Do not fall into the trap of the moralistic self-delusion commonly referred to as self-improvement. This is an emotion -driven, duality-driven search for what's wrong, and that's exactly what you're going to find. The longer you're at it, the more you'll find wrong with yourself. It's not possible to try to improve yourself without finding fault with yourself. It's the ultimate emotional merry-go-round.
Twoness is the source of all our worlds. Of course the ultimate source is oneness, infinite pure awareness. But there's nothing we can do about pure awareness. It's when awareness somehow spontaneously splits into infinite versions of itself, or twoness, that we have to start making choices. Do I spend my time wondering what's wrong with me, or do I get off my butt and enjoy some aspect of what's actually going on? Experience the same old crap or experience something new? Feel guilty for experiencing the same old crap or enjoy the same old crap? The choices are endless.
The first emotion in the chain of this feeding frenzy is fear. All the other emotions feed off of fear and then they feed off of each other. Guilt, pride, ambition, anger, jealousy, etc. are complicated versions of fear. The fear is caused by finding yourself existing. When awareness notices itself, separate from the whole of itself--watch out! As time goes by, we get used to fear and develop coverups, coping mechanisms. Then we continue to exist and exist and exist. We can't get rid of ourselves. It can be tiresome to wake up with the same responsibilities to deal with, over and over each day. Let's face it: responsibility--the ability to respond--is hard work, and for some of us it's downright scary. We can find something to distract us, to entertain us, to absorb our Attention. This often leads to a learning experience or an enjoyable experience of some kind. Then it usually makes us tired if not strung out on some substitute for allaying fear. Thus bad habits also grow out of fear. Narxing sits in our midst refusing to budge so we try to cover it up with frantic consumption of anything that seems to help a little.
Some of us are easily fooled by the myriad of choices available to us. The Moment of Choice mercilessly marches on, presenting us with new demands to make more decisions, moment after moment. Some of us just get tired and cave in. That irritation of things never being just right--Narxing, the ubiquitous sense of lack--tempts us to succumb to absorption in emotional wallowing. It can start as an attempt to overcome a mood that's displeasing or as an attempt to establish a mood that feels better. Either way, nothing much is accomplished until we realize that the infinite field of either/ors does not have to be dealt with on an emotional level at all. Instead, we can aim to accept what emotions exist, shrug off what we can as being of little importance, and move on. The energy that fuels emotion can be used for something other than the endless celebration of pain.
Balancing the energy of twoness is the first step into accepting the challenge of being human. Balance remains the key with each succeeding challenge thereafter. Dealing with the problem of whether or not to stifle or repress emotion is rarely actually necessary because emotion doesn't live inside us, despite what highly paid counseling professionals would like us to religiously believe. Some of these folks are really just modern exorcists hawking their snake oil. By teaching us that our emotions dwell within us like tenacious, clawing demons, they corral us to hire them as experts to get the demons to "exit our body". Deja vu, where have I heard that before?
Since you, your body, and your world are the same thing, emotion can be reframed as part of the environment. We can pick and choose what sort of experience we want to have without building new lives and personalities for ourselves. Emotion can be chosen, accepted, rejected, any number of options exist. It can also be balanced. The way to do this is to keep on keeping on and try to do the right thing without going to any extremes. Recognizing the bad taste of emotions like resentment, shame, anger, etc. should tell us something. After a certain period of time we should be able to just let that smelly thing pass us by. It tasted bad last time, and we have better things to do. It comes down to making decisions. It's not about setting out to create a new personality. Working with what we have is the first smart thing we can do. Awareness's big bang--breaking infinity up into a myriad of mere mortals--is not supposed to lead to some evolutionary march upward until we somehow manage to become four billion saints sitting around and nodding sagely at each other and feeling godly all the time. People who believe in evolution haven't done the arithmetic. Duality creates the worlds; it doesn't break the universe.
The so-called spiritual path is a trap. Better to stick to clearly-defined goals. For example, I want to learn how to function lucidly in expanded environments, able to remember my own name and address not just when I'm focused in the Dayly Dreame. That is a goal, a big one, but compared to "I want to feel better and better every day," it's practical and will distract you from the hell of practicing moodwatching on yourself. I even think I have to balance seven harmonics of awareness with each other in order to do it, making it an even bigger goal.
But to trade in a productive path of specific goals for the ever-bloating mindrape of self-improvement based on the notion that something is wrong... is the biggest possible mistake. The Miruvorning Vroombelleration is attained as any other goal. There's needed education and experience involved. As such, the lazy person's way out is to give up on whatever self-education and experience that's actually needed in order to balance the harmonics of awareness, in favor of picking emotional scabs whilst trying to perfect oneself. This is easier because the rewards are more frequent, in the form of shots of adrenalin from a habitually wounded psyche luxuriating in feeling like a superior victim.
Spiritual materialism is an attempt to grope one's miserable way to the mountaintop where there is nothing to do and no one to do it with. We cannot become spiritual. We are already 100% made of spirit (oneness) and this eternal condition can't get any better or worse; it just is.
The indication of someone stuck in emotional wallowing is that they can't get through things, they seem to be stuck in one place spinning their wheels. The answer to this dilemma is to get out of the car and walk. The car you're riding in is the whole problem. The power is wrong, the speed is wrong, the steering sucks, it doesn't have to be analyzed that much, just ask your 7ness dream body what's really going on behind the scenes. She's you so you already know, but it's nice to know that we do have guides--parts of ourselves--in the Unworld waiting for us to get unstuck and catch up with them. Change your beliefs and get back to what matters. Enjoy life, no matter what kind of a messed-up suckbutt you've been told that you are.
The love of money exacerbates the normal human gravitation toward emotional masturbation, because a little thing called the need to advertise and whip the competition causes all capitalists to lie about their intentions, talents, abilities, experiences, and resources. Capitalism ruins everything it touches, and it ruined the village medicine man a long time ago. New Age religion must be avoided. The practitioner must not find himself bogged down in anyone's personal need to sell a book about what's wrong with him. Reading book after book can be an excuse to not actively carry on with the practice or whatever one's real goals are. It's an expensive disguise for laziness. And laziness is an emotion, it's based on fear.
So enjoy being a lazy, scab-picking true believer while you can, but when it's not fun anymore, get back to the Good Work of enjoying life and learning real skills. Figuring out where the hell you are is going to take the rest of your life and it isn't easy. Fortunately, learning to enjoy life is the most effective unworlding technique that has ever been dreamed up by anyone.
The universe is not broken... starting with you.