The Self Help Sham

One of my favorite things to do in NYC is just wander around.

Especially now that it’s warm out, I like to just put on my sun hat and get lost for a few hours on a Saturday.


There’s never a lack of things to do or explore.

Like just the other day, I happened upon a person playing the didgeridoo.

The didgeridoo.


On the street corner. Busking.

Like, you were able to smuggle that thing all the way from Australia, and yet here you are busking for money? How’d ya swing that?


But on those exploration afternoons, somehow, I always seem to end up at my favorite frozen yogurt shop. Which just so happens to be next to a big bookstore.

You guys…

It hurts my heart to think that actual bookstores are becoming extinct.

Seriously. Enough of this E-Reader crap. Let’s get back to real, hard bound, turn-the-page books!

Who am I kidding, I haven’t read a book in who knows how long. I never even read a book throughout high school. #CliffNotesForLife


But, that being said — I like to go into bookstores.

So, many a Saturday, I’ll meander around the three levels of Barnes & Noble, ice cream in hand, and people watch, browse, title skim, and just watch the literate in their native habitat.

But one thing that just boggles my mind is how many Self Help books there are.



It is a billion dollar industry.

Everyone from Jessica Simpson, to Jenny McCarthy, to Ozzy Osbourne, to Steve Harvey has authored a self help book.

And, I don’t mean to be cynical, but self help books…kind of make me angry.

Now don’t get me wrong, I read The Purpose Driven Life and loved it. (Albeit 2004).

And I understand that a lot of people have really “gotten a lot” out of these self help books.

But in my humble opinion: self help books are a bunch of crap only scratch the surface.

During my recovery from anorexia, I tried everything. I bathed myself in positive affirmations. I worked on mindfulness. Therapeutic crafting and adult coloring. I practiced positive thinking. Journaled. Set goals. Broke goals. Gave up on goals. Ripped up said goal calendars.

I tried every “self help trick” in the book.

Nothing truly made me free. Nothing broke through the chains of ED addiction and fear and destruction.

Only one thing: Only God.

I was reminded of this just the other night.

I had reached my breaking point.

Yes, I am strong in my recovery, but every once in a blue moon, I get tired of being strong.

Looking in the mirror, my face stained black with mascara, eyes swollen and distant, I allowed myself to just cry.

To Him.

And I remembered something that I had momentarily forgotten amid the chaos that life can so easily become:

I cannot do this on my own. 

I cannot “self-help” my way out of the trials and the heartaches of life. There is nothing I can do but just cry to my Savior that I need rescuing. Need guidance. Need Him. 

Maybe you can relate, but I know at least for me personally, I sometimes feel as though I cannot be real with God. I have to present to Him only the best parts of me. Only the polished, healed, well-spoken parts of my soul.

But what about the broken parts? The parts that need healing? The parts that a self-help book can’t fix. Why is it that those parts of my soul — the parts that need the most healing — are the parts that I am the the most resistant to reveal to Him. To hand over to Him?

That is the part of my spirit that Jesus longs to heal. That He so desperately wants to shine His love into so that the brokenness can mend.

But He’s not going to force Himself where He’s not invited.

In order for His healing power and healing love to be able to penetrate into my spirit, I have to surrender it. I have to be willing to say, God, help.”

Not “Self, help.”

But “God, help.”

He’ll take care of the rest.

Self help books, sure, they can offer some good advice. Some ways to alleviate stress, relax, organize your life, boost your confidence, declutter your home.

But they can’t heal.

Only God can do that.

I should know.

“God, help.”

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400 responses to “The Self Help Sham”

  1. Everyone is different. I have had the completely opposite experience with personal development books. I think the main benefit you can get from them is motivation to stay positive and do what you need to do, but some of my books have actively changed my life around. There are a lot of crappy self-help books out there. I’d say probably 90% of them are just people trying to make a quick buck selling common sense, but there are gems. 🙂

    Whatever helps you be the best version of yourself is worth it though. People certainly need much more than books to do that.

