Journey from self-help to self-love

I have an embarrassing confession to make, I used to be a self-help junkie. This is how naive I was; I actually believed these books were written by people who knew the secret to life. I thought they were providing a service to the public. It took me years to realise they were selling me a product. The promise of a better life, a new and improved me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing self-help books. There are many wise authors who have written wonderful books that help but there’s also a lot of trash out there masquerading as help. There’s always a flip side to everything.

I look back now and see how I developed this addiction. I compared myself to others, all my friends and colleagues were smarter, prettier, more talented and accomplished. I thought there was something wrong with me. The irony is that that was wrong with me was believing that there was something wrong with me.

Then one day I heard the still small voice within. During meditation I received the idea to thank myself periodically throughout the day for every little mundane thing I did. For having a shower, doing the laundry, exercising, cleaning the dishes, paying the bills, meditating etc. Seems a bit silly doesn’t it to thank yourself for having a shower. But who else, if not you, is going thank you for taking good care of yourself.

After practising it for a couple of months I discovered this simple little exercise, that only takes a few minutes a day was extremely powerful. I no longer focused on what I didn’t do or what I had done wrong, in short, I stopped criticising myself. Over a short period of time I became more grateful, self-loving and motivated. I found out, that when you give yourself appreciation on a regular basis your inner self shines and is eager to do more. The added bonus, you no longer seek approval from others or spend all of your money on books.

May all beings be helped!

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Photo Credit: Amy Treasure via Unsplash

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22 thoughts on “Journey from self-help to self-love

  1. Exactly!! I’ve come to the same conclusion after having been sucked into the addiction. 12 years of intense Zen and Yoga practice. Thousands of dollars in retreats, workshops, books, videos. One day I asked myself if I had noticed a change in myself to justify all this time, money and effort. Nope. I did gain more knowledge about this self-help business, but I was the same as 12 years ago. I simply had a nice expensive hobby. I could have taken up woodcarving or photography and been better off. Ya, I too was a self-help junkie. Should start a support group, like AA.

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  2. I’m pretty confident that I could write a self help book, then create a set help program, and become an expert. I’ve read enough of the various self help books to know what to say, what to write. Heck, you could be my co-author or even write your own and we could cross market to each other’s followers. We would be unstoppable.

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  3. I think this is an awesome idea: from self-help to self-love! Ultimately, many of the messages in self-help books ultimately boil down to self-love. A commitment to “Self-Help” makes it so that we may be addicted to feelings of fear and lack, whereas a commitment to “Self-Love” assures us that we have all we need inside already. I will admit I love a lot of self-help books and authors, but I view them more from the “love” than “help” perspective. Thanks for this idea! 🌟

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  4. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the children of our world were guided to love themselves. Imagine what a world it would be!

    Self-love is where it all begins on the journey of self-discovery. It opens up everything. Enjoyable blog BM~ 🙂 I look forward to future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mark. Yes it would be wonderful and it’s even a realistic possibility if you teach them when they’re very young. I was a teenager when I read my first self-help book that talked about the importance of self love but I was too immature to grasp the significance of what I was reading. Better late than never hey!

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  5. I think my first ‘self-help’ book was a little book from the offerings at a cash register at Safeway when I was seven years old. It was on meditation and I loved it even though it was “how-to” form oriented.

    As a young teenager I read Napoleon Hill and Anthony Robbins and many others which were interesting but I didn’t get much out of that whole genre really. Eventually I read thousands of books, searching, exploring, always looking for that elusive something I was trying to connect with and remember.

    But it wasn’t in a book where I found what I was looking for. And it wasn’t in any teaching. It was within me. It was me. I was using books as a way not to connect with myself. As a waiting period (that lasted for many years). They only pointed to a direction, and most didn’t even do that. Books can only go so far in what they give to us. And that is why I kept my book Ayama’s Journey short and used a story to communicate what I wanted to express and share with the world. Years ago I gave away all of my books and only read for pleasure now 🙂

    And you are right, if we are not ready then something or someone amazing or profound could be standing right in front of us and we wouldn’t even see that. When we are ready and choose, it all begins.

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  6. Thank you for this confession! It’s a great read because I can so empathize. It’s ironic how being ourselves is the first thing we do as a human but one of the hardest things to accept. So many of us systematically reject ourselves and constantly feel the need to ‘be better’.

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