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Lately, I have been struggling with the self-help industry–the number of books and blogs and e-books that are out there to help us figure out how to feel better about ourselves/our lives/our relationships/our careers. It is incredible to me the sheer number of ‘stuff’ that is out there. I use to be a self-help fanatic–thinking maybe if I bought THIS book or downloaded THIS pamphlet I would finally get control of my life and feel better. Finally, I realized the books weren’t going to help–yes they have good techniques and insights, but the bottom line is–this stuff is hard. Learning, growing, changing. Trying to be a better person–all very hard!!
It is hard to live in the present, be aware of your negative thoughts, engage in deep breathing, communicate your needs and push through your fear–all while eating healthy, working out and just plain living your life!!! But I know when I try when I get up each morning and just TRY to implement one or two things I feel better. I am happier when I am intentional about my life when I catch myself ‘what ifing’ or when I notice the beat down I am giving myself because I haven’t accomplished what I thought I would. Do I do this every minute of every day? No way–do I do it most days, yes.
I guess I just needed to admit as someone who works in the ‘self-help’ arena–there is no magic way to find happiness no magic 10 steps or magic book or magic pill for that matter. It is just an honest to goodness struggle–being honest with ourselves and our significant others. Being aware of ourselves as we move through life and having genuine non-judgmental curiosity about ourselves and our friends/partners. There will be days when we hit the mark when we are present and centered and lived all the self-help principles. There will be days when we miss the mark completely–when we question if we have learned anything in this process. It is those days when we have learned the same life lesson for the 5th time, and we wonder if we are making any progress at all that we need to put away the baseball bat that we use to beat ourselves with and recognize this stuff is HARD and tomorrow is another day.
When life gets tough, and you fall into bed exhausted give yourself a break and remember: Life is a process, and we are all doing the best we can with what we know right now.