    • Hi friend! You’re absolutely right. Everyone is different and what works for one may not for another. And there are some gems out there:) gotta weed through a little bit to find them, but it’s true. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  2. Beautiful post. And I agree, though I must admit I went through a stage of buying many self-help books myself. The last few years though I’ve realised that strength and help and healing can only come from within. In the end, words in books are just that. Hugs and good wishes to you for a happy weekend. xo

  3. Alright Ive got this thought for you…
    We had the so-called dark ages, where they burned books so we don’t have a great/perfect idea of what that time period was like, right? But now that everything is digitalized, and only available online, will future generations know anything about us?
    I’m serious haha – we have letters from people hundreds of years ago, but now we write emails…which get deleted after xyz amount of time. Same with online documents and websites. Will we be an enigma in 100 years? 200 years? 1000 years?
    Anyway, hope you’re having a good day

  4. I have an honest question. I’m not trying to be negative, I just want to know, because it’s what I struggle with. How many times have you cried to GOD before getting the healing and help. I think I have cried asking for help 10’s if not hundred’s of thousands of times, but my brain (or body) is still broken. I still struggle daily, weekly, monthly, yearly with depression so debilitating that I completely loose control of myself, taking my emotions out on others- especially my loved ones- and especially when it’s the last thing I actually want to do; and so extreme that I have almost lost my life several times because death would simply make the pain stop- I hurt so badly that I just want it to stop, more than anything else. I want nothing more than to be healed and every time one of those things I mentioned has happened I end up crying to god asking for healing. Yet it has never come for me. I just want to know why, have I not cried enough times. Have I not hurt others enough times, have I not hurt myself enough times to matter. Why can’t I find that healing I so desperately want and need. I have begged, pleaded, tried to make deals. Nothing. I agree with you the self-help books are not the answer because I too have tried all of those as well. Doctors and drugs can’t even fix it. It seems in all the universe there is no healing for me, and it just makes me wonder what I did wrong to deserve this. There’s never even been anything or anyone talk me out of suicide. I have always done it myself. I make there be a reason that I shouldn’t succumb to the pain relief it would bring, and I wonder how many more times I will be successful at that. I genuinely wish I knew the answer, because I really do want the pain to stop, I often wonder if I know what happy even feels like because I have to dig so deep to think of moments that I feel were happy moments, and often the depression even clouds those. I’m sorry if I’ve upset you, I just wish I could find my healing answer.

    • If I may offer this from St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 12: “7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

      While it may not be the answer any of us seeks, it is His answer. My daughter suffers from depression, anxiety, Asperger’s, epilepsy, etc. I’m familiar with just how painful these things can be. I have depression myself. But we continue to pray, we continue to work away at it with the strength God gives.

      I can’t imagine how tough that was for Paul. He healed the sick, raised people from the dead, but he couldn’t get healing for himself!! Keep praying, keep trusting God that He won’t abandon you!!

    • I knew a girl who suffered from arthritis, in her teen years (and still does in her early 30s) she cried out to God for healing for many years, but nothing happened there was no healing in sight at least not the way she wanted. She decided that God wasn’t for her so she walked away from him. Years later she reconnected to God and he did heal her. All those years she was seeking healing for her body God wanted to restore her soul, but she couldn’t understand that. It takes complete surrender to God for him to heal us on the inside. Today she still has arthritis, she got married and has 3 kids. Believe in Him in spite of what is happening. I know this is not what you are dealing with but I believe God is with you and it was in those of your darkest hours that he stepped in. I will be saying a prayer for you.

    • tcailleach , reading your comments, I had tears in my eyes. I hear you. I wish I could wave a magic wand and heal your pain, but this is outside of my power. I feel compelled to tell you that I’ve been there in that black hole of despair desperate to find an end to the intense pain that comes of not feeling good enough and not feeling like I matter. I think you have every right to feel upset and angry that you haven’t found the answers despite working so hard to find them. It’s exhausting, I know, and no one but you knows the pain that you are going through, but I can say that I have experienced that kind of hopelessness that comes with ongoing emotional distress, and so I am compelled to reach out to you. I want to say that you are not alone. If you ever need someone to talk to, you can reach me at

    • Hi Wayne! Thank you so much for this insight. You’re so right-there’s some good “stuff” in them-positive things for sure. But true healing is from him. Great to “see” you friend! Hugs and love xox

  5. This is an amazing post! You have so much insight and speak the truth. I often forget that I don’t have to handle it all on my own. This was a great reminder to look to God! Thank you!!!

  6. I just recently wrote on my white board “I don’t have this”. It is a reminder to myself that on my own, I can only make it so far. With God, I can go as far as He will take me. That is the where I want to get to. Thanks for your thoughts….enjoy reading them.

    • Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much for this comment. Amen to that: with Him we can go wherever He wants to take us. Thanks for reading friend. Hugs and love to you! Xox

  7. I just bought The Purpose Driven Life! I haven’t even read it yet. Should I ask Amazon for my money back?

    Seriously, though…good post. Nay, great post. We all want to improve our lot in life, but like you say, we need to ask the one who can heal and help, rather than try to do it all ourselves. We can only get so far without Him.

    But I’m not giving up my Kindle. 🙂 Thanks for this, and for all your posts!

    • Hi T! No no it’s a great book! I read it twice. It’s super. Thanks for your kind words. Haha alright-eventually I’ll have to get a kindle too😂 hugs and love xox

  8. This reminded me of a quotation from Parker Palmer: ‘wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection, it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of your life.’

      • I actually used this quotation in a meeting I presented on inner-strength, and what it means to ‘be a tiger.’ Parker Palmer has said some really brilliant things; this particular one was from “Living From the Inside Out.” I hope you’re having a nice day. =)

  9. Interesting post, and I get what you are saying 🙂 But I think for me it is more accurate as something like this- self help books, any book, animals, other people and relationships, nature, jobs, therapy of any kind, education, etc., can all be resources God uses. I think we limit His ability for healing ourselves/others if we are the ones deciding how and what that should be for others.

    • Hi friend! Thank you so much for this reflection. You’re right-there’s a lot of good that can be extracted from self help books, but He Is the ultimate healer. Very true. And thank you for the tag! Hugs and love xox

  10. Amen sister…I couldn’t agree with you more… Only God can heal… Yes doctors etc but their power whether they believe it or not is given to them by God. It always goes back to God… I was just having this same conversation with the Lord tonight and asked Him for the grace to truly let go and let Him… Wonderful post…

    • Hi Ellie! This is so true. There really is a lot of good in SH books, but you’re right-God tends the flame. I absolutely love that. Thanks for stopping by! I always love to “see” your face pop up! Hugs xox

  11. I’ve always loved your blog. It is such an inspiration, and the first and only anorexia recovery resource I’ve found that is biblical. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

  12. I have so much to owe to both self help books, and God. One can never learn to much. Or from too many people. I did enjoy your post. Thank you.

  13. This was spot on! Self help books can be helpful, but they too often promise to bring healing and recovery. They can ‘help’; but they are not the ultimate healing. Only God can bring that.
    Also, they so often promise “overnight” results. “Get help fast…”
    When my husband was assaulted, it took me years to overcome the fear, anxiety, and pain. Recovering from an ED took years as well. But God walked with me every single step of the way.
    The Bible is ultimately THE self-help book. It points us to the One who can heal and provide peace. And although this world we live in is filled with pain and struggle, God walks with us every single step of the way. Although both painful experiences took so long to recover from, they made me stronger… and they gave me greater understanding of other’s suffering, which makes me more empathetic and loving.

  14. Spot on, Beauty! With everything “printed in electrons, “The Man” doesn’t have to burn any books. Just hit “Delete!” OOOPS!!

    I could not study in today’s colleges with everything on line. A lot of the prompts for information had to do with whether it was on the right or left page, top, bottom, middle. No such clues when scrolling.

    How cool on the instrument from Australia! I have a friend from Australia whom I haven’t seen in 10+ years. He’s bringing his wife with him to the states the end of September. New York City. We’ll be meeting them there. See the email I’d sent you.

  15. What a wonderful post. I am in belief that it is in complete surrender that God heals our brokenness. I am learning that I can be naked and unashamed before my maker. It is the honesty and intimacy that he wants to share with us. I made a comment to a reply that you had.

    • Hi Lesa! Thank you so much for this reflection. You’re so right-a complete surrender. What a comfort to know that he accepts is at our most vulnerable and raw. Hugs and love to you xox

    • Hi friend! Thanks for this insight. You’re so right- community, and a supportive community- is so so important. It means the world. That’s why I’m so grateful for friends like you! 🙂 hugs and love xox

  16. Amen. I think the problem is that, in an attempt to appeal to as many people as possible, many self-help books take spiritual truths and try to explain them in secular terms. So instead of trusting in God’s promises, we’re told to “think positive.” The approximation may work . . . up to a point. But if you want the real deal, I think you gotta get a Catholic self-help book. 🙂

  17. I just wanted to take a minute to incredibly wise and inspiring you are. I started my own blog a few months ago and I found your blog’s few weeks ago. You’re posts are everything I yearn for mine to be. I come to your blog when my heart is heavy and I am in need of encouraging. I’m praying that God continues to bless you for the sweet woman you are!

