Think back to whatever had you first become interested in “working on yourself.” What was it?
Probably a “problem.” Or at least a perceived problem.
Mine was anxiety… I was miserable because I couldn’t interact with other humans during the day and I couldn’t sleep at night. I thought if I could just learn enough “social skills” or “mindfulness” I’d have the confidence to talk to people and sleep at night.
What was your “problem”? Existential crisis? Relationships drama? Perceived inadequacy?
I put “problem” in quotes because if you zoom out far enough you can see it was more of an INVITATION.
If your journey was/is/has been anything like mine, you can see that said “problem” introducing you to a world where you could learn things and upgrade your life. Like a catalog for your psyche.
My quest to simply reduce my anxiety brought me to all sorts of trippy adventures in self-discovery, sexuality, and ultimately helping other people. Your journey has likely brought you some interesting moments.
And at a certain point that “problem” has fulfilled its role of bringing you through the door. Many people feel an underlying fear at that point: If you heal your problem, you have no reason to keep on the journey right?
At that point your subconscious has 3 options:
1. You don’t let your problem fully transmute.
Note I didn’t say HEAL. I’ve become less fond of the word “heal” because it suggests that there’s a way to wipe our past completely clean. That’s now how this incarnation works. No one makes it through life without a few scars. But the scars don’t have to run your life.
Some people identify with their scars to keep from getting bored. If you keep picking at the scab, you’ll always have a wound to tend to.
In one of my favorite films, the protagonist purposely forgets that he already avenged his wife because if his mission was complete, he’d have no purpose. (I didn’t mention which film because I’d spoil it, but if you know what film it is, respond to this email with the title and I’ll send you a Humble AF shirt— see below.)
2. You find a new set of more advanced “problems.”
I see this plaguing the Self-Help and Spirituality industries. So many people have this idea being conscious means finding new things wrong with them. I’ll go to workshops where people will jump on chairs to report, “I have new wounds” as if it’s an accomplishment.
But there is a way that doesn’t require “fixing”…
3. You recognize the perfection of the moment and find ways to have fun in it.
By perfection, I don’t mean that life is “perfect.” Perfect as an ideal doesn’t exist. (And if it did, it would be boring AF.)
Recognizing perfection means accepting that everything is the way it is, there is no “supposed to be___”, there is no ideal permutation of you that you must be otherwise you’re wrong. The way you are right now is right.
If you dare to accept that, the only thing left to do is squeeze the delicious juices out of this perfect moment and future moments.
This might be learning a skill, changing your behaviors, creating or improving a relationship, finding your life’s passion. But not because you need to “fix yourself.” You do those things because it makes your life more enjoyable.
At it’s highest level, Personal Development = Entertainment.
My anxiety, existential crises, and perceived inadequacy is exactly what has made my life interesting. You can cherish all your “flaws,” past missteps, and current challenges too. They are exactly what make you so badass.
Or, you know, you can find something else wrong with you ;)
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