Thursday, July 14, 2011

Self Improvement...or Self Destruction?

“There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me - or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold.If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad - you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.”
Stacey Charter

Hello all! It's Thursday again, which means we're past hump day but not quite to Friday. And here I am on a beautiful morning, birthday cards, balloon, and (live!) orchid plant surrounding me. I turned 21 on tuesday, woo hoo!

Anywho, something I've been thinking about lately is self improvement. Back in the day, Self Improvement was my full-time job. I scoured the internet and library for ways to improve myself--psychologically, and then physically.

You see, I've always been entranced by this wonderful human capacity for meaningful change. With a thought, with words, with a second, we can turn our whole way of living on it's head. Vegetarian today and carnivore tomorrow? You got it. Homeless today and super-surgeon tomorrow? Stranger things have happened. The singular desire to do something, the whole dreaming thing, can help people to pursue far off goals for months, sometimes even years.

Just the idea of something and the desire to achieve it's reality can push us beyond the limits we set for ourselves. And this is great, lemme tell ya. Lots of people do amazing things with this kind of passion and ability to dream. In a world of hard-work-can-accomplish-anything mentality, the dreamers are often left in the dust of the busy herd pummeling forward in front of them. We need more dreams, I do think. We need more dreamers who are willing to make good on their promises to themselves. I could and will write a treatise on this simple fact, but not right now.

That's because, you see, there's a darker side to this whole improving self thing.

Sometimes, we pursue change single-mindedly for just the point of change and destruction. This is when "becoming a better person" means "the person I am right now SUCKS." How many times do you screw up and tell yourself it's only okay because you'll never do it again and "fix yourself?" How many social missteps lead you to cursing your current self and promising yourself you'll figure people out someday? How many work/school/life mistakes make you feel like a fucking failure, only to lead you to assume you need to drastically change yourself to just get rid of that feeling?

Well...I want to tell you something pretty cool. It's not a big secret or anything, but maybe you forgot it in the shuffle of trying to be more likeable, more pleasant, more sociable, a harder worker, a better student, hell, an all around good person.

I want you to know that you don't need to change a damn thing about yourself.

Ok, ok, you're thinking. Right. So I should keep sleeping in, get fired, eat lots of doughnuts and generally stop flogging myself into the ground to get things done.

And what then? I'm jobless, unhealthy, and lazy.

Oh my. What will you do?

Who knows, really.

But...maybe you'll find the things you really love to do if you stop beating yourself down so much that you can't even hear that voice--the one that says I LIKE (DOING) THIS. Maybe if you stop doing things you hate, because you hate can begin to find new things to do, new thoughts to think, and new motivations to live by.

We ALL have the capacity to move and be moved by the things around us--we are born wanting and desiring and this capacity does not diminish. If anything, it becomes stronger with time. But this passion for dreaming and manifesting dreams doesn't develop out of self-hatred. It develops out of an authenticity of self and love of that unique self that is often demolished by the harsh self criticism we place upon ourselves.

Please don't die a slow death through self-improvement.

Maybe you're already perfect.

Maybe you just need to dream a little more...

So today, I challenge you to go out into the wide world and be you. Reject the crap you don't want. Keep the stuff you do. To heck with the convention of improving yourself. Say what you wanna say. Remember everything you do has consequences, and be aware of the consequences, but do not become intimidated by someone elses' perception of how you should be and do not act as if though someday you achieve the shining status of "PERFECT."

As you are and as I am,



  1. Thank you for this post. It means a lot to me.

  2. self acceptance is such a beautiful ideal, and seeing it portrayed this way is absolutely brilliant :) Thank you so much for putting this out there, we ARE worth being who we are!


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