  18. I love your writing!!! Bringing life back to me, right on dude. Yeah, wandering, sondering, the best. I’d been gettin so obsessed with always having a destination, yet wandering always would settle that and still does. Maybe that’s part of us having wanderlust, a natural balance. I really like your posts though, I am a little fearful from time to time about making mine too lax, right on.

    • Thank your so much! I’m so glad you enjoy it! I think you’re right-being curious and wandering is just a part of our souls. I appreciate you stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  19. But yea man reading is the bomb diggity, I’ve been working at a call center where I get to read, write, or draw (or just sit) between calls. Well, I hadn’t really read much at all recent years but since I have started working at this call center, reading has swept me away once again. perfect gif

  20. Another thought-provoking entry!

    I’ll admit it: I love ebooks. No more cramming books into a tiny living space for me! Now I can carry around thousands on my phone.

    And I understand where you’re coming from with the self-help vs. G-d help. I’m a fan of certain self-help books; wary of others. Our religious backgrounds are a little different, but I subscribe to the theory that it’s best to work (on ourselves or anything else) like it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on G-d.

  21. This is such an amazing post. So often I get scared that God only wants to see my good qualities, and I only give half of my heart to him in my prayers and other things. But thank God you have written how to solve that problem 🙂 I especially love that last picture you put up “Give yourself permission to ask for help.”

    • Thank you so much:) so often I find myself unwilling to ask for help for a myriad of silly reasons, but when I do for just makes it all worth it. And o think he gives us people in our lives to help us through the day to day. So glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  22. It’s hard to believe you are so young. If only I had that same wisdom at your age. It took me forever to accept that God accepted me, that his hand was/is all I need. I know your previous heart has been through a lot the last week, and this post has let me know you’re healing, and aware of how precious and loved YOU are.

    • Oh my gosh thank you so much for such positive and encouraging words. It really means a lot. Yes, God has been working on my heart and I am so grateful for His love. Thanks for your kindness and support. Hugs and love xox

  23. Spot on. Well-written. Only He can. He works in us to work through us. As we surrender to Him, opening all the rooms to Him, we find release, freedom and life.

  24. Again, you hit the nail right between the eyes. I think self help books are so extremely popular today simply because people want to think that they don’t need God or that they themselves are God and that they can heal themselves. What they actually end up doing is lowering the bar to fit their ability. And its profitable. You can make a lot of money telling other people how easy it is to make a lot of money, telling other people how to make a lot of money.

    • Hi jack! Thanks for this response. You’re right- we like to think we can do it ourselves. But that could not be farther from the truth! Hugs and love my friend! Xox

  25. I have such disdain for self-help books now…
    Your post on the topic is timely for me. I just ran across this Pixee Fox gal that is intent on changing her physique to resemble that of an Anime heroine. THIS is the logical conclusion of all self-help fodder– we try to make ourselves into something other than ourselves.
    The wisdom that Ive gathered on my journey, may or may not help you. That’s the thing– God loves diversity:)
    But when vulnerable people try on other’s wisdom in wholesale fashion…. The result is an ill-fitting garb. Or, mutilating one’s self to fit into another’s ideal.

    Only God can assist us in our own journey to fulfillment. Others can cheer us along, but it really does boil down to our individual need for a personal relationship with our Creator.
    We are all unique. Let’s never loose sight of that;)

  26. Great post 🙂 You know in a lot of ways (at least in my opinion) I feel that self-help gurus have become a victim of their own success. I mean people buy their books thinking everything will be solved in a heartbeat, but in actuality, that is not what those books set out to do. Instead, they were written to remind whoever buys them that the writer of those books are like the best friend they never meet. In other words, they arguably write as If they were an average joe like their self (only richer than the person who buys their books). Personally, I do not need those kind of books, but I do enjoy reading a snippet If I am in a bookstore or I am searching on a book store site that allows me to view sample pages for website visitors. My advice to people out their is to do two things: get in touch with God and do not look at self-help gurus as Gods and instead treat them as nothing more than a good or great friend. This is just my two cents personally 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    P.S. did you have a great Memorial day? I did 🙂

