Don’t Go Without, Go Within

the-candle 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.”

Clare Wilde.

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.

8 thoughts on “Don’t Go Without, Go Within

  1. This post is a well written and very reflective post Steve, which shows great insight! In a world where we all ‘want it now’ in all areas of our life – we all need to listen to our own inner guidance, and not be duped by the many gurus out there offering us perfect happiness. At the end of the day, each author has their own spin on how the world works, and that includes all religious teachings too. In the end we all have to go within and trust our inner guidance, because its only right – if it feels right!

    Does this mean I can replace your self help books for more of my craft books?
    Lots of love from your ever supportive wife LOL xx

    • Lovely comment Amanda, insightful as always! I trusted my intuition with you, when we first met, and I’ve never regretted it!
      It’s tempting to let someone else do the thinking for us. Of course we can learn from each other, but we underestimate our own abilities to find our truths. I’ll be keeping my books on the shelf and occasionally going within… the bookcase.

  2. Steve, you are making a propound point. I have been wondering about it myself as an author. The more I write the more volunerable I become. The solution I try to provide takes me to deeper questions. It leaves me always in certain insecurity. It’s I guess what drives us to a better next path. Your thoughts are inspiring.

  3. Steve, you are right in looking inward for the answers to your questions. We can read 100 books, but ultimately, our soul knows the best approach for us to take. I think books are good for motivation sometimes, and/or perhaps leading us to a starting point, but unless our actions are in alignment with our subconscious mind, we tend to falter. I think there are so many books available because we are truly entering a paradigm shift as a whole, and there are so many people who are lost. If books don’t help much, it’s worth sitting down with yourself and asking some intimate questions. I’ve been where you are…books have helped some, but I always turn to my soul for definitive answers 🙂

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