“I am what I am what I am”

– Popeye, the sailor man

BE: You’re Perfect


Debbie Sholin

When I was young, I didn't feel a need to "better" myself. I didn't know there was a concept of "OK" or "Not OK."  At my young age, I would have thought, "My life is simple. I want to have my basic needs met. What else could I want? Was there really more to life than I already had? There's no need to doubt myself. That's a crazy idea. I'm young and carefree. I'm whole and complete.  I'm pure and perfect. My life is full of wonder. How could anything be wrong with me?

Time has gone by. I'm as pure and perfect now as I was then. But I stopped believing this. Now I say to myself: I should be self-actualized. I need to be fixed. My life has to be an on-going (maybe a never-ending) pursuit of wholeness, of scrupulous personal awareness. Since I'm incomplete, I'm restless and dissatisfied. I rarely feel good about myself. I'm not living in the moment. I need more knowledge to believe I'm progressing. I think something is wrong with me.

As time moved on, questions emerged:

When will I be enough?

When will I be "OK?"

Will personal questions ever be answered?

Will I ever be able to truly accept myself?

Will I ever be self-actualized?

I understand the attraction and the drive to "improve" myself. I've spent a lot of time reading self-help books and educating myself about the options available for me to learn about who I am. I've taken courses, committed to a great deal of therapy and attended seminars and retreats, all in the hopes of becoming more of who I am. I understand the attraction of and the yearning for a richer, fuller life.

What I'm suggesting is that it's "OK" to "let it be," to relax into who we are. What's always been available to us is the most important "improvement" of all:  the gift of acceptance. To accept is to be who we are. Who we are is made up of the experiences we've had and the decisions we've made. We're our own creators and our own creations. We can create acceptance.

Lately, I've learned that, whenever possible, it's best to take a big break from the"pursuit of improvement." Now when I think of the simplest and most effective way to navigate my life, I turn to accepting myself, to believing in myself.  I've found the stop button for disapproval and denial.  I'm learning to push that button often.

We know Popeye the sailor man eats his spinach, but what he believes is more important than eating his vegetables.  Popeye is straightforward.  He doesn't doubt himself.

Popeye tells us:  "I am what I am what I am."


About Debbie:

Debbie lived in Northern California until five years ago when she moved to central Oregon. She seamlessly acclimated to life in her new state.  For many reasons, she loves living in Oregon.

She strives to live her life in a simple and uncluttered way. Throughout each day, when the opportunity presents itself, she likes to take the opportunity of engaging with others. Debbie likes to connect and listen. She loves to give others her attention. She loves to laugh and make others happy. This is her way of volunteering and doing service.

Debbie loves to read and to take care of her home. She finds both of these activities immensely satisfying.

Debbie graduated from Berkeley.


This story is an excerpt from our new ebook, SPARKS of INSPIRATION Kindle Edition #2.

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