3 Rules for a Higher Life

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. In reality, the older I get, the extra knowledge I see in it. You’re already ok as you’re… however you may also all the time be higher.

There may be an inherent rigidity between self-acceptance and self-improvement. This rigidity is inside every of us. On the one hand, we need to really feel at peace with ourselves, to grasp that we’re good, useful, worthy human beings and we deserve love and respect and occasional backrubs.

Then again, except 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 forth.

I really like this precept as a result of it bluntly acknowledges that this inside rigidity 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 may be no perfection, solely progress.

However, on the identical time, you’re nonetheless a worthy and useful 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 will have.

The fantastic thing about this precept is that it exhibits that self-acceptance and self-improvement want one another—that having one with out the opposite inevitably results in dysfunction. In case you’re all self-acceptance with out self-improvement, then you definitely change into a lazy, indulgent, egocentric twat. In case you are all self-improvement with no self-acceptance, then you definitely 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 excellent simply as you’re… however you possibly can all the time be higher.

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