meditation for feeling yourself. It's very simple. First, relax your body for about 5 minutes. You could do stretching or yoga or tai chi; walking or running could be good, too. You might also dance for 5 minutes. It'd be good to move your body, putting on some BTS music.

Once your body has relaxed some, sit at your desk or on the floor, closing your eyes and trying to feel yourself. How do you feel yourself? It's simple. Just ask your brain to "feel." One of the important roles of the brain is sensing our physical and mental states. There is an awareness in our brains, watching us. If you close your eyes and focus, that awareness grows more sensitive, feeling and sensing many things.

At first, you'll feel the condition of your body. A stiff neck or shoulders, unbalanced, uncomfortable hip or knee joints, stiff, dry eyes, a bloated stomach, uneven breathing or heartbeat… If you feel these things, then, congratulations! What we feel, we can improve. Our brains pursue balance and harmony. If you feel something lacking or unbalanced, your brain moves on its own to heal you. It makes you move your neck to relax your stiff neck and shoulders, and it regulates your heartbeat, causing you to exhale slowly and deeply, saliva collecting in your mouth, your eyes being lubricated, your body growing warmer. These are life phenomena, natural healing produced by our brains. Then, it's enough to do as your brain wants.

Our brains not only feel the condition of our bodies, they also detect all the pathetic thoughts and emotions, the anxieties and worries, irritability and anger, even the self-recrimination arising in our minds. The brain likes equilibrium, hating to leave problems unsolved. If such a condition continues, the brain, in short, feels uncomfortable. So it finds solutions, presenting them to us. In this process, our hurried, anxious minds grow more peaceful, and we discover the beginnings of solutions to long unsolved problems.

Just give yourself permission to close your eyes and sit quietly for 5 minutes, feeling your body and mind. This is Brain Education meditation for feeling and becoming one with yourself. Easy, isn't it? Be sure to take time for this at least once or twice a day, no matter how busy you are. Your brain will be a good, reliable friend on your life's journey of accepting and loving yourself, becoming who you really want to be.

Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
11 Comments Tell us your thoughts
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Thank you for your perfect article.  I think all of people must read this and recover their true value.  Thank you so much!!!
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Thank you for this beautiful article! I feel so much more hope that there is a globally recognized and loved pop group that is sharing these messages of self love. This is what we need!
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Thank you. Very touching. 
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It is the great hope to have a group like BTS conveying to the world the beautiful soul and true spirit inside each one of us.
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When popular singers promote self worth, everyone wins!! Great!
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Thank you for your great brain education meditation. I did it and feel much relaxed and breathing calmer. I love myself!
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Thank you for your message! 

I hope more and more people can love themselves to be able to love other truely. 

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Thank you for the great message of loving myself. 
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Thank you so much for sharing, it was just yesterday I over heard someone asking about the second commandment. Love your neighbor as yourself.
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Such a beautiful article.  Thank you so much! 
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