from quotes of Anthony De Mello . . .

How far can transformation go when it is attempted from a state of inner conflict? Take a look at the sad condition when you are often dissatisfied with yourself, often wanting to change yourself. Think of the sad history of your efforts at self-improvement, that either ended in failure or succeeded only at the cost of struggle and pain. Consider how you suffer when you see others achieve what you believe you haven’t achieved or who have become what you believe you haven’t become.

How can this possibly be a path that opens the way to realizing your beautiful nature?

Take another look at how you have filled your emptiness with people.  See how they control your behavior by their approval and disapproval, sending your spirits soaring with their praise, bringing you down to the depths with their criticism and rejection. Look at yourself spending most of your day placating and pleasing people.

Now suppose you desisted from all efforts to change yourself, and from all self-dissatisfaction. How?

If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself, to study every one of your reactions to people and things, without judgment or condemnation or desire to reform yourself, then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you: You will be flooded with the light of awareness, you will become transparent and transformed.