Self-help won't save you.
Personal development won't save you.
The spiritual path won't save you.
No matter how many books you read, events you attend, or hours you spend sitting in silence, you don't get to skip over the tough bits.
You don't get to have the pleasure without the pain just because you've spent years "working yourself."
Sometimes you'll have a long stretch of the good life. You'll think you've cracked it. You'll think those 365 days of studying A Course in Miracles paid off.
You're saved. No more suffering.
Then the shit hits the fan and you realise it was all an illusion.
You're not immune to suffering.
You still have to live through it.
Be in it.
Right in it.
And you have to wait for it to move through you, just like everyone else who never read a self-help book in their life.
I'm in it right now.
I'm sitting on my ass in a big muddy puddle of pain and sadness and anger and shame and guilt and embarrassment.
Three years of self-help books haven't saved me from this puddle. Three years of listening to spiritual teachers and attending personal development events haven't saved me.
But you know what self-help will do?
When you're sitting in the biggest, muddiest, shittiest puddle you've ever found yourself in, It's going to help you keep a tiny little part of your brain open and accessible that says:
Your pain is a story.
Your pain will pass.
You're more than your thoughts.
You're experiencing a natural response to the shock and loss you're going through.
You'll be ok.
You are ok.
And even though you still have to sit in that puddle for as long as it takes, you'll have the tiniest little awareness that the puddle will eventually start to dry up. The sun might even start to shine.
That tiny little space in your brain that knows the truth is the real gift of personal development.
It was never meant to cure you. To stop you feeling. To stop you being what you are. Human.
It was meant to help you be ok whilst you're not ok. Be ok with not being ok. Be ok with the puddle.
And know that it's gonna dry up some day.
And you'll still be here.
Lungs still full of air.
Heart still pumping blood.
Love and courage,