Have you ever met anyone who was perfectly happy with every aspect of themselves, their lives or relationships, with no desire for anything to be different?
I don’t believe I ever have!
The desire for change and improvement seems natural and part of being a human being.
But it’s all too easy to view what we want to change through impatient, critical and judgemental eyes. And we fuel our inner critic by comparing our inner shameful sense of lack to outwardly ‘sussed’ people we feel are more advanced in their journey.
We may feel we’ve been working hard to be ‘better’, but feel disheartened and frustrated when we observe ourselves repeating old patterns even after we’ve spotted them.
“I know what it is I’m doing, I just can’t stop it though!” is a cry I often hear.
But patterns of thought and behaviour take time to change; just as our physical body heals in stages from a wound, emotionally and cognitively it takes time and different stages to move on from old wounds and unhelpful habits – letting go and stripping back to a healthy, integrated whole.
No matter how much we yearn for change, there can be so many ways we consciously or unconsciously hold onto our old ways, or hold ourselves back from moving on.
To explore those complex and darker parts of ourselves requires gentle self-acceptance and compassion, not hard cold fury of our inner critic whispering and feeding our shame.
There is no final destination where we will be ‘sorted’, complete, finished, done with trying to be better; there is only the journey.
The more we embrace who we are, whatever we find within, the more deeply we come to know ourselves as a beautiful integrated whole being, breath-taking in our complexity, perfect in our imperfection, and the more we can enjoy the journey we are on.