Self improvement is tricky when you have worthiness issues. Those worthiness issues – that you’re not good enough – can get ahold of self improvement and use it to fuel that fire. It goes something like this: if you were good enough, why would you need to improve? Only those worthiness issues, they don’t just say it once, loudly, they don’t yell it, HEY IF YOU WERE GOOD ENOUGH WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO IMPROVE?????
They say it over and over, in a whisper, I can barely hear it, I have to listen really hard to hear it – if you were good enough, if you were good enough, if you were good enough… It’s like this background noise that’s been there my whole life and so I got used to it, I couldn’t see how it was affecting me. Like that frog that gets put in the water and then the heat is increased, so very slowly that the frog doesn’t even notice it, until it’s too late. Rest in peace, froggy.
I couldn’t hear it until recently, until I realized I had worthiness issues and shame issues, after this class I took with Brené Brown. When I realized it, it pulled everything into focus. It was like looking at this picture that was fuzzy and blurry, and I thought it was a forest. And then all of a sudden you turn a dial and it comes into focus and it’s a seascape – completely different from what you thought it was.
So for the past many years, with a self-destructive break here and there, I have pushed and worked at self improvement, at healing and becoming whole, reaching and fighting for peace. No small irony – fighting for peace.
My spiritual teachers, no matter what tradition, tell me that peace is here, that I can have it right now. All I have to do is choose it. This is hard for me to believe. Okay, usually it’s pretty much impossible for me to believe. And, to be perfectly honest, that kind of talk usually just pisses me off.
And yet I do have moments of peace, and gratitude – moments that are so beautiful that I feel like I might come apart with the holiness of it all.
Maybe that’s all we get, are just those moments.
If that’s the case (and I have a feeling it is), that all we get are moments of peace, well that pisses me off too. And of course, there goes the peace.
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