My husband, God bless him, was doing dishes while I was watching 'Super Soul Sunday' TV Show - self-help/spiritual, inspired interviews by the enlightened Queen herself, Oprah.
Since there's a perfect view of the TV from our kitchen sink, my poor husband (a former Marine, well a Marine by all accounts, 'Once a marine always a Marine'...'Ooh Rah'...and all that) was subjected to the show.
He's not a man of many words, but his head shaking, exaggerated eye rolls, and smirks were loud and clear! He was behaving like a schoolboy in the back of a classroom, preparing an army of spit wads during a boring lecture.
Oprah was interviewing Daniel Goleman, Psychologist/Scientist and author of Emotional Intelligence- he's practically worshipped (as one of the pioneers) in the self-help world. Then Danny-boy said it, "We don't even notice what we're not noticing".
My husband burst out into ridiculous laughter- I wondered how long he'd held that in. While there's merit to that phrase, it is comical. Let's be honest, here!
Immaturity is for those who know better!
I didn't say anything, I just continued to watch the show. Although, I began watching it through his eyes.
The last half hour was a bunch of self-help buzzwords strung together resulting in...drumroll please... a fancy-pants platform for common sense. And my husband, the unsuspecting smart ass Marine/unruly schoolboy, had caught on long before I did.
Self-Help got us in this mess, now we're using it to get us out?!This might be a backwards theory I'm hanging onto by a thread, but I think my Marine is onto something. We've screwed ourselves into a black hole, abyss of awareness (or lack of awareness).
We know enough to hurt ourselves...or....we know too much to help ourselves.
Sometimes I'm not smart enough to know when to be stupid.
We have so much info, we're walking around as paranoid, fatter, hypochondriacs that need an elephant-sized dose of Ritalin or reality.
Bummed? Let me take your money!
Self help has given us nothing more than too many options for a few simple life-loving solutions.
Work less, play more.
Give attention to your kids.
Don't try to get along with EVERYONE.
Believe in something beyond yourself; God/religion and/or spirituality
Don't beat yourself up.
Spend less money.
Pay attention to the care of yourself and loved ones.
There, I saved you $29.50 for the latest self-help book.
And you truly know how to do these things. You don't need to read 300 pages of how to spend time with your kids or a step-by-step guide to being nice to yourself!
Fluffy Freud phrases and other jargon that doesn't belong in your mouth.
I have a love-hate with self-help because of my background in Psychology. Self-help is a glorified Psychology class that has blown up into a massive industry of vultures waiting to take your money. Wow, that was mostly hate I guess.
I cringe at the mis-use of Psychological terms (FYI: Narcissism is not your average selfishness and a sociopath isn't your grumpy neighbor) in casual conversations over coffee,
Self-help is ingrained in our culture, but in a stupid way that unfortunately makes people think they sound smarter.
"Self-help" makes us post-pone helping ourselves.
Okay, you want a cool phrase to repeat over coffee...how about Analysis Paralysis?
Over-analyzing to the point you become paralyzed and unable to face things worse than before. You can thank self-help for that:
Self-help makes us feel like we are difficult, like the (magical) answer needs to be a complex quest.
When Freud lost his bragging rights in the field of Psychology it was due to the fact that analyzing wasn't the answer. Figuring out why? So what?!
Behaviors don't change because we get an explanation.
We like explanations in lengthy books because it's a comfortable inaction.
Let me ask you if you feel better after getting explanations? Nope! It's like asking the kids why they colored on the wall. It's painfully obvious that its awesome and fun!
Getting it all figured out without all the books and stuff...
My Marine has this no-nonsense, simplified approach to life while I'm in the corner pondering a paramount, existential crisis for all mankind.
He has never apologized for being himself or pretended to be someone else. He's the yin to my yang and while he can drive me insane, he also keeps me sane...and grounded.
I salute you self-acceptance! Ooh-rah!
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!