There is so much talk of self improvement these days. I hear people saying things like, “I’m trying to be a better person” or “I’m just trying to get it right!” and it just doesn’t sit right with me.
There were people in my childhood who gave me the message that I wasn’t enough, or in some cases, too much. I was given the consistent message that I needed to try harder to win their approval. It never dawned on me that I wasn’t the problem. I just accepted their opinions of me and kept striving to please them.
If you learn this in your early years, you’ll be caught in the treadmill of constantly trying to be better all your adult life. Are you trying to earn love – or avoid criticism – by working harder, losing weight, quitting smoking or caregiving to the point of exhaustion?
Never feeling good enough is not about needing to improve yourself — it’s about needing to see yourself for who you truly are.
Thanks to my meditation practice, I gradually realized that I was actually good enough, just as I was. I didn’t need to be more of this or less of that. Does that mean I stopped growing or learning? Of course not. I still engage in all kinds of personal growth practices. The difference is, now I’m not doing them to try to gain anyone’s approval.
As children, we desperately need our parents and other caretakers to think highly of us. But sadly, some of them are too broken to be able to give us that. That’s a tragic and painful story for a child, but it doesn’t have to be your story as an adult.
What if you could learn to see yourself through the eyes of your highest self? What if you could speak with yourself like you would speak to a beloved child or pet? Replace the voice of your inner critic with the voice of unconditional love and acceptance?
It’s possible, but it takes practice. It’s called “reparenting” yourself, and the good news is that you don’t have to blame or reject your actual parents in order to do it. All you have to do is stop believing the voices in your head that tell you you’re not enough.
Deep inside each of us is a spark of light that has remained untouched by all our human experiences. Meditation helps us to reconnect with that part of ourselves, and each time we do, it expands. That light is who you truly are.
Each time you connect with your inner light, the lies of not being enough lose their grip on you. You don’t even have to argue with them anymore. Remembering who you are means not having to prove yourself to anyone ever again.
If everything you do is motivated by love and acceptance for yourself, you are much more likely to succeed. So instead of trying to be a better person, try to love the person that you are.
Sita Rebizant is a resident of Clearwater and author of the book Safe, Loved and Free: How hitting rock bottom inspired by awakening and led me to the life and love I’d always longed for.
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