When I was single I used to spend a lot of time in the self-help relationships section of the bookstore. After years of searching, every book started to look the same and the advice was just a regurgitation of some other dating expert’s theories I have heard a million times in the past. My mind numb from all the reading and workshops that promised to change my love life, I was starting to suffer from self-help love fatigue.
The problem wasn’t that the books and workshops were wrong or filled with poor information, but how I approached them. While these experts were trying to be empowering telling me that I can the direction of my love life, their message backfired and created a storm of self-loathing inside of me. I felt that if there is something I am doing to create my terrible relationship patterns, than there is something wrong about me that need to be fixed.
I spent decades trying to heal, focusing on my love problems and pain, only to judge myself harshly when love didn’t happen for me. I measured my self-worth by my self-help progress. I waited for my love life to shift to give me a sign that I was normal like everyone else. After watching my friends get married who did little or no work on themselves, I started to feel that maybe there was something so broken in me that I could never mend.
I was stuck in a prison of self-hate that I couldn’t escape. The problem was not that I had issues, but I saw those problems as a reason for not being lovable. By trying to make my human self perfect, I was never satisfied with my progress and constantly focused on what was wrong with me. Unknowingly, I was generating more problems because where my attention was going, the energy was flowing. I was trapped on the self-help treadmill.
I am not knocking self-help by any means. As a self-help author myself I know the value of self-reflection and the power of taking responsibility for your life. There is another way to approach personal growth that is more uplifting and powerful which brings forth faster and easier results. Instead of looking at this process as fixing yourself, you can shift your perception to it as a way to master your life.
People who do personal development work are not broken, but are highly-evolved beings who have the insight to know that they are not powerless to random fate. We all come into this world with human baggage, some of us know about it and others ignore it and blame the world for their problems. As a truth-seeker, you are learning how to navigate the baggage, drop off the excess and live a freer existence.
Instead of looking at taking another course or reading another book as an arduous chore you have to do to dig yourself out of your life’s problems, take on the learning experience as a step toward your own evolution. Some people get through life with a GED, while others wish to enrich their minds with a Ph.D. The person who seeks the higher degree doesn’t see himself as broken, but rather as well-equipped to take on the challenge of higher learning.