Self-Improvement and the Circle


Today I would like to share something about my journey to self-improvement.


And by self-improvement I’m not referring to a lifestyle improvement, such as, getting a better job, losing weight, or any other tactile improvement. I am solely referring to the journey I took to improving my inner-self.


I have personally learned that there is a big difference between investigating ways to improve my relationship with myself, and wanting to improve myself with the intention that there is something wrong with me.


It was back in 80’s when I began my intensive search for ways to improve.


I took every class I could get my hands on that had anything to do with making me a more improved Ron. I took yoga and meditation. I read countless books on how to change myself, and how to become a more better me. I listened to subliminal audio tapes affirming: “I had the power within me to improve myself .”


And I can’t say that these things didn‘t work, because they did.


I had gradually become all the things I wanted myself to be. And everything I didn’t like about myself disappeared.


And then I began to notice that a great deal of what I improved about myself, began to slowly creep back into my inner-life. I seemed to have made a complete circle back to what I didn’t like about myself.


So, I looked for new ways to improve. I found classes on how to get rid of anger, how to void myself of judgment, how to be more forgiving, and how to be more patient.


And again…all of these things worked by bringing me back to the beginning.


However, this time I began to get frustrated because I seemed incapable of sustaining what I thought needed improvement. I became so frustrated that I finally got to the point of not even caring anymore if whether or not I was improved.


And that’s exactly the point I needed to get to.


Because eventually something finally dawned on me….


What if….there wasn’t anything to improve?


What if….I was exactly the way I was supposed to be?


What if….the real meaning of self-improvement was self-acceptance. And through self-acceptance, I find improvement?


You see, I could never get past the belief that there was something wrong with me. Therefore, I could never really improve my relationship with self. And all the tools I used to improve myself did what they were suppose to do.


Bring me back to myself.


The truth is…I am basically the same person now, that I was in 80’s.


I still have a temper. I’m still unforgiving, judgmental, and impatient.

However, I now accept these things as being a part of myself, because I realize that sometimes I choose my anger, to make a point. Sometimes I choose to be unforgiving because some things are unforgivable to me. Sometimes I choose to be judgmental because it allows me discernment. And sometimes I choose to be impatient, to get the ball rolling.


I still mediate and do yoga. But it’s no longer with the intention to move away from myself.


It’s to move closer.


I no longer read systematic self-improvement books. I now prefer to read books about people who share the tremendous struggles and challenges they’ve had to deal with in their lives, and what they did to accept themselves as they went through it.


The best self-improvement I’ve discovered for my own life is this…


Embrace all of me.


Because in doing so…I self-improve.

34 comments

  1. Ron,
    This is a real-life post and I really like it.
    It brings me back to my life as an American back then.Of course, I think that America hasen't changed with all this self-improvement.
    People looking to be smarter,thiner,smoother,sexier; what ever!!
    And think of the biz behind it too...

    But, few seek to accept and love his/herself, qualities and faults.

    Because I live in France since the past 19 years, I no longer have that vocabulary. In fact, I'm not even sure if an equivalent for "self improvement" exists in French !It's a completely different culture.

    You have turned and come back to square one, Ron. And that's just fine; be at peace with yourself.

    ((((( Ron)))))
    Luv ya, dude ;)

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  2. Lovely post! I think that is a really interesting take on things. I was watching Oprah yesterday while at the gym and Michael J. Fox said something so great. It was something along the lines of happiness is directly proportional to acceptance and inversely related to expectations. I was thinking about writing a post along those lines. It is so true. Thanks for reaffirming what I was already thinking.

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  3. Acceptance of oneself is usually the only improvement one needs. :)

    Great post Ron.

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  4. (((((((((((( Ron ))))))))))))))

    I just wanna HUG the byjeepers outta ya for this one.

    ..(((((((((((( Ron ))))))))))))..
    ....((((((((((Ron))))))))))....

    .....(((((((((((Ron))))))))))).....

