Some Thoughts on Self Help

We tend to think of self help as being a modern contrivance that we’ve invented for ourselves. However, the ability to help ourselves has always been a necessary human ability. There are early tomes from Egypt dealing with advice from a parent to their child, and the middle ages produced books telling people how to behave in certain circumstances. So the topic is not actually new, but how do we know exactly when we need to help ourselves?

All of us, at one time or another, have needed help, and often we’ve sought it on from others. However, sometimes we take a look in the mirror and realize that we wish to change, and realize it’s something we have to do for ourselves. These moments are usually self-illuminating. We may look at ourselves and realize that we are not happy with something. It could be our spirituality, the way we look, the need for a new job, or just the need to find out what we need, a sense of seeking that no one really has an answer for.

Self help books can offer guidance for spirituality, psychology, diet, communication, and may help us pinpoint just what it is we wish to change, either in ourselves, or in our life. They can help us to find self actualization-the ability to care for ourselves when no one else may be able to do so.

Many people think of this part of their lives as the time for growth. The child who has been staying with parents suddenly realizes it’s time to learn to fly, even if they fall a few times before taking to the air. But what about independent living for those who have impairments? There are many programs to help the disabled live independently. And it is surprising how many disabled people achieve an independent life. They may need some help in certain areas, but for the most part, if they find work, and can take care of themselves. Their self-esteem is incredible.

That can be the most important part of independent living and our own ability to help ourselves. Once we have achieved this independence, we know we can do more and be more. Independence, once savored, can be hard to give up. This is where helping ourselves becomes important. To achieve independence, we have to learn not to rely so much on others, but to rely more on ourselves. So self help can lead to self-reliance, which in turn, can lead to independent living.

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