Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I am a survivor of many self-help programs and have a tendency to pick up books on the subject when I'm on the edge of something.

Once upon a time, I was in a relationship that over time had grown toxic. I would talk to her about how toxic it had become. I used words like co-dependency and emotional abuse and she would nod and sort of agree that I was right, but then nothing changed. Nothing got better. So, I started bringing home books from the library. When talking fails, I read.

I brought home books on dealing with your own inadequacies and the inadequacies of your partner. I read "I'm OK, You're OK." I read "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and "The Five Love Languages." There were many others. It went on for months.

The last book I read in that particular cycle was "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." The book basically states that men and women have two different relationship languages --and it's in failing to try to understand what it is the other is saying is a major reason why relationships fall apart.

I remember that book pretty well. Two weeks after I read it for the second time, I quit. There is no question in my mind that the book influenced my decision.

Since then, I monitor what I bring home from the library. I don't really go in with a plan. I'm just a kid in a candy store. Oh sure, from time to time I might be in the mood for a particular flavor, but for the most part I just grab what grabs me. I'm reading a lot of poetry now, books on travel and self-help --lots of self-help.

I've been listening to audio books by Deepak Chopra and another called "The Secret." I've begun to feel like it's not enough for me to be the change I wish to see in the world. I want the world I live in to be a better place for me to be.

I wish it was all the same, but it's not.

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