Are you a self-help junkie? Constantly looking for new information, diets, exercises and life practises that promise to create a new and improved you? Always trying to do better in yoga, meditate for longer and think up more extensive journal entries and gratitude lists?Our conditioning from a very young age is to believe that, in order to be growing, we need to be improving; to be actively evolving and trying to better ourselves.
But what if that isn’t the case? What if throwing in the towel on the quest for self-improvement could be the most spiritually transformative experience of your life? Here’s why releasing those pressures could be the best thing you’ve ever done.
Spirituality over self-help
Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that self help and spirituality are the same thing, and, newsflash: they’re not. The modern-day interpretation of spirituality has been turned into something synonymous with self-help; and has become another means for correcting our flaws. But in reality, buying into this notion loses sight of the true benefits of spirituality.
You’ll realise ‘you’re enough’
Ultimately, the quest for self-improvement revolves around the belief that you are, in some way, slightly defective. That you’re not your best self until you’ve mastered the art of meditating for 15 minutes three times per day, or you get a promotion at work, or you’ve mastered a particular yoga pose; when in truth, you are.
As this source says, “Spirituality, practiced in its truest form, is about meeting who we really are”, instead of trying to reach who we think we should be. Put simply: in order to actually improve, we have to relinquish the long-held belief that we were put on the earth in order to improve, and accept that we have the right to exist just as we are, without change.
It’s like the age-old cliche of “once you stop looking for the ideal partner, one will walk straight into your life” or “once you cease stressing over whether or not you’re going to get pregnant, you find out that you are.”
Once you stop doing all that you can to improve each aspect of your life, you’ll see improvements in every area of your being—which is the complete reverse of how you saw things playing out. You envision yourself falling deep into a spiralling pit of unhealthy habits, spiritual blockages and a sense of not knowing who you are or where you’re going; when in reality, the opposite happens.
Holding fire on self-improvement is a true leap of faith; but you’ll quickly experience the freedom that comes with knowing the core of who you really are; not who you’re trying to be.