October 21, 2015

There’s a Book for That: Sucked into the Self-Help Spiral.

Shannon Brokaw

There I was, sitting on the floor of Borders bookstore in downtown Chicago.

I was pissed. I was gobsmacked. I was defiant.

I hated This Girl.

But I was intrigued.

The week before my discovery of Self Help, Help, I was agitated because of “This Girl with the Choice Words.” I was raving about the newest Self Help book that I just had to have—recommended by Lord Knows Who—someone, somewhere subliminally slipped me a hint and said: Buy it, you fool!

You didn’t have to twist my arm. I was a regular at Borders and vowed I would move in one day.

I was that type of person who liked to know what others were thinking, what others had been through, what others had done when their relationship wasn’t the best and on the brink of destruction. I was in a dead-end relationship, but didn’t know any better at the time. I was young, naive, and needed reassurance. What better way than to listen to everyone else, right? No.

That’s where the chilling words of This Girl came in: “Be careful of the Self Help section as it will suck you in and f*ck you up like no one’s business.”

Excuse me? Did she just judge me? Did she just say I was f*cked up? Great, I must find a book about dealing with people who tell it like it is—only I didn’t know it just yet.

I sat on that floor and told myself to accept what was and get on with it. I made a pact with myself to only truly buy what resonated with me, and not what that Lord Knows Who said.

Flash forward to many years later and there I was, again. Only this time, I wasn’t on the floor of Borders. I was on the hard-trodden floor of my room. I couldn’t breathe. I was in a ball. I was crying.

I was asking for help from anyone who would listen in the abyss. I was calling on my angels.

How do I shake these negative emotions? (There’s a book for that, I just know it!) I have read everything possible on the Law of Attraction and how to raise your vibration. I was supposed to ‘get’ this and this was beginning to be my personal field of expertise as I had watched how manifestations unfolded when you believed. But yet, I was on the floor and unable to move. I was too shaken to go into my usually safe place of Child’s Pose.

That is, until I was so exhausted that epiphany could be heard saying: “Be careful of the Self Help section as it will suck you in and f*ck you up like no one’s business.”

That was it, that was the call. I realized that I had fallen victim to my own curiosity of wanting a better and more fulfilled life with purpose and the need to read all about it.

What I discovered through this journey was that This Girl was onto something. I was a lot sucked in, but not quite there with the “other” thing. I counted the books paid for with a job I loved, but bosses who were frightful, self-absorbed beings. How did I let this happen and why? I learned that I went from one thought process to the next, without any regard for the latter when I hit the next book. Fair enough, as I paid for the book, but was it fair enough to my overall well-being not being able to decipher what it was how I felt about myself, how I was feeling inside, what I really wanted to express?

I slowly got off the floor and shook myself off. I had enough. I had to stop. I had to stop reading and trying everything when something didn’t seem to work when I lost faith. I had to stop listening to these dime a dozen, so called life coaches in my circle who didn’t have a clue about life coaching, particularly to me.

I let go of feeling the need to read every post on social media about feeling good, about doing the right thing, about raising vibration, about Law of Attraction, about anything that promised to plaster a perma-smile across my face and deposit a million bucks into my bank account.

I let go of any attachment I had to needing to read something to make me feel better at the expense of my well-being. Ironic, no? And guess what? I was right. For once, I understood what it actually meant to go with the flow, a term I had conveyed at least a thousand times to friends who were in need.

A reoccurring theme I hear so often is that no matter what I do, my life still sucks. Perhaps it’s time to take a Self Help Help reality check and get in touch with what you intuitively already know.

In times of overwhelming circumstances, it is easy to get caught up in needing something to help us. Tapping into your own inner guidance and letting that be your light to clarity will take you a lot further in life than being weighed down by various methods that can hit you like a freight train when you are in dire straights.

One size does not fit all.

Trust in yourself. Let it all go. Take baby steps.

You will find your own way, I promise you! There is no more magic formula than to know that life is good and life is beautiful. Live it with love.

Go with the flow, do what feels right to you.

You, my friend, get to choose…and here, now, in this life.


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Author: Shannon Brokaw

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: author’s own

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