You Are Enough. I Am Enough.
Self Improvement is something of an oxymoron....
It is Christmas. I'm sure you have noticed. Certainly in Western Culture it is a time of year that can trigger many ingrained patterns of behaviour in just about every human being. We may find ourselves comparing our experience of our Christmas to another's, we may feel resentful that we do not have the space to recharge our batteries and feel the press to be having anything from an idyllic family Christmas to a fun packed time on the social scene. Ofcourse Christmas acts as just one example of where our patterns may arise, if we get honest, we could probably list many areas of life or aspects of our Selves that we want to enhance,improve or eradicate to heighten our experience of being enough. Somewhere underneath it all is the driving and fundamental mechanics of the human brain which is wired to be a critical, comparison making machine.
Here in lies the myth of Self Improvement. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to suggest we should not be doing the inner work to transform our experience of areas of life where we experience a lack of freedom, joy and peace however this is very different from the impetus and pressure we live inside of both individually and culturally to better who we are and improve our Self.
Human beings have evolved to have a warped view of what is really meant by Self. Self is our essence, our spirit, a blank canvas for creation. Almost every time we refer to Self Improvement we are embroiled by the Ego's destructive and insatiable drive to strive to be more, better or different versions of the usually unsatisfactory view of ourselves which we live inside of. This ego trick can cause the opposite of the peace and ease that we wish to feel in life, that we often experience as lacking, it can be the driver to burn out and the way to beat up on ourselves on a grand scale.
" I want to improve my self by being happier. If only I could be more productive, clever, sporty, funny, popular, attractive, richer, interesting,better at reaching my goals etc etc...... then I would be happy. Then I would know I had done some good Self Improvement." These are some of the thoughts may cross our minds, thoughts we we believe, and then we say to ourselves and put on loudspeaker to each other. This Self Improvement which the ego urges, will never be satiated. We can end up beating ourselves and each other with the Self Improvement stick, but this is the ego masquerading as having our best interests for our so called improvemeant at heart. The Metaphysial text "A Course In Miracles" states that the ego is "suspicious at best and vicious at worst".
Perhaps it is not Self Improvement which we crave, but healing. We can begin by giving ourselves the time and space we need to nourish our depeleted bodies and minds through any spiritual practice we choose. We can engage in transformational work to heal the aspects ourselves which many years ago decided we were "not enough" or "not worth it". Somebody told me once that healing is not a quest to add to what we have or who we are, but it is a process which is the "removal of all barriers to love".
I believe that we are on this planet, each and every one of us to have a consciousness experience, in which we can engage in the journey of questioning all beliefs which have inhibited our love for ourselves. We are not here to have a Self Improvement experience. Why? Because we are already here, in the pure acceptance of who we are as conduits of love.
Allow yourself to be. To breathe. To love in and love out. I love you.