The paradox of self-help

I’m obsessed with paradox lately.

You know paradox—a statement that seems contradictory but really isn’t. Two (or more) things that appear to be mutually exclusive but both are actually true.

My favorite paradox is this: You are whole + perfect + enough as you are right now and you can be better.

If you have kids or truly unconditional love for someone, you’ll recognize it as this: I love you right now, unconditionally, and I would love for you to change in some way.

Both parts are true.

Here are some more paradoxes I’ve experienced as totally true for me:

Giving up is how you succeed

When you dive into your pain (i.e., let yourself feel it) and it goes away

Total acceptance of reality is what opens the door for change

Celebrate your imperfections; reveal your fears (even if only to yourself), and the hurt they cause disappears

All of these paradoxes are basically the same. They’re all based on one thing: Acceptance.

Not fighting against what you don’t want, but accepting it now. Being okay with now is the key ingredient for making things better.

Who knew? I love paradox.

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