I picked up my first self-help book some time in highschool. Up until that time, I had already experience many bouts of depression, hadn’t much self-esteem, wasn’t in with the popular social groups, and was really struggling to see what purpose there was to life. The book was written by John Kehoe. I don’t remember the details but he essentially spoke about how we create our own worlds, how we’re responsible for how our lives turn out and offered some practical exercises to make this so.
I was intrigued. Here was someone saying that I didn’t have to accept the way things were. That it was in my power to make things right. That’s big for a teenage social outcast with what felt like very few real friends. I was hooked.
The information Kehoe provided, I devoured with relish and, over the years to follow, found many other teachers in both the form of authors, coaches, and actual metaphysical and esoteric teachers. For me, the changes were slow. It took a long while to make routine the exercises and pattern of thoughts that pretty much all the books and teachers prescribed for a joyful and fulfilled life.
One habit that was set up very quickly was to constantly and consistently search for the answers outside of myself.
I wouldn’t say I was a course junkie. In fact, I made a point of separating myself from those people identified as junkies. The ones who kept coming back to do the same and similar courses on a regular basis. Granted, there’s a definite high achieved on most of the good courses that can be very addictive. Despite the teachers generally aiming to teach that that high can be attained at any time, throughout the normal living of life, many students, myself included, weren’t immediately able to build ourselves up enough and trust ourselves enough to practise all we learned in daily life. Instead, we kept trying to relive those emotional and power highs by signing up for the next great workshop.
Like I said, I wouldn’t call myself a course junkie. Yes, I’ve over the last decade and a half done numerous self-help, metaphysical and esoterically-styled workshops and courses, many of which built on the teachings of the previous ones. I have also for very few months in that same time been without some sort of self-help text near my bed. For me, it made sense. My life wasn’t what I would have liked it to be. I was obviously born a mess. I needed to fix things. And all these courses, workshops, books, and other media were my guides to sorting things out.
Except for one major issue. The majority of the books and certainly every physical teacher I’ve engaged with has pointed out one fundamental insight: the answers, your truth, is only in you. You can seek out guidance but ultimately you’re the only one who knows what is going to work in your life.
I’d lost sight of that. Until this morning.
Over the years, I’ve grown in leaps and bounds. I regularly assist and guide people, train and coach, provide healing in a variety of ways. People have referred to me as a magician, larger-than-life, intellectually superior, advanced, a guru, and, in one instance, God. Those namecallings are all lovely ego strokes. But, despite my ability to help and provide insight to others, I’m still lacking many solutions for me.
Or so I was in the habit of thinking. And while it has been repeatedly pointed out that I’ve already got a lot of the answers that I’m seeking, it didn’t sink in until discussions last night and a subsequent conversation this morning, how much I’ve been addicted to self-help and motivation books and cds.
Improving oneself, finding guidance from people who have the knowledge and insight to provide it, seeking out ways to motivated oneself, to better oneself, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. We are constantly growing and changing.
What’s been pointed out to me is that I’m not trusting myself enough. I’ve taken the journey but I’ve been circling the same tracks for a while now. It’s time to catch the next train. To let go of that idea that I don’t know, that I’m not good enough, because, the gods know, I’ve proved myself good enough time and time again. I just wasn’t seeing it.