Have you been embracing yourself? Do you trust yourself? Have you become yourself? Have you been you? Have you fully loved yourself? Or is there still something you’d like to fix about yourself, something to change or do differently. Are you playing a role, or are you being yourself? If you look in the mirror are you pleased with what you see, and what you are? Or is there something not aligning with the role you want to play in this world? The role you play in this world might seem important. It might feel to you that being who you want to be is the way to go. It’s the most empowering feeling there is, to be who you want to be. Yet it’s not your true power. In you is a strength that only shows part of its power if you be who you want to be. To tap into that full power you’ll need to let go of what you want to be, and be who you are. A journey of self-acceptance starts here. To discover that you aren’t meant to become someone you want to be. You are meant to be who you’ve been deep down inside.
The Blank Slate
The inspiration to talk about this topic came from a short movie clip from Kung Fu Panda. It’s the scene where Poo opens the dragon roll and figures out its meaning. That moment never seemed special to me as a kid, nor to the teenage version of me. To the adult version of me, it struck a chord, because I believe that it is during our teenage and young adult lives that we are moving opposite of the lesson that was portrayed in this scene. (If you want to watch the scene for yourself here is a link to it LINK)
I’ve believed that I had to be perfect, that if I continued improving myself I would one day be perfect. That there would be a day in which I felt at peace, complete, and whole. I believed that one day I would be special. I wanted to work up to that day, doing everything I can to improve myself. To prove to the world that I was worthy and that I was special in some form. I wanted to become the best version of myself. It still sounds amazing to be, to become the best version of yourself. Sadly that version doesn’t exist in the way you think it exists.
We do not become the best version of ourselves. We don’t follow a road of improvement to become the best version. We do not need a special ingredient like the scene in Kung Fu Panda that would make us the best version of ourselves. Nothing would make us perfect. That ideal and perfect idea of yourself, that we all have, doesn’t exist. It only exists in our minds, and you might believe that one day you will achieve that version of yourself, and you will. You will achieve that version of yourself, but at that point, it won’t be the best version of yourself anymore. The next steps and even better version of yourself will have quietly showed themselves to you.
It’s only 10 years after watching Kung Fu Panda for the first time, that I realize the true meaning behind the dragon scroll. The lesson that’s hidden within this beautiful work of art. Yes, the movie is a kids’ movie, but the ageless wisdom shared here couldn’t be depicted more simply and profoundly. It’s this: there is no special ingredient, no perfect, or ideal version of you. There is no such thing as the best version of yourself. It’s a mere illusion, a thought we hold in our heads. A light upon the horizon that we strive to reach but will never reach.
All this time, striving, pushing, reaching, achieving, has let me further onto the path of life. Yet it has not brought me closer to what I believed was the purpose behind all this striving and achieving. My goal to improve myself was to become the best version of myself. To become me. What I was looking for, was that special lesson, the special breakthrough that would make me the best version I could be. That would make me feel like I was enough. The secret ingredient that I was looking for–so that I could be the best version of myself–turned out to be the ingredient that changed my whole perspective on reaching to become the best version of myself.
Let Go of The Best Version of Yourself
I am a blank slate. So are you. We are, who we’ve always been. Deep inside, we are that pure light, a pure soul, still untouched by the world. That’s who we are. The life we’ve already lived has made us believe differently. For a whole lot of different reasons, we started to believe that if we achieved something, or did something for our future, that we were bettering ourselves. That we were working towards the best version of ourselves. Going to college is to better our lives, finding a job is to be able to retire, and only when we retire we realize it has all been a rat race. That’s why most elder people start to not care about others’ opinions, don’t you think? A whole market erupted from it, that I’ve followed along with. The self-improvement market, which thrives on the idea of becoming the best version of ourselves. Yet that best version of ourselves, the idea of being perfect, is unreachable. Not because we can’t achieve it, but because we keep placing it further away from ourselves.