    Ain't it cool that you're exactly the YOU that you were designed TO be, today?

    I had SHELVES of 'self help' books. Oy....
    I refused to 'give them away'. *laughing* Why would I?!

    You just keep being the magnificent YOU that you are.

    :-)

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  5. Well said Ron!

    Sometimes we forget all the things that make us...well, US. We have become SO focused on finding and pointing out the negatives that we forget that that balances out the positives.

    I saw this woman walking the other day and I looked a said, "OMG. Cover that sh*t up!" I would have never, ever, ever gone out in public dressed like that. And then I thought, How great is that that she has the body confidence to actually wear that.

    There are always two sides to every coin. It's all in the view and attitude on how you approach anything.

    Great post! Thanks!
    :-)
    Nancy

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  6. Ah Grasshopper Now you have learned!!!

    Do not search for yourself outside yourself go inside. Look at yourself embrace yourself be yourself. Do not judge or label yourself. Love all things about you and enjoy the feelings you have when you see that you are the person who is the witness. You are not the things you think you do not like.

    You have learned a lesson that only a few ever learn. Thank You for sharing and giving us what you have learned. It helps all of us for when you find you, you find me.

    NAMASTE

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  7. And the role of true friends is to embrace you, as well.

    Believing you have many...my friend.

    EFH

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  8. Bonjour Barbara!

    Thank you so much for sharing this...

    ...But, few seek to accept and love his/herself, qualities and faults...

    That's exactly what is was that I needed to learn.

    And that self-improvement for me, was improving how I saw myself.

    I know that Europe has completely different views on self-improvement (outwarding and inwardly) and I think that's one of the reasons why I felt so comfortable there.

    Of course, my only experience is Amsterdamn and that's a culture I found to be very relaxed and accepting of themselves.

    Anway, my friend...thanks a bunch for dropping by and sharing your feelings on this post!

    You've added much!

    {{{{{Barb}}}}}

    X to you and Didier!

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  9. Hey Jen!

    Thank you so much for sharing about Michael J Fox because that's exactly what I meant about reading books about people who have been through TREMENDOUS challenges in their lives, and what they teach me about the lessons they've learned in self-acceptance.

    ...happiness is directly proportional to acceptance and inversely related to expectations...

    Thank you, Micheal!

    And thank YOU Jen, for stopping by and sharing this. It's added much to this post!

    Have great day!!

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  10. Good Morning Akelamalu!

    That's it!

    Thank you, m'dear!

    {{{{Akelamalu}}}}}

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  11. Hiya Mel!

    {{{{{{Mel}}}}}} back at ya!

    ...I had SHELVES of 'self help' books. Oy....
    I refused to 'give them away'. *laughing* Why would I?!
    ...

    HAHAAHAHA! Me too!

    About 3-4 years ago I started giving them away and it was so tough because in the back of my mind I kept thinking I would NEED them one day and what was I going to do..OMG..if I didn't have them???

    They actually taught me very well, so I am grateful for having read them.

    Thanks oodles for dropping by today, dear lady!!

    And please give my love to Madam Butterfly and Miss Hummingbird.

    oooo...and also, Little Bug!

    X

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  12. Hi Nancy!

    You said cotton-pickin' mouthful of truth....

    We have become SO focused on finding and pointing out the negatives that we forget that that balances out the positives.

    Exactly.

    And if we think of ourselves as a battery, we would see that that there is value in having both positive and negative ends.

    It's all in the view and attitude on how you approach anything.

    Thanks, Nancy!

    You've added a lot to this post!

    P.S. I was eyeing my turtlenecks in my closet last night and thinking, " Can't wait!"

    *wink*

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  13. Helloooooo Dave!!!

    Great seeing ya, bud!

    Mucho grassy for this....

    Love all things about you and enjoy the feelings you have when you see that you are the person who is the witness.

    witness...thanks Dave, that's a the perfect word.

    How I witness the "all of me."

