There is a lot of pressure to become better. A better cook, a better writer, a better friend, a better partner, a better reader, a better meditator, a better yoga student, etc. But self-hatred can sometimes be disguised as self-improvement.
We like to think the pressure comes from outside, but more often it comes from inside. We want to become better because we think there is something fundamentally wrong with us.
But what if we stop thinking there is something wrong with us, apart from being fully human?
And any self-improvement is done, truly, out of a place of curiosity and joy?
What would life look like then?
“How many moments have we lost from thinking we’re unlovable?”
– Tara Brach
“We are working ourselves to death. We call it cancer or heart disease or auto-immune disease and that’s fine. But just below the surface, beyond the label, we know the truth because it’s something we’ve felt our entire lives. Before the doctors gave it a name, we felt it. We are all dying of the same thing … a gaping hole in our heart, a lack of love, a sense that we’re not good enough, a belief that we’re unlovable.
And so we work … and work … and work in hopes of filling the hole or, at the very least, distracting ourselves enough to forget about the pain. But it’s all life in the end, and we all end up addressing the hole at one point or another. For some this comes as a trip to the therapist, for others a trip to the oncologist. For a moment we see clearly: we connect with the hole and sense there must be something more. But that hurts (unbearably), so we ease the pain with a stiff scotch or a pharmaceutical cocktail. And we are lost again.”