I mentioned to my mom that I was reading Self Matters by Dr. Phil after a big break up in 2007. I felt a little guilty about my pursuit for self-help because I sensed that she felt slighted. “But you are doing great – why would you need to read a self-help book?” she said.
It made me realize the unconditional love from my mom, the stigma of self-help and also, to question who needs it and for what kinds of problems? My problems were certainly fancy in comparison to others. But, at the time I was feeling lost and I needed to get back to learning about my Self. From small stuff like: Why was I listening to Rhianna to soul-searching stuff like: What is my purpose?
From Self Matters, I learned about recognizing negative reels and my inner critic. I also learned how to silence her without silly affirmations (I am smart, I am funny) but real ideas (ya know? I make a mean mac and cheese. And, I am a good listener).
Maybe they were parts of me that were already there, reignited by a good ol’ southern psychologist, but I needed him to help me identify them and get me back aflame. And, really, a book guiding you through some trouble – what could be better in the eyes of an introvert like myself?
We all have our own struggles to deal with and decisions to make. Even if we all had what could be considered wonderfully charmed childhoods, which I think I did, there is always room for improvement. Why not get a little help when we need it?
I told my mom that my seeking guidance among the pages of self-help books was no reflection of her and that at the end of the day, we are all responsible for ourselves. I was doing exactly what she raised me to do: take ownership of my life, which is, in my opinion some of the best dang parenting out there.
What do you think about seeking guidance for “fancy” problems?