Photo: The Candle by Bobbi Jones Jones
“The peace we need is always present, it’s just that
we have forgotten where it is and how to find it.”
It’s taken me a while to figure it out, but I’ve found that looking for external solutions to every problem just doesn’t work.
I’ve always thought of myself as being ‘Spiritual’ rather than ‘Religious’ and have never become formally attached to any such group. I’ve never accepted the “one size fits all” approach, where someone tells you they have all the knowledge you need. And you shouldn’t question their message or look elsewhere for answers, if it doesn’t make sense to you. I like to have the freedom to accept or reject beliefs and philosophies, using my own reasoning and intuition.
And yet over the years, I’ve found myself wanting the “quick fix” that seems to be on offer with a self-help author’s latest title. No matter that I bought their last one, thoroughly digested it… And moved on to the next. I still have the books, CDs and DVDs to prove it!
Rather than just reading the material, I hoped that the latest book would be “The One” that gave me enlightenment, and solved all my problems. Or rather gave me all the tools I needed to do that. Isn’t that what Spiritual and Self Help books are supposed to do?
But they too have a “one size fits all” approach – suggesting that the solutions to Life’s problems can be contained neatly into a book, or Ten Step Programme or Nine CD set. And although their last book implied that this was ‘all you need to know’, they now have distilled their message into an even more perfect ‘must-read’.
It’s not helped by the fact that there is a huge industry that has developed out of the Self-Improvement and Motivational field. Which is not a bad thing in itself. But it seems that authors often try and out-do each other with ever more amazing claims of what their programme or system can do for you. Sometimes it’s really just a book, but calling it a “programme” or “system” gives it a bit more ‘holistic’ credibility.
I’m sure there is benefit to be had in learning and absorbing new approaches, and different perspectives. So I’m going to carry on reading and listening to motivational material. But instead of asking the author of the next book to give me Life’s solutions, I’ll look within. That’s where I believe I will find the answers I need. And where they were all along.