True Self-help Without a Guru

by Kevin Del Principe - Date: 2007-01-07 - Word Count: 565 Share This!

Self-Help is the newest and fastest growing religion in this nation, resurrected from the church's doctrine regarding the sinfulness of man, complete with its own variety of priests and priestesses, and maintained by the American populace's willingness to accept coercion. Self-Help exists in a paradigm implying that the broken individual can fix his or herself, but this fixing can only come from following the structure of a Self-Help guru. I make no claims to be a guru and not much is being sold in this article, perhaps just the necessary bit of self-aggrandizement that is present in all writing.

I think that to truly help ourselves a couple of points need to be cleared up. Firstly, we are not that bad. We are not diseased. We are HUMAN. Striving between opposite desires and toward a moral imperative considerate of our relations with other people is our condition. If anything, we are confused. We're like little children that worship our parents but don't know how to please them. We want to do the right things but aren't sure exactly what the right things are. I think we ought to start giving ourselves points for trying. Trying is a worthy endeavor and ultimate success is an illusion. Do you remember getting stars in elementary school when you gave good effort on an activity? Give yourself a star. Give yourself ten stars. Maybe we don't need fixing, maybe somebody told us we were broken but they were mistaken, maybe we're perfect as we are, and maybe we already are a star just for trying.

Secondly, if anybody has to do some fixing it's us. Medication can't fix us. Psychiatrists can't fix us. Counselors can't fix us. Self-Help gurus can't fix us. Self-aggrandizing writers like me can't fix us. The only one that can fix us is us. Responsibility is a powerful tool. By accepting responsibility we can make changes in our actions, and actions direct our moral compass. To dance, we shake our asses and the rest of our bodies follow. To achieve a content life, we must act right and our minds will follow.

Thirdly, let's start enjoying our condition. If we're blessed to live and have our mental faculties, life is more of a long distance marathon than a sprint. Our condition lends us to feel as though we are always in the middle between two opposing desires: sex/relationships, money/meaning, freedom/responsibilities. Though this is certainly the situation we find ourselves in, there is a tremendous difference between feeling trapped between opposing desires and taking an inquisitive, scientific posture that leads to enjoying the discovery of the best decision in a given circumstance. A correct mindset is a terrible thing for us to waste.

If we want to change the world we don't need to change ourselves, we must be content and in that contentedness make right decisions that will benefit not only ourselves but all of us. Nothing bad can come from actions that are good. If we are following our bliss, then we are doing what's right and no one can be hurt by our actions. There is no prescription or diagnosis for bliss, there is only the journey. This journey is not solitary because everyone is walking it all the time, whether they are conscious of it or not. Let's take comfort in that we're not walking alone and let's try to enjoy the journey.

Related Tags: help, care, content, personal, life, spirituality, spiritual, happiness, religion, better, self-help, self, counseling, actions, psychology, bliss, right, pschotherapy, betterment, living action, correct

Kevin Del Principe is a playwright, poet, and teacher. His writings challenge unjust cultures, and suggest the creation of reciprocal relationships in their place.

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