    I honestly feel that Reiki is what has assisted me the MOST with this.

    As always, I thank you for sharing yourself on this blog, Dave!

    You add mucho!

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  14. Howdy Expat!!

    Thank you for ALWAYS sharing your sweet nature!

    Much apprecitate, bud!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Enjoy your day!

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  15. this is inspiring
    when I first started reading I thought to myself "this isn't the Ron I know"
    he wouldn't be bothering with books that tell us how we suck and how we can be better - for everyone but ourself

    but of course you did not disappoint

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  16. Hellooooo Dianne!

    aaahhh, yes...

    ...twis the journey I needed to take to find that out.

    I'm a calabrese Italiano!

    *meaning...I have a THICK skull but eventually get there.

    HAHAHAHAHA!

    Love ya, dear lady!

    As always, I thank you for dropping by!

    oooo...oooo...and aren't you LOVING this FALL weather???

    *smooch* to Hope!

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  17. Oh this is wonderful. Thanks for sharing such insight...I needed to read this, and got so much out of it.

    LOVED IT, and will come back to this post again when I get in one of my "needs improvement moods"

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  18. Hi Funny Girl!

    Thank you, dear lady and you're so welcome.

    And I TOO will come back to this post when I get into one of my "needs to improve moments" because trust me....it's a never ending journey for me.

    Thanks for stopping by, FG!

    Hope you had a great day!

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  19. It's funny. I've been told that "no-one is as hard on ME as I am"...it's like we can be our own worst enemy. The other day, I took my post-surgery sister to the doctor and the assistant was taking off sister's cast. Sister said "nice nails". Assistant said "Thank you. It's the one thing I do for myself." I said "Why? Why do we do that? Why do we need to validate doing something that makes us feel valuable/happy?" LOVE this post. You nailed it.

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  20. Hi Kathryn!

    I was JUST getting ready to stop by your blog when I checked my comments and saw YOU!

    How Serendipity!

    I've been told that "no-one is as hard on ME as I am"...it's like we can be our own worst enemy.

    You said it, girl!

    Me too!

    And this experience was in my life to remind me of that.

    Accept and embrace.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, Kathryn!

    You've got GREAT energy and I'm so glad you're here!

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  21. Ron, I feel sole works here..
    and it brought me such a tremendous smile.
    I love your blog, wether you are making me laugh coffee out of my nose, telling me about you, and your amazing life stories, or sharing a deep and insightful look at the journey.
    You are such a wonderful and gifted soul, and i am so glad that you are out there in the uniVerse . You make it so much better, just because.
    thank you
    for you!

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  22. Hello Lady Sorrow!

    You have no idea how much your comment has touched me, dear lady.

    It actually brought tears to my eyes.

    Thank you from the center of my soul.

    Thank you.

    And know how much I love having met YOU!

    {{{{{{ x Sorrow x }}}}}

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  23. Beautifully said! I have shelves full of self-help books. I don't think I ever really got all the way through any of them. And I think I turned out okay, anyway.

    Bravo! We wouldn't want you any other way, my friend. You're perfect just the way you are.

    XOXO

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  24. Hi Chrissy!

    Girl..

    ...you turned out PERFECT!!!

    No self-help books for you.

    Maybe should try selling them in one of your infamous sidewalk sales. I bet you could get at least 50 cents!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for your sweet words, my friend!

    You're the BEST!

    XOXO

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  25. As you needed to share your truths to reinforce them so we needed to read them to see how connected we all are as so many of us feel the same way!! Can't quite always put it to words as eloquently as you did though.
    I really do agree with so much of this. I have been there too... taking a seminar here, a lecture there, read this book, that web page, etc. etc. all in search of some 'thing' that will make me wonderful in all areas if I just practice, practice, practice. LOL
    Mostly thru astrology though I've learned that we each have unique personalities that are neither right or wrong. We all have combinations of energies available to us each day and it's our free will to decide which ones to use and which way. Like you said, sometimes being impatient helps to get things going. And what might work for one person isn't anothers answer.


