There is a disease in the Western World, and it’s called Self-Improvement. Our greatest sense of inadequacy is not linked to our lack of something or inability to achieve something, it’s linked to our belief that we’re not already whole and complete.

A baby doesn’t suffer from inadequacy. It can’t walk, it can’t talk, it can’t eat on its own, it even needs someone else to wipe its butt! And yet it’s perfect, and it knows it.

And then something starts happening. It does something and the parent says ‘no’ or ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘bad baby’. And it begins to get the idea that maybe it’s less than perfect. Little by little, it begins to adjust its behavior to accommodate the big people, to continue getting fed, clothed, housed, and loved – creating this false persona that believes it’s inadequate.

And as it grows up, it is bombarded by media and messages from every direction, telling it that it needs to improve itself in some way, either by trying a new diet, buying a new car, getting the right clothes, going to the right school, or joining the right group — all with the promise that if it follows these directives it will be happy and whole and loved by all.

Along the way, some of us realize that this is insane and damaging to us, so we look for a way to cure this brainwashing we’ve undergone.

Enter self-improvement.

It seems obvious and innocent enough. If we’re feeling bad, unhappy, worn-out, and beaten down by the world and its messages, what we need is something to pick us up, patch us up, buff us up, and polish us until we shine.

The problem is that the underlying premise of most self-help — consciously or not –- is that we actually are wounded, broken, or less-than-perfect, and need to improve ourselves in order to be whole and happy.

In other words, it’s the same belief-system that drives the media madness and its insane messages — just re-packaged under the more appealing label of self-improvement. And so just when we think we’ve finally gotten out…it pulls us back in again.

Using self-improvement to become truly free and fulfilled is like trying to dig yourself out of a hole. The more you try, the deeper into all the dirt you get.

The problem is that this ‘self’ it’s trying to improve doesn’t actually exist. It’s a false persona, a fictional character.

God (or whatever term you prefer) didn’t create it and, I’m sorry to tell you, God doesn’t know anything about it. God only created images and likenesses of Itself. After all, God being God and all, It can’t create anything but that which it is — which is perfect.

Does God need self-improvement?

It’s a fallacy, it’s a defense mechanism. And the biggest problem with it is it doesn’t really work. Even when we manage to improve this pseudo-self, we often end up feeling more anxious and stressed – feeling increased pressure to keep propping up this self-image that, deep down, we know is false.

We get a bigger house, but feel even less at home. We get a bigger paycheck, but just feel broke at a higher income bracket. We get a slimmer body, but when we look in the mirror we still see a fat person – or live in fear that the ‘fat person’ will take over again.

I say enough with self-improvement. It’s one of the biggest shams the ego has pulled on humanity. It started perhaps with the erroneous idea of Original Sin — and we’ve been trying to improve ourselves out of that mistaken identity for centuries!

Let’s start The Self-Acceptance Movement.

I mean radical acceptance. I mean right here, right now, accepting that we are enough, more than enough, that we are already whole complete perfect beings. I don’t mean that spiritually we’re whole even if materially we’re still screwed up – I mean that whatever our lot is right now, we’re good enough.

If you’re fat, start loving the fat person. Really loving them, understanding them, cherishing them, discovering the gifts they bring, no longer trying to change them from a place of seeing them as a problem. If you end up changing, fine. But not from a place of seeing it as a problem. If in your radical self-love and acceptance you start craving more healthful foods, so be it.

If you’re a selfish jerk, love the jerk in you. Seek to understand him, not to change him. And you will discover that he is a blessing in disguise. He will become your friend and ally, and give you greater strength — and ironically no longer need to be a jerk to get your attention.

If you see a problem in the world, love it until you see it as a gift, a blessing. And if, from that place, you are moved into action, beautiful. Then it will be right action, free of resistance and judgment. It won’t create new karma.

The fact is, a great deal of our do-gooding in the world, because it is really a reaction to fear and anger and a sense of limitation, actually perpetuates and exacerbates the very problems we’re trying to solve.

It’s all about consciousness, inner intention. If your actions come from a place of wholeness, then more wholeness is what you’ll create. If they come from a place of fear, anger, or lack, then no matter how seemingly good they are, they are sowing seeds of future pain and limitation.

This isn’t opinion, it’s law. Cause and effect is not merely about the physical actions, but about the underlying energy behind them – which is the real action operated upon by the creative principle of life.

It has been said that ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ and that we are ‘made in the image and likeness of God.’ I believe that these are statements of Truth, not wishful thinking. And that our greatest problem is that we are Kings and Queens who have been dreaming that we’re beggars and thieves.

So stop it already!

In Genesis, it says that a great sleep fell upon Adam and Eve. But nowhere does it say they woke up. Get it? We never fell from the Garden — we’ve just been dreaming that we did.

Is it just me, or do you hear the alarm clock going off too?

What do you say, we stop hitting the snooze button and wake up.

You are divine. You are beautiful and powerful beyond your wildest dreams – and you are literally standing in paradise right now. If we’re not seeing this, then that’s where our work is. It’s not about improving ourselves or the world, but in seeing the magnificence that is already here, that we already are – then acting from that vision.

As we do, that new state of consciousness is automatically clothed in new forms. True wisdom unfolds. Right action becomes inevitable. And a new world cannot help but emerge – a world that works for the highest good of all.

To Your Emergence!

Derek

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