Most of us spend a good deal of our lives trying to fix ourselves as if we were broken or damaged goods. Did you ever notice how many people talk about WORKING on themselves? “This is what I’m working on right now.” People tell me this all the time. Deep down, I think a lot of us believe that we are flawed; that someday someone is going to find out that something is really WRONG with us. We’ve kept it secret long enough. I remember thinking that for a long time in my life. I no longer think that way.
Maybe it comes from hearing the word NO so much when we were young. I once heard that it was thousands of times a day that we’d hear that. Think about it. Everything you go to do as a little tyke, someone says, “No, don’t go there, and don’t do that”. After a while, you begin to think that something’s wrong with you. Everything I think I’m supposed to do, they tell me not to do. Just being born and growing up in a normal childhood is a confusing state. Or maybe it comes from all the advertisements that tell us we will be okay when we use the right deodorant, or when we use whatever pill the ad is pushing. I’m amazed. “Call your doctor and see if you can use it.” Most of the time they don’t even tell you what it is for – but the assumption is something is wrong with your life and YOU NEED IT – whatever the IT is – in order for your life to be okay. We are bombarded with that message constantly.
Then, there is the goal setting syndrome that says STRIVE for more or at least better. And I do have to admit that I believe in goal setting – not because I think we need to get better than we are, but because I believe that Spirit, God, Itself is continual self-expression. The more we self-express, the more we are emulating God, which is who we are in the first place! So, growth is about becoming more of who we already are. That’s the whole principle behind looking at all these Qualities of God. This is your inherent nature. This is who you are. Grow into this.
So, we are continually being prodded to become ALL we are capable of being. There’s always more. But we need to be careful that we are allowing ourselves to grow because we need to, not simply because we can. Here’s a perfect example of the more, better syndrome:
The rich industrialist from the north was horrified to find the southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe. “Why aren’t you out fishing?” said the industrialist. “Because I have caught enough fish for the day”, said the fisherman. “Whey don’t you catch some more?” “What would I do with them?” “You could earn more money”, was the industrialist’s reply. “With that you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats – maybe even a fleet of boats. Then you would be a rich man like me.” “What would I do then?” asked the fisherman. “Then you could REALLY enjoy life.” “What do you think I am doing right now?”
There’s a delicate balance between continually opening ourselves to be more, and knowing that where we are already is perfect, whole, and complete. Wholeness, in this sense, means NOTHING is missing.