Have you ever walked through the top level of the Chapters on Whyte avenue and thought that perhaps you have more issues than you had known about? Otherwise how could there be so many books about things you haven't even thought. There are so many self help books! Books to help you with being single, books to fall in love, books to work on your marriage and books to help you deal when you get divorced. Books about your wardrobe, beautiful covers of Audrey Hepburn telling you how to be lady. How to be a better friend, how to be a better wife and mother, how to be a better cook, how to get more organized, how to lose the weight, journals that are meant to have the pages ripped out of them. All of these books come from people who feel they are experts in their area. What makes them an expert? Who makes that decision? Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz can thank Oprah, but then again, some people I’ve talked to don't even know why Oprah is such a big deal.
Maybe that book gives you some insight, and maybe it doesn't. Do you want to know something else? That sure does not mean you failed!
I am not immune to these books, or the uplifting pictures on pinterest, or all the articles in the magazines I can't seem to stop buying. I even buy the Woman’s Weekly magazine that has a page near the end of every issue that gives you 7 affirmations. One for everyday of the upcoming week. I cut those out every time I buy that particular magazine and use them in as bookmarks for all my books. Which are sometimes admittedly books you could buy from the self help section. So in essence my self books are filled with self help bookmarks . How much help does a girl need?
How much until you start to feel like no amount of help books will be enough? If you have read some of my older posts you know that I am not quiet about being in a transitional year in my life. I feel like this is something I owe to the guys and gals in my world that are younger than myself. You always imagine your life going a certain way, and sometimes it won't and that is totally okay. It may compel you to buy a book and you know that? Maybe that book gives you some insight, and maybe it doesn't. Do you want to know something else? That sure does not mean you failed!
Over a year ago I was engaged to be married and thought my next few years of plans were most definitely in order. Surprise! Life happened while I was busy making other plans. I called off my engagement and was totally single about two weeks later. During that time I had spoken to a therapist over the phone and she had given me some titles of books she thought would help me in my situation. I bought all 3 books the very next day and really thought that we would be able to work things out from me reading these magical books. As it turns out, I am now very well versed in the terminology of relationships and still could not work it out with my ex-fiance. Does that mean that I've failed three times over? That is what it feels like in the land of self help.
In discussion with a friend this week we went over this and what it meant to read a book from an author that claims to guarantee something will change in your life when you read their book. When you boil it down, a book written by a person is not necessarily a law or sometimes even a fact. Half of the books you can buy are a persons opinion of what worked for them in the situation. I am currently reading a book called 'The Happiness Project' and it doesn't mean that I am unhappy at the moment. It means that I am interested in how this woman decided she wasn't happy enough in her life and made changes to increase her happiness. Who wouldn't want to be more happy? That being said if I read this book and can't apply her rules to my life, then maybe we just aren't matches in what seems to be a self improvement movement.
You always imagine your life going a certain way, and sometimes it won't and that is totally okay. It may compel you to buy a book and you know that?
You may think this is ironic as you read about this on my blog. Which is meant to reach out and help people. I'm not telling you that I don't want you to think about my words, or any of my colleagues posts. Just that if you read one and decide we have differing opinions, it won't hurt my feelings! I want you to learn something and maybe take something away from my writings, or at the very least feel empowered in some small way.
After having the self help book debate with the people closest in my life I can tell you from my personal point of view the only book I rely on for information about how to live my life and what my expectations of my self should be is the Bible. If you ever get really overwhelmed in that dark seemingly endless hallway of self help books, let me tell you there is a light at the end of the tunnel; it is God and the life plan he has for you. Above all the other experts in all the fields you could read, he is the one. He knows what is going on and it will all happen in time. The books you read along the way are just fillers!
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