We live in a culture that values self-improvement, progress, productivity, etc. But sometimes we need to ask ourselves if we really need improving. We are led to believe we need improving so we will buy a product, sign up for a seminar, or tear up our old kitchen and install a new one. When I automatically accept that I always need improving, I am much more subject to the pressures around me to “keep up”. If I don’t really need improving, I don’t have to keep up. I am free to go in a different direction. I am free to entertain different thoughts. I can stop hopping and jumping and struggling to be acceptable, and simply accept myself.
No matter how much we improve, we will always be imperfect. No, that doesn’t mean we should despair and give up and let moss grow on top of our heads. But it means we can be more realistic about claims that promise “Complete Fulfillment in 30 Days or Less With Absolutely No Money Down!” “How to Meet the Man/Woman of Your Dreams, and Totally Change Your Life for Only $19.95!” “How to Achieve Your Life’s Purpose and Make a Million Dollars in 90 Days or Less!” Please.
Very often, the answer to the question “Do I really need improving?” is… nope. If I wallpaper my laundry room, and hang a chandelier in there, and create shelves out of reclaimed wood, will that significantly impact my life? Probably not. Probably, your chandelier will collect lint from the dryer, and your beautiful shelves will be full of empty sticky bottles of detergent, and your wallpaper will simply magnify the horror of the dirty socks and underwear pile in the middle of the room.
Perhaps I do not really need improving. Perhaps I can appreciate myself for who I am. Perhaps I’m doing just fine. Perhaps I can slow down and enjoy my very short life on this earth and not waste time “improving”.