    I think thru Reiki also I'm learning to just let myself be who I am. At first I almost think I expected to just fix myself, the aches and pains should go away because I'm now attuned. Of course that isn't quite how it works. Hey, sure, physical healing is definitely a benefit that many receive, but I still have bad days with my neck and other issues. It's a process. I have to work with those issues over time and how they serve my highest good or not and just be trusting and know that I'm where I'm supposed to be.

    Have a great day! Thanks for a wonderful post. :)

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  26. Hola Crystal Chick!

    THANK YOU for adding so much to this post, M!

    What you've shared here has summed up what it is that I am saying with this post.

    trusting and know that I'm where I'm supposed to be.

    That's it!

    And through trusting...I just gradually self-improve.

    And what you've also shared here about Reiki is so right on because I TOO thought the same thing when I began my journey.

    I expected to just fix myself.

    And what I discovered is that it's not about fixing...it's about accepting. And through accepting...I fix.

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this post!

    You've added so much!

    Enjoy your day, neighbor!

    {{{{{ M }}}}}}

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  27. This was an excellent post Ron. I did the same thing, minus the yoga class, and agree with your thoughts. Thank you for sharing :)

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  28. Hello Christa!

    Thank you.

    Always so great seeing ya!

    Thank YOU for stopping by!

    Hope you're having an awesome day!

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  29. well, you said this so well, so succinctly, I don't have a thing to add! isn't that profound when we finally get that we are who we are and accept that? I know exactly the journey you are talking about so I suppose I shall wander off smiling :)

    xoxoxo

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  30. Hello Dear Linda!

    You said it.

    ...isn't that profound when we finally get that we are who we are and accept that?...

    Yup!

    And I know YOU know what I'm talking about here, so thank you for sharing!

    Lova ya, dear lady!

    And thank you for stopping by and sharing!

    xoxoxoxo

    {{{{ Linda }}}}

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  31. I'm thinkin' you're a damn fine person, bro! Keep on doing what you're doing, it's working! ;)

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  32. Howdy Nitebyrd!

    Thanks, Sis!

    Well...

    Like brother...like sister!

    Love ya!

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  33. We love YOU for who YOU are, not for who you're not or what you think you should be... Don't change again!! It makes you unique - "the REAL you!!"
    And, none of are are perfect, we are all imperfect... whatever "perfect" is, right?!
    I know you figured that out along the way... but I just wanted to hear myself echo these usual chichés here, just because they hold so true!

    I think the things I want to change inside are the things that are negative.. that take away from the optimistic, cheerful person I am... BUT, after losing my mom, I can no longer get back to that same state of being... because I don't feel the same way about life.. I look at it differently... Oh... what the heck, right? We are WHO were ARE!!!
    And, I think you hit it on the head in your summary.. You reek of wisom, Ron... you are leaking wisdom and it's oozing out of you...
    Thanks for sharing it outloud with us!! : ) It's worth a million!!!

    HUGS to you!!

    P.S. (For the life of me, I cannot picture you mad... but I imagine it being with stupid peope... or your customers during the holiday season...
    Can you picture me being mad a people in the metro???

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  34. Bonjour Leesa!

    Thank you, my friend...you're so sweet!

    And thank you for sharing YOUR wisdom on this post!

    I have found that for me, striving to be PERFECT has always been a pressure I place on myself to be an "ideal" of what I THINK I should be.

    And what you shared is so RIGHT ON, because what does it mean to "perfect", anyway?

    "We are WHO we ARE" - already perfect. And self-improvement for me, is accepting that.

    Oh, and trust me...I CAN get angry, but it usually comes out when I've had enough and someone is not respecting my boundries. Many people mistaken my being nice, for being a pushover.

    Thanks again for sharing on this post, Leesa. You too have caused me to hear myself echo these usual chichés here, just because they hold so true!

    Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    {{{{{ Leesa }}}}}
    X

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