There is a disease in the Western World, and it's called "self-improvement."
The fundamental sense of inadequacy so many people feel is not linked to any actual deficiency or inability to achieve; it arises from a universal belief that we're not already whole and complete.
A baby doesn't suffer self-worth issues. It can't walk, it can't talk, it can't eat on its own -- it even needs someone else to wipe its butt! And yet it's perfect and knows it.
Then "The Fall" begins.
It reaches for something and the parent says, "No," "You can't do that," "Bad baby." And it starts to sense that it's less than perfect. Little by little, it adjusts its behavior to accommodate the Big People, to get fed, clothed, housed, loved -- creating this false identity that believes there's something wrong with it.
As it grows up, it's bombarded by media and messages from every direction, saying it needs to improve itself by trying a new diet, buying a new car, getting the right clothes, going to the right school, joining the right group -- with the promise that if it follows these rules, it will be happy, whole, loved by all. And the first time it obliges and receives the reward, the die is cast.
Along the way, however, some of us realize that this is insane and look for a cure to reverse this brainwashing.
It seems innocent enough. If we're unhappy, worn-out, dragged down by the demands of the world, what we need is something to pick us up, patch us up, and buff and polish us until we shine. Right? But the underlying premise of self-improvement is that we're wounded, broken and need to fix ourselves in order to be happy -- the same belief-system that drives the media madness and its insane messages.
So just when we think we've finally gotten out, it pulls us back in again!
Using self-improvement to become free is like trying to dig yourself out of a hole; the more you try, the deeper you get into the dirt.
The problem is that this "self" we're trying to improve doesn't exist.
It's a false persona, a fictional character. God (or whatever term you prefer) didn't create it. And God doesn't know anything about it. God, being God and all, can't create anything but that which It is -- Perfection.
Self-improvement is a fallacy, a defense mechanism -- and it can never bring about lasting change. Even when we manage to improve this pseudo-self, we often feel more anxious and stressed, under increased pressure to keep propping up this self-image that, deep down, we know is false.
We get a bigger house but feel even less at home. We get a bigger paycheck but just feel broke at a higher income bracket. We get a slimmer body, but when we look in the mirror, we still see a fat person or live in fear that the "fat person" will take over again.
Enough with self-improvement! It's time to join the Self-Acceptance Movement.
Right here and now, accept that you're enough -- more than enough -- that you're already whole, complete and perfect. I don't mean that spiritually you're whole even if humanly you're a mess; I mean that whatever your lot is, you're good enough.
If your body is larger than you want, love that part of yourself. Seek to understand it. Discover its gifts. Stop seeing it as a problem. Stop making yourself wrong. As you develop this radical self-acceptance, your body will naturally start craving foods and activities that reflect this consciousness of caring.
If you're a selfish jerk, love the jerk in you. Seek to understand him, not change him. It never works on anyone else, so why would it work on you?! Soon, you'll discover that he was just wearing a mask to hide a sacred gift that wasn't safe to open when you were younger. Listen to him and he'll become your ally, a source of strength. Then, ironically, he'll no longer need to be a jerk to get your attention.
In other words, it's all just been a big misunderstanding.
In Genesis, it says that a great sleep fell upon Adam. But nowhere does it say that he woke up. What if we never fell from the Garden, we've just been dreaming we did. What if we are Kings and Queens dreaming we are beggars and thieves?
Is it just me, or do you hear the alarm clock going off?
What do you say we stop hitting the snooze button and wake up.
Take some time today to do the following:
- Look at an area you think is bad or broken and ask, "What is my true nature? What is this trying to teach me about my higher potential, my real self? What gift is it trying to offer me?"
You are beautiful and powerful beyond your wildest dreams -- literally standing in paradise right now. If you're not seeing it, then your work isn't to improve yourself, but to discover the magnificence that is already here, that you already are -- then to act from that vision.
As you do, that new state of consciousness becomes clothed in new forms. True wisdom unfolds. Right action becomes inevitable. And a new world cannot help but emerge -- a world that works for the highest good of all.
To your emergence!
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