The Isness Business: Less Fixing, More Savoring.

While standing in line at the motor-vehicle office, I noticed a fellow in front of me with his little boy at his side. I overheard the father say to someone, "My son is three years old. The doctor says he's too short for his age." I wondered how that statement affected the child. Would this be the beginning of a lifetime of perceived inadequacy? Would he forever feel "less-than" about something he could not change?

I looked at the child. To me he seemed a fairly normal height for a three-year-old. His problem was not his height; his problem was the chart the doctor consulted. The kid did not match someone else's idea of how tall he should be, so now he had a problem.

What's Wrong With You... Not What's Right?

When I studied to become a human-relations trainer, I was taught to give people feedback only on things they could change. When you tell me, "Your eyes are too far apart," or "I wish you were more like your brother," that feedback is not helpful, because you are noting attributes that I cannot or would not change. When you tell a little boy, "You are too short," you are setting him up for frustration and low self-esteem. When you tell him, "I love you no matter what height you are," you set him up to win at life.

At a dinner party Dee and I hosted, my friend Denise reported that she had just come from seeing a psychic healer, who told her that her chakras were out of balance and her body was filled with parasites. This led to a lengthy discussion among the guests, including lots of advice for Denise about how to regain her health. She was also dealing with a weight issue, which elicited numerous recommendations from the group.

Appreciating People For Who They Are

The Isness Business: Less Fixing, More Savoring.As I listened, I was uncomfortable with the general tone of the conversation, which went something like: "There is plenty wrong with you, and we are going to tell you how to fix it." When Denise stepped away from the group, I took her aside and told her, "I love you just the way you are. I know there are things you are working on, but right now I find you perfect, and I appreciate all you are and all you do for me and others."

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Tears welled up in my friend's eyes as she told me, "Thank you. After that barrage of advice, that's just what I needed to hear."

I was not suggesting to Denise that she overlook any conditions that were causing her pain, or that she should not make an effort to improve her health and feel better. I was simply affirming Denise's beauty and worth right where she stood on her healing journey.

Walking A Healing Journey

You and I also walk a healing journey. We progress toward wellness more when we proceed from wellness than when we seek it.

The real you does not need fixing. Only the surface layer of you seems to need improvement. Your innate wholeness has never been damaged except in your thoughts. You have been taught that life is a problem, you are defective, and you must face and overcome an endless series of issues and obstacles before you can be enough. None of that is true.

Your perfection is unsullied, and your brokenness is illusion. You are not a black hole that needs to be filled. You are a light that needs to be shined. Less fixing, more savoring. Your inner self already owns a glorious beach house. How much time you spend there is up to you.

*subtitles by InnerSelf

©2012 by Alan Cohen. All Rights Reserved,
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc.

This article was adapted from the book:

Enough Already: The Power of Radical Contentment by Alan Cohen.Enough Already: The Power of Radical Contentment
by Alan Cohen.

In a world where fear, crisis, and insufficiency dominate the media and many personal lives, the notion of claiming contentment may seem fantastic or even heretical. In his warm, down-to-earth style, Alan Cohen offers fresh, unique, and uplifting angles on coming to peace with what is before you and turning mundane situations into opportunities to gain wisdom, power, and happiness that does not depend on other people or conditions.

Click here for more info or to order this book.

About The Author

Alan CohenAlan Cohen is the author of the bestselling A Course in Miracles Made Easy and the inspirational book, Soul and Destiny. The Coaching Room offers Live Coaching online with Alan, Thursdays, 11 am Pacific time, 

For information on this program and Alan’s other books, recordings, and trainings, visit

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