Friday, July 15, 2011

Buying the Book Isn't Enough?

Confession time...  You know those people who spend way too much time at bars? Well, I am not one of them.  I could hang out at Barnes & Nobles, a quaint little bookstore or library and get my own special kind of buzz, just from reading book jackets.

Why do you buy books? My books give me comfort. Ever since I was a child, books took me on a journey and seemed to have all of the answers.

Books still just scream off the shelf at me, "Buy Me! I will change your life!"  Having that new inspirational self-help book on my nightstand even seemed to make me sleep better. Oops! Did you catch that? The books were on my nightstand. Somewhere along the way, I slowed down with my book reading and not the purchasing. The self-help books were left at the bottom of the stack, while I read the novels.

The problem began while going through my divorce. I read self-help books like I was studying for a degree - a degree in "what happened to me." I was determined to find the answers in how-to books on: divorce, being a single mom, co-parenting, raising children, recovering from an unhealthy relationship, and books attempting to explain my ex's behavior. Covered in notes and highlighted, these were like textbooks for my messy life. My appetite for these books was insatiable. 

You see, I believed that all of the answers could be found in a book. If I bought that book, it would provide solutions to my struggles or just tell me what I was supposed to do. In a magical way, just seeing the title and reading the back cover, made me feel a little better. It was kind of a quick fix, but there never seemed to be enough.

One day it all changed. I was talking with my therapist over the phone and telling her about my latest box of books from Amazon. Surprisingly, she told me not to open the box.  She said that the books would not help me figure out my ex. It was not my job to analyze him. I read enough. I knew enough. Now it was time to take that knowledge and let the rest go.

Change is a process, and I did not change overnight. Gradually, I caught up on my self-help book reading and now, I rarely buy a new one until I've finished the last. I never did open that box with books that I thought would explain my ex's behavior. Instead, I bought and read books about finding my creativity and writing. :)

Yes, there is much to be learned from self-help books and I still love them. Just remember, you actually need to read them. Then, there comes a time, when you have to take a break from reading and do the work. The books won't change you. It's your job to change yourself.

Read, Process it and put it into Action. That will lead you to the path of living life as your Whimsical Sol.



Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

"The books won't change you. It's your job to change yourself."

Sooo true!
You are so pretty!!!

Whimsical Sols said...

Thank you, Caren - you are so sweet!