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An Open Letter to Self Help Junkies


Hello My Dear,

My love.  I know you. I can so relate to you. The hunger for more books, more articles, more resources that will tell you how to be better, kinder, gentler, happier.  I know the joy from thinking this resources, this tip, this idea will be the answer, I know the exhaustion that comes from always wanting to be better, to live the BIG DREAM, to figure it out, to KNOW yourself.

I know you believe if only you:

  • had more gratitude
  • did more meditation
  • ate healthier
  • worked out more
  • journaled more
  • Self-reflected more
  • just read the right book,
  • took the right class you would figure it out…you would be ok.

Well here’s the truth.  All that ‘more’ won’t help.   All the things listed above are strategies, suggestions for living happier. They aren’t meant to pile on more  ‘shoulds’ or ‘if-onlys.’ These exercises are there to relax us, get us back in touch with ourselves so we can make decisions about our lives from a place of wisdom and discernment.    They are not there to make us feel like failures or losers.

The truth is, the answer isn’t out there.  The answer isn’t from doing more, being better or figuring it out.

The liberating truth is there is no answer. There is life. A messy, imperfect, glorious, joyful life.  And the key to being happier in life? Show up for your life. Right now.

Not when you get it figured out. Not when you accomplish your BIG goal.  Right now. In the job that isn’t your dream job. In the relationship, that isn’t a Hallmark movie. In the friendships that aren’t 100% perfect.

Remember, perfect doesn’t exist.  You are wonderful just the way you are: imperfect, flawed, questing, trying and being you.

So today I ask you to stop questing.  Stop focusing on all the things you SHOULD be doing to be a better person.  Today I ask you to Just Be You.

Show up for your life.

Be Kind.

Listen to your Biggest Fan.

Take Small Baby Steps.

Give yourself a break.

Nancy Jane Smith, A Recovering Self-Help Junkie

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