Are You Just "Self-Improving" Or Are You Also Healing?By Dr. Margaret Paul
July 25, 2022
What are we improving when we self-improve? Discover the difference between self-improvement and healing.
Self-Improvement is a mainstream concept, but what does it really mean to "Self-Improve?" What are we really improving when we self-improve? And what "self" are we improving?
As many of you know, we each have numerous "selves" - our wounded self, our soul self, and our loving adult self. Our soul self is our true self, our core self, and our essence - our inner child. Our soul self is our passion, our joy, our gifts and talents, our ability to love, and our creativity. We come into this life as our soul self, and when this self is loved and valued by our parents, we continue to naturally grow our God-given gifts and talents and manifest the fullness of our beings. This self wants to improve by learning the skills necessary to fully express itself.
But when this self is not seen and valued in the way we need when we are small, we create an alternative self, a self we hope will have control over getting the love we need and avoiding the pain we can't handle - a self to help us feel safe. This is our false self, our ego wounded self. This self is filled with the false beliefs that we absorb as we grow up - beliefs that end up limiting our soul self. This self does not need improving - it needs healing.
The term "self-improvement" can be misleading when it is unconsciously being applied to our wounded self.
We don’t really want to improve on the ways we lie, manipulate, and avoid in our attempts to have control over getting love and avoiding pain. We don't truly want to improve on our many addictions to substances and processes. And we don't want to improve on our anger, our compliance, our withdrawal, and our resistance.
We want to heal these things.
Obviously, healing and improving are not the same thing.
We can certainly self-improve when it comes to skills. We can improve in sports, art, music, writing, cooking. We can improve our health and wellbeing by improving our diet and exercise program. We can improve in the knowledge we need to be more successful regarding work and money. We can improve in our ability to be a loving adult and love ourselves. We can improve our relationships by learning to love ourselves and share our love with others. But what if acquiring new knowledge and skills does not improve our health, or our ability to earn money, or our relationships? And what if learning new skills does not bring us more joy and inner peace? When this occurs, it often means that we need to heal the underlying fears and false beliefs that cause us to be anxious, depressed, stressed, guilt-ridden, shamed, withdrawn, angry, blaming, or sad.
Sometimes 'self-improvement' just means practicing a skill; other times, it means that we need to participate in a deep healing process.
For example, many people try to improve their health by losing weight and exercising. But if their food addictions are covering over unhealed pain, they might not be able to just change their diet. They might need to open to a healing process, such as Inner Bonding, in order to eventually improve.
If you are really trying to self-improve but find yourself stuck and unable to make progress or find that you have no joy or inner peace, you might want to open to the possibility that unhealed pain and beliefs are blocking your progress and causing your pain. It is easy to improve yourself when there is nothing blocking the way. But if you have old false beliefs about your adequacy and worth, these beliefs may be blocking your ability to take loving action on your own behalf. All your efforts to self-improve will not bring you the satisfaction you are seeking if you have beliefs that are keeping you limited in fully expressing your true soul self.
If you are stuck, then you need to practice Inner Bonding to move you out of the fears and beliefs that limit you. Healing these fears and limiting beliefs will open the door to improving your life in all ways!
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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If you are not letting yourself do what brings you joy, attend to what you fear that is stopping you. Do you fear rejection or failure? Do you fear doing well and then losing your free time, or then not living up to expectations? Not following your joy and passion indicates that your loving adult is not creating a safe space for your essence to express itself. Today notice the beliefs that are limiting you.
By Dr. Margaret Paul