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. Actually, the older I get, the extra knowledge I see in it. You’re already adequate as you’re… however you can too all the time be higher.
There’s an inherent pressure between self-acceptance and self-improvement. This pressure is inside every of us. On the one hand, we wish to really feel at peace with ourselves, to grasp that we’re good, priceless, worthy human beings and we deserve love and respect and occasional backrubs.
Then again, except you’re comatose, it’s abundantly clear that we have now 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 might be higher—that we may study extra, obtain extra, grow more, and so on.
I really like this precept as a result of it bluntly acknowledges that this inner pressure won’t ever go away. It doesn’t matter how productive, competent, and superior you change into, there’ll all the time be one thing that you simply kinda suck at. That gnawing sense of inadequacy won’t ever be conquered. There’s no perfection, solely progress.
However, on the identical time, you’re nonetheless a worthy and priceless 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 growth you could have.
The great thing about this precept is that it reveals that self-acceptance and self-improvement want one another—that having one with out the opposite inevitably results in dysfunction. For those who’re all self-acceptance with out self-improvement, then you definately change into a lazy, indulgent, egocentric twat. If you’re all self-improvement with no self-acceptance, then you definately change into 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’re good simply as you’re… however you may all the time be higher.