    • Hi John! Thank you for sharing your wisdom:) seriously I love how you think. Your two cents are spot on : get in touch with the Big Guy, and treat them as friends. Very good advice. Yes it was a great Memorial Day! Bring on summer! Hugs and love xox

  27. This is gorgeous. I love your openness. And this. “But in my humble opinion: self help books are a bunch of crap only scratch the surface.” I even got a giggle. Totally agree. Time to let God help and surrender to Him. Only in Him is there true peace and release. x

  28. Reblogged this on The Prozac Queen's Court and commented:
    Even though I don’t have the same issues the author does, I can definitely relate. Self-help books never did anything for me. I have to remember to seek God…I might get so wrapped up in my own BS that I forget to pray or ask, but ultimately I know that everything good comes from Him…the meds I take, the talent of the doctors I visit, the counsel of my friends…I might not recognize it or acknowledge it-frankly I’ve been more inclined to hit the doctors up because I know I have a medical problem, not a spiritual one-, but all good things come from Him in the end.

  29. I love to read so self help books are a great way to get the process started or even stay in a posture of healing – but it’s gotta be about God.

    I used to work at B&N and that store sounds awesome. Oh, I also now want ice cream…

  30. It’s funny isn’t it that we don’t want to show our brokenness to God and yet that is just why Jesus came to save us because we are broken and can’t fix ourselves.

  31. Self-help books never helped me help myself. Its people and their love who did. Also writing, drawing and singing.

    • Hi Lulu! Thank you so much for this reflection. That’s so awesome-yeah tapping into what makes your spirit alive is so powerful in that. And so is a supportive and loving community. Hugs and love xox

  32. The NYPL is a great place to wander too. B&N is a good choice too. Self help is a form of denial, itself wrapped in a shiny cover. Its good to believe, it helps to see the cracks in our armor.

  33. You don’t need to worry about me, anymore, Beebs. I can die happy now. I don’t need your preaching, your Jesus, etc. I found a pearl worth more than it all. I can die happy now. Chau chau.

  34. What I love – apart from agreeing with everything you wrote – is that while others teach the theory (and there’s nothing wrong with that) you have lived (and are still living) the practice. You don’t just believe *in theory* that only God can sort you out, you KNOW it in practice! That’s so powerful and once more I’m typing through my tears (God does that to me as one way of saying, “This is so right!”).
    We all need to hear this! Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Stephen, wow thank you so much for this wonderfully encouraging note. You have no idea how much it means to me. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thanks again for the reblog. Hugs and love xox

  35. Reblogged this on イエスの弟子 … A student-apprentice and commented:
    This is such a great post from someone who is not merely “talking the talk” but “walking the walk” with all its pain and difficulty and knows that only God can heal our brokenness.

    “Why is it that those parts of my soul — the parts that need the most healing — are the parts that I am the the most resistant to reveal to Him. To hand over to Him?

    “That is the part of my spirit that Jesus longs to heal. That He so desperately wants to shine His love into so that the brokenness can mend.”

  36. Totally relate. I’ve spent a ton of money on all kinds of self help books. Used to be my favorite section in the bookstore. But no matter how many I read, I’d embrace the “advice” for a while and think I’d finally found the key to life, but it always wore off and I knew deep down there was still something missing. Yes, crying out to God is the real answer…the key that fills that hole no best seller could ever fill. Thank you! Love your blogs!

  37. I agree about the self help books, real help and victory comes from God through His Son Jesus Christ. Nobody knows the wounds we carry deep inside, but Jesus knows. He was there when we were born, He was there when we took our first steps, He was there at the root and origin of all our problems. JC is the only one that knows what we’re going through and the only one that can heal it. May the peace of Jesus fall afresh on you and your readers. from

  38. You can paint such beautiful word pictures. Thanks for this post. So often we turn to so many people and things before looking to the One who really can help us since He created us and has known us since before the foundation of the world. Blessings to you today, my dear blogging friend.

