No Nonsense Ways To Accept Yourself The Way You Are!
"10001 lousy ways to get everything under the sun!"
"200 lousy tips to get laid and be happy about it!"
"24 power pack sessions to Change your sorry life for the better from Ed Kazinsk-
The- let- me -help-you-although- I-can't -help- myself- guru!"
You have heard them, you have seen them! Book stores, magazine shelves are full of self help books and manuals, videos and tapes. Even magazines such as the likes of Cosmo are full of with such over zealous titles.
If this isn't enough; your In box gets filled with messages like:
"Get a bigger ^^ in less than 29 days"
"Become the man/woman you have always wanted"
"Become the woman every guy desires"
"For stronger erections, use %^&&"
Uhn Uhn! I see yourself shrugging your shoulder. Go on and say that you don't find this crap relevant because you happen to be really sure of yourself! Think again. How many beauty products does your dressing table hold? What shampoo are you using and how many have you changed so far? Go on count those bottles on your dressing table, that come in all sizes, shapes and colors; yellow, blue, green, teal and what not and ask yourself: "Where are the lustrous locks, where is the rosy complexion, where is the charisma and above all where is the guy?"
The self help books, articles, manuals, beauty aids, cosmetics and the enhancement products are there; because they have a market, they address a hidden need of people. There are people who actually believe in all this crap and buy them religiously. All these books, tapes and courses promise you the world by virtue of following steps ,tactics and products. They promise to super size your member, your bank account and your self esteem. They play upon people's desperation with their existing situation, their dissatisfaction with themselves and who they really are.
Do these self help really work, do they deliver what they promise? What about the results and their reliability? Even if they work, it is only to a certain minimal and negligible extent. They don't work because they are concerned with the ‘look good' factor rather than the ‘feel good' factor and not the other way around. You are supposed to improve largely to become like others and to impress them. You are not trying to improve yourself with your own satisfaction. If cure and confidence was supposed to come in a pint sized green bottle, then we would all have become perfect physically and emotionally.
If the changing of the quintessential self could work so perfectly then all of these self-help gurus and coaches, must have been leading perfect lives and would not be so desperately after our money. A few days back, I chanced upon buying a book called "A Guide To Essential Herbs And A Healthy Life Style". The author claimed that he had been using herbs in practically every form since his teen years. Now isn't some one who has been using herbs since ages supposed to look really healthy and robust, defying the ravages of time? But that wasn't the case with the author. His picture looked like any average Joe's with a double chin, wrinkles and huge bags under the eyes. If before I had the resolve to drink broccoli juice because I wanted to look younger than my almost 27 years; the author's picture was a big turn off.
What these self help books, articles, beauty aids really do is that they imbibe and reinforce in us a feeling of discontent with who we really are and what we actually have. "50 pounds lighter, heavier, younger, bigger, richer, sexier, sleeker and what not." Better, better and better than what we are, who we are. They mislead us into believing that we can change just about anything about ourselves that we want.
What is ‘self'? Self is the core, essence of who we are. Can you really change and alter the ‘core', the ‘center'? Can you change it successfully and permanently and be actually happy with it? As human beings, we need more to evolve and not to merely improve. Evolution firstly requires us to be accept who we are and to learn to love ourselves for that. The quest for self-perfection has nothing to do with ‘Self' and our own satisfaction. Ironically enough it has everything to do with society and norm, their demands to make you force fit in to the pattern of mediocrity.
Our society has a malaise of perfection, it conditions in us a dissatisfaction with what we have and a blind craving for whatever we don't have. While we are growing up, we are made to realize that we are less than perfect in one way or the other. It usually starts with sibling comparison. "Why can't you be like your brother/cousin/ so and so" , or that column in your report card marked with red that says: ‘Improvement is required/ Can do better". Mothers would openly deplore their daughters' lack in the looks department. From the quest to better grades, the competition turns towards landing a better job, bigger car, house and better looking spouse. Aren't Parents supposed to love you unconditionally, to accept you what you are?
Thus initially our well-meaning parents perch us on the treadmill of perfection and we take it from there onwards. Spouses specially women do the perfect job of nagging their husbands into doing better , becoming some one else. Although it is the ‘personality' or the ‘self' of the spouse that they fall in love with and not the potential of change or flexibility. Thus on all fronts and being pressurized from all directions; we struggle to improve, to escape from what we are! We struggle to get accepted, become better adopted to society's standards and in other words become another ‘stereotype'.
We always want to become someone else, fit into some standard defined by the society. And society keeps on raising the bar, placing it higher and higher. In the quest to ‘become' someone else, we become ‘something else'. It is so because the process of change and improvement is also one that of alienation; from the ‘core' the ‘self'. In the pursuit off improvement, we often get estranged from who we really are. In our obsession with ‘I have to' ‘I want' ‘ I need to'; we have forgotten what it is like to simply be ‘I am'.
Thus ‘self improvement' in actuality is merely a negation of ‘self' and ‘Self' needs affirmation and not negation, if we ever need to find happiness and contentment. . Others would still criticize your physical features, you ideas, ideals and attitude towards life, but it doesn't matter. So put away that self-help manual. Tear a page out of the book, make an airplane with it let it fly. This time when you look at the mirror; instead of deploring your lack of a bigger bust, give yourself a big hug for who you really are and what you actually have.
About the author: I am a 26 years old single female, hailing from Karachi, Pakistan. I have a Masters degree in English Literature and love reading and writing. Currently working as a content and creative writer at an IT firm, my past endeavors include journalism, editorship and teacher teaching. Feminism and individuality urbanism and nostalgia are some of the recurrent themes in my writing. For feedback, comments and critique, reach me at email@example.com.