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 it’s also possible to 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 need to really feel at peace with ourselves, to grasp that we’re good, precious, worthy human beings and we deserve love and respect and occasional backrubs.
Alternatively, until you’re comatose, it’s abundantly clear that now we have 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 might study extra, obtain extra, develop extra, and so on.
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 at all times be one thing that you just kinda suck at. That gnawing sense of inadequacy won’t ever be conquered. There may be no perfection, solely progress.
However, on the identical time, you’re nonetheless a worthy and precious 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 reveals that self-acceptance and self-improvement want one another—that having one with out the opposite inevitably results in dysfunction. When you’re all self-acceptance with out self-improvement, then you definitely grow to be a lazy, indulgent, egocentric twat. If you’re all self-improvement with no self-acceptance, then you definitely 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 good simply as you’re… however you may at all times be higher.