The day after the nice talk we had, having made some notes on a piece of paper, I started to contemplate on things we told each other.
I remember in my life I worked a lot on self-improvement. Actually all necessary in the many jobs I did and, in my opinion, necessary to make steps forward in my carrier. Also necessary in the personal relationships I had and the different situations in those relationships, like running with my partner a newly composed family. I studied a lot, did many courses and training's and succeeded.
Actually now I understand even more I succeeded in changing myself. I am sure there is nothing wrong with personal development and for me that’s different than Self-Improvement.
Self-Improvement has to do with changing yourself step by step to ‘fit’ in a better way in a situation you have to deal with. Family life or work related.
In Self-Improvement you learn all kind of skills, behavior and ways of using your so called ‘strengths and weaknesses’ to reach ‘successes” or goals. Now I got more and more the idea actually I was dissatisfied with myself. Maybe even jealous. I can be honest I even wanted my parents to be proud of me in the positions that were possible to reach in my career.
An ongoing process of wanting to reach more and willing to change myself. Maybe even dealing with self-intolerance which only grows even more with every effort that I made to change myself.
Now I understand this became even part of the process to get my burn-out. Any change you achieve is always accompanied by inner conflict. So, continuously consuming energy.
I am very happy and thankful I got the opportunity living in Thailand to find my Self back. Not disturbed by what the world around me thinks of it. I am myself and out of that being myself I share.
Why did I follow the regular ‘system’ of self-improvement? Was I doomed to go to sleep having passively accepted everything in myself and around, if I abstained from all efforts to change myself?
Now I know there is another way besides hard self-pushing on the one hand and motionless acceptance on the other. It is the way of Self-Understanding.
This is not easy, certainly not in the world, culture and circumstances most of us are living in, because to understand what and who you are requires total freedom from all desire to change what and who you are into something else.
If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself, to study every one of your reactions to people and things, without judgment, criticism or desire to reform yourself, your observation will be nonselective, widespread, never fixed on firm conclusions, always open and fresh from moment to moment.
Then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you. You will be flooded with the light and insight of awareness, becoming transparent and transformed.
The big surprise… Change will appear in you and in your surroundings. But it will not be brought about by your calculating, restless ego that is forever competing, comparing, pressing, preaching, manipulating in its intolerance and its ambitions. Creating tension and conflict and resistance between you and Nature (an exhausting self-defeating process). You give Nature full rein to bring about graceful, unself-conscious, wholesome, change. Not corrupted by inner conflict.
Something I call a life in flow without inner conflict.
Gangey Gruma (Frans Captijn)
Gangey Gruma (Frans Captijn)