    • Hi there Linda, wow what a kind thing to say. Thank you so much! You’re absolutely right-He is the one who really can help us. Amen amen amen. Hugs and love xox

  39. I loved this post. So true that we can only do so much on our own. I’m so glad I found your blog. You always have such cute visuals to go with what you are trying to say. Oh, I agree, down with ebooks!! Something about holding an actual book in your hand, now that’s perfection!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad it resonated with you. And yes! Physical books are great-you can cozy up with them, unlike an ereader! Plus highlighting and taking notes and doodling in the margins! Haha Hugs and love xox

  40. as a self help expert who has been doing it for 30 years, I can tell you: no one can teach or help anyone else… It ones decision that can make a difference, not a book or a coach. I can give you step by step instruction how to achieve anything you wish, but you the one who have to take action and not no one there to hold your hand along the way.
    I do like your post a lot, and your opinion is being supported by your followers and thats the reason for posts in the first place.
    Wish you Love, Health and Wealth
    Alex Moses

  41. Wow. .. Your heart in this is amazing! I am absolutely amazed at your confidence and clarity! The love you have for Christ is incredible and seeing you as victorious in a battle I am working with Christ to fight is truly encoureaging! God bless you!

  42. I used to feel that way about self help books until I realized that it is both a mature and humbling thing to seek growth outside of yourself. It’s like being a flower in a pot and saying you will continue to do just fine with the soil you have…but then you see that other flower seeking out fertilizer and realize you can seek out more and customize it to what you need.

    I agree that there are some pretty crazy or overrated topics and titles in self help aisles, so don’t get me wrong. But wanting to seek personal growth through other sources is fantastic when done with mindfulness.

    I also agree that God is numero uno. He’s the source. But there are some awesome titles out there, especially in the Catholic/Christian genre, that are changing lives.

    New York sounds like a fun place to live!

    • Hi friend! What a beautiful image with the flower. There’s a lot of truth in that. And you’re right, once you soft through the “gimicky” titles, there really is a lot of good stuff out there. Powerful stuff that points to the truth. But amen-God is numero uno. So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  43. I look forward to sharing your blog as you’ve done a beautiful job of articulating the very message I need to share. I believe “hearing” it in this format will come across better than directly from me. Thank you for sharing the way you do; your blogs are so insightful and inspirational.

  44. I LOVE this post. Confession – sometimes (usually) when I read your posts, I get SO EXCITED that I can’t even make myself go over every word, because I just want to suck the whole thing in and know what it all says all at ONCE! So I start reading, and as I get more and more excited, I scroll faster and faster, until I’m at the bottom, and then I have to go back and put all the pieces together.

    Story. Of. My. Life. All of it. I am SO EAGER to make progress in my recovery that I can’t find the patience to just sit still and BE. Period. (.) Somehow, I still find myself falling into this trapped way of thinking that *I* hold the keys to my recovery, and that I will achieve and attain wisdom and knowledge and grow in understanding and faith through diligent application and hard work. Somewhere along my path, I lost track of Proverbs 2:6 and Sirach 1:1. It all comes from God. It is by HIS grace that I am where I am, and every good thing that I know and every good part of me is from HIS blessing. Yes, I put in the effort, but through patient cooperation with the Holy Spirit, not through dictating my own course, or through studying and reading, and certainly not through checking off the boxes on my lists of what is “guaranteed” to secure my recovery and health. Oh, goodness, I SO needed your reminder today. <3

    How many times did I hear people repeat that sort of trite and kind of cheesy little saying, "let go and let God." I never understood it at all. I never really understood what "letting go" meant until I DID it (started to, at least). There was no self-help book that led me there, but I did find help in books. The book that made the biggest impact for me, that opened my eyes to the reality of God's love for me, was a book about Catholicism by Robert Barron that very plainly and simply laid out the basics of the faith, who God is, why he loves us, what it means to be saved. When I was in treatment, I read C.S. Lewis and "The Gifts of Imperfection." I continue to love books about psychology, philosophy, and theology, but I need to keep in mind that these writings themselves are not the answers. They are good, but they are not THE good. They point me in the direction of the greatest good and the deepest truth. Thank you, thank you! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. xoxoxo

    • Hi Lulu! Oh gosh, that made me smile hearing you describe how you read my posts:) thanks for that little nugget of cheer today! And oh my gosh – i love how you put that: they are good, but they are not THE good. So so true. There are a lot of books out there that do have some great advice and positivity and insight, but at the end of the day, God is the ultimate source for our healing. Amen to that. Thanks for the kindness and the prayers friend. Know that you are in mine too! Hugs and love xox

  45. I really related to your post so much. I too, have an aversion to “gurus”…especially how they seem to lead to a cult of personality/celebrity (particularly in our culture). I’ve been able to make my peace here and just say a gentle “no-thank you” by remembering that Our Father is all the Divine Intervention and Inspiration that I need. And that The Bible is still the best “self-help book” ever written; one that has stood the test of much time. I’m very glad and grateful to know that no one, least and most of all me, know better than He does. If I’m ever in doubt, I just review the Highlight Reel of all the things I’ve said and done in my life, left to my own devices…..Blessings and thank you, Pearl.

