September 26, 2023

I first heard this assertion muttered by a zen grasp at a meditation retreat in my early twenties and it’s stubbornly caught with me ever since. In truth, the older I get, the extra knowledge I see in it. You might be already ok as you’re… however it’s also possible to all the time be higher.

There may be an inherent stress between self-acceptance and self-improvement. This stress is inside every of us. On the one hand, we need to really feel at peace with ourselves, to grasp that we’re good, helpful, worthy human beings and we deserve love and respect and occasional backrubs.

However, until you’re comatose, it’s abundantly clear that we’ve got no fucking clue what we’re doing more often than not. We mess up all of the rattling time. There are such a lot of methods we may very well be higher—that we may be taught extra, obtain extra, develop extra, and so forth.

I really like this precept as a result of it bluntly acknowledges that this inner stress won’t ever go away. It doesn’t matter how productive, competent, and superior you grow to be, there’ll all the time be one thing that you just kinda suck at. That gnawing sense of inadequacy won’t ever be conquered. There is no such thing as a perfection, solely progress.

However, on the identical time, you’re nonetheless a worthy and helpful human being, no matter how screwed up you’re, no matter what number of errors you’ve made, no matter how a lot room for development you might have.

The great thing about this precept is that it exhibits that self-acceptance and self-improvement want one another—that having one with out the opposite inevitably results in dysfunction. Should you’re all self-acceptance with out self-improvement, you then grow to be a lazy, indulgent, egocentric twat. In case you are all self-improvement with no self-acceptance, you then grow to be a neurotic, hyper-critical, over-anxious mess.

Self-acceptance doesn’t work with out self-improvement. Self-improvement doesn’t work with out self-acceptance. You might be excellent simply as you’re… however you’ll be able to all the time be higher.