There is always a better version of ourselves. Saying we want to become the best version of ourselves is like saying that everything we are right now is not enough. That the way we are, right now, isn’t good enough, isn’t the best version we could have been right now. That’s what the dragon scroll from Kung Fu Panda so simply states. There is no special ingredient. There is no best version of you, no becoming you, or creating yourself. The dragon scroll, that Poo believed to be the one ingredient that would change his life, was nothing but a blank slate. A mirror, a reflection, of everyone that looked at it. There was no secret sauce, no secret to becoming the best version of himself. It was a mere illusion. Poo, as is he, with his fat belly, his clumsiness, his weirdness, and childishness is the special ingredient. His everything.
We all believe that we can be the best version of ourselves, but we don’t understand the true meaning of it. To be the best version of ourselves, we embrace who we are now. Everything. There is not a future version of you that’s the best version you can be. Right now, you are the best version you can be. You, as you are right now, can open that dragon scroll and see nothing. Just a reflection of yourself on that blank slate. That reflection you see, that’s you. That’s the best version of you. Everything you already are, and nothing you one day will be.
It’s who you are right now, that’s special. I believed that one day I would be a success, that I would be the best version of myself. I strived to become the version of me that I dreamed to be. Neglecting everything I am. I am perfect. I am the one that looks into the dragon scroll, that was looking for a special lesson, a secret ingredient to myself that would make me special, but what I saw was nothing more than me.
The flawed, highly driven, scared, anxious, loving, kind, nurturing, weird, doubting, and impatient me. Yet all of it was me. None of it had to go. None of it needed to be improved to be the best version of me. The doubting, anxiety, flaws, fears, and weirdness could stay. It was me. The real me. The one I am, not the one I want to become. We are all flawed, and all perfect. We don’t need to be the best version of ourselves. We are the best version of ourselves. Yes, we can improve, but not for the purpose to become the best version of ourselves but to embrace the best version we are right now.
Look In The Mirror, What Do You See
Look into the mirror, what do you see? Who do you see? It’s you, not just you. It’s you layered by all the thoughts, ideas, judgments, and doubts you hold over yourself. It’s not you, the real you. It’s not that empty slate, the empty dragon scroll we look into that reflects our pure self. Be proud of who you are, look in the mirror, and notice all the thoughts you have over yourself. Those thoughts are you too. They don’t need to go. That’s the thing that is killing your inner peace. The constant belief that thoughts, beliefs, doubts, or judgments need to go. They don’t. They will leave naturally. It’s all part of the process.
You need to stop becoming everything you are not and start embracing everything you are already.
You are perfect, you are the special ingredient you are looking for. You are the best version of yourself. You don’t need to become anything. You need to stop becoming everything you are not and start embracing everything you are already. That’s living. Living is done right here, with everything we are, all the flaws and all the beauties. Heck, there ain’t no flaws. It’s all part of us. It’s all us. We need not judge it.
Stand in the mirror, let it reflect who you are. Everything you are. Just like Poo realized he was perfect the way he was. That his strength, his power didn’t come from a special technique, a special way of living. It came from inside him. He embraced himself, his big belly, and used it to win his final battle. So can we. Embrace who you are, embrace your figurative big belly, and use it for the better. We need you, as you are. Not some faked role you try to hold up that’s the best version of you. We don’t need perfect, flawless humans. We can’t be flawless. We need the fun of mistakes, the fun of flaws. The fun of having to set things right.
Live, live boldly as you are. Living is done in every moment. Every moment is perfect. It’s just the way it should be. So let’s embrace that perfect moment, by realizing that we are part of that perfect moment. Making us perfect as well. One more time, we don’t need to become anything, we need to embrace everything we already are. So we can say at the end of our day, Today I Lived. I lived authentically and made the most of it. Bless you. Have an amazing day, embrace everything you are right now.
Thanks for reading. I hope you will start looking into the mirror and embrace who you are, right now. As you are. With all your beauties. If you like this content be sure to follow me on Instagram @today.i.lived where we celebrate life together. Or subscribe to the weekly newsletter called Rise With The Sun, where I share three thoughts about the beauty of living. Each Sunday I sent out this short email that will remind you that you are alive, and make you go into your week feeling grateful, joyful, and energized. Hope to see you there. For now, remember Today You Live! Make the most of it.