    • Thank you so much! I so agree. The bible is the authority when it comes to “SH” books. Thanks, Pearl, for stopping by! Have a great weekend! Hugs and love xox

  46. Reblogged this on gdhayesblog and commented:
    I believe this blogger makes an excellent point. I have found it to be true in my life. While I do find many self-help books to be helpful in my quest to: better understand my spouse, reduce clutter and organize my house (and my mind), and gain insight on how life experiences factor into the person I am today, I have also come to recognize they have limitations, and if one is not careful in their selection, some “self-help” books can serve not only to not be helpful but can in fact be detrimental. Please take time to read the following excellent blog.

  47. Good read! It saddens me to see how much of Christian literature has turned into self-help. If we could help ourselves, there would be no need for Jesus! I think we sometimes forget that the true key to change is heart change, and only Jesus can do that.

  48. “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    (Matthew 6:8b ESV) But, He still WANTS us to ask… 🙂 Great post…

  49. Only one can: only God…Amen

    Great post. pray for this country(US) that is so immersed in self help, hummanism, and deceit. On the streets of Baltimore so many have become hopeless in seeking help within themselves, OUR Help comes the LORD, thank God for that, and thank God we have a hope that can truly set us free…FOREVER!

    • Hi Chad, thank you for this beautiful reflection. You’re right-only God. Amen amen amen. That’s where our help comes from. Praise God for that indeed. Hugs and love xox

  50. Enjoyed reading this post. Reminded me of the Psalmist questioning at one point: ‘Where does my help come from?’ And answers, ‘My help comes from the Lord.’

  51. Love this! Personally, I read self help books and articles but I always seek His guidance and wisdom. Although I have read somewhere, “You cannot save the damsel if she loves her distress”, maybe the term “self help” is just to catch one’s attention that there is still hope, and for you to be saved, you must initiate in helping yourself first before others will be able to help you.:)

    By the way, I would like to applaud you for being able to go through that storm and came up stronger. The world would have been a poorer place otherwise. 🙂

    • Hi friend! Wow thank you for such kind words. Truly, I am touched:) and I love that saying about the damsel! So so true. I think you may be onto something there about an attention grabber. You’re right-there are good reads out there. But ultimately one Healer. Hugs and love xox

  52. Love this post!!!! I have read some good self help books, “The Happiness Project”, was awesome. But it was a fun book on some tips to organize your life. I agree that someone greater is there and to embrace that is going to fulfill you.

    • Hi friend! Thank you for sharing this! You’re right, there is some good stuff out there, but yes, true fulfillment lies elsewhere. Hugs and love to you! Xox

  53. All kinds of emotions went through my mind as I read this post, but in the end that’s it, you nailed it. If we want to change, change for the better, there is only one Source, and beating around the bush with “trying” is only going to prolong the pain.

  54. Oh, I just loved this. It is a concept I am finally, finally beginning to grasp in my life, that only God can show us where we need to be. Mindfulness, affirmations, and self-help might be useful to some degree. But without God, they will fall short.

  55. Hey 🙂
    I just discovered your blog and I am fascinated by your style of writing. 🙂 It’s really cool! And I totally agree with you, it is so sad, that only few people keep reading books. On the other hand I would consider our blogs as another kind of books, so maybe the medium changed, but we still read. 😉
    Maybe you want to look at my blog too?
    Yours, littlegreenraven

  56. Wonderful post! I have been there in the past trying different things to help myself relax. The only thing that stayed with me which I still use is journalling which I discovered through self-help books. Now I journal with God and have done it for years. This is where I pour my ‘real’ heart to him. If I ever think of avoiding those deep wounds I read Psalm 139 which reminds me that God knows already! Thank you for this really enjoyed reading this xx

  57. With all the faith I believe and know that I can boast of in the Lord, the one prayer I’ve prayed most is, “God help me”. Without HIS help, what can we do? Absolutely nothing! May the good Lord give you more wisdom, Lady beautybