December 4, 2022

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 might be already adequate as you’re… however you can even at all times 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 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.

However, 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 may very well be higher—that we may be taught extra, obtain extra, develop extra, and so on.

I really like this precept as a result of it bluntly acknowledges that this inside stress won’t ever go away. It doesn’t matter how productive, competent, and superior you turn out to be, there’ll at all times be one thing that you just kinda suck at. That gnawing sense of inadequacy won’t ever be conquered. There isn’t any 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 progress you’ll 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, you then turn out to be a lazy, indulgent, egocentric twat. If you’re all self-improvement with no self-acceptance, you then turn out 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 good simply as you’re… however you’ll be able to at all times be higher.