Who improves? Compared to whom?
The irony is, the moment you cease comparing yourself, you begin to blossom. You discover who the cosmos has been yearning to be as You. The glow of your freshness irradiates the galaxy. Earth, sun, and stars would not be quite the same, were they not infused with You.
When you discover a tiny blue violet in the meadow, it never occurs to you to say, "This flower is imperfect, it needs improvement." You accept the flower's perfection, just as it is. Yet for some strange reason, this is not how we encounter other people, and that is not how we encounter ourselves!
We insist on changing ourselves, and we insist on changing each other. We want to do people the immense favor of converting them to our ideal, the very ideal that prevents us from being who we actually are. How strange! Most of the harm and mass destruction humans inflict on one another, we carry out in the name of improvement.
The irony is, what truly expands and heals us arises from a deep repose in the silent core of our own nature. What is already here is far more powerful than what is not. Improvement need not be imposed: it bubbles up. Above all, we need to be gentle with ourselves.
I search the earth for that miraculous elixir that will improve me. I seek darshan at the ashrams of the great gurus, meet with shamans, visit holy pilgrimage shrines in the forest and on the mountaintop. Then one day the search, the whole search, collapses in a singular wave of absolute clarity, and I am cast up upon the shore of my Self. There is no greater healing, and no more astonishing miracle, than being who I Am.
Self-improvement? The Self cannot be improved.