A friend of mine is a voracious reader of self-help books. She is constantly reading and sharing a new insight she has received from one book or another. Recently she had the realization that she was obsessed with self-help books in the quest to fill up the hole she felt inside that ‘she wasn’t enough’. If ONLY she could become as enlightened or as grounded THEN she would be happy. For many of us who are on the quest to be happier (in work and life) we can get stuck on this treadmill of trying to ‘get fixed’ so we can be enough and then be happy.
I have a love/hate relationship with self-help books. Heck, you might even argue that this is a self-help blog. The danger of looking for help outside of ourselves in a book or blog is that somewhere the belief comes in that we aren’t enough—we need to be fixed. We lose the important fact that the answers are within.
It isn’t about arriving or becoming it is about BEING. Being present to your anxiety, perfectionism, laziness, greed, desire, fear and gluttony. Being present to your joy, laughter, happiness, excitement, and energy. Being present, to all of the pain, the muck, the joy, the fear, the anxiety, and the roller coaster of it all. You don’t need to be fixed, you just need to be still, present, quiet, and true to your own voice.
I believe life is a journey. There is no end, there is no RIGHT answer. We just keep spiraling up, getting better and better at being our unique wonderful selves. In my opinion,the point of living happier is being the best YOU possible. When we can accept ourselves as is with all of our failings and gifts, all of our blessings and challenges, then we are on the road to enlightenment. The disappointing news is there isn’t one answer, there isn’t an IF ONLY I figure (fill-in-the-blank) I will be content. This journey is a hard one. But give yourself a break because as long as you wake up each morning with the desire to be the best you possible, you are on the path.
So often we think we need to be fixed. If only we acted our higher self all the time, if only we were perfect, if only we didn’t over indulge, if only, if only, if only… So today pay attention to how many times you berate yourself by throwing a SHOULD or an IF ONLY on yourself, and then have a little compassion. Remind yourself you don’t need to be fixed, you are fine as is. You are a wonderful work in progress, right where you need to be. You are enough.
Here’s to the quest of balancing the challenge of living and working happier with the love and compassion for where you are in the process. To being a wonderfully unique, work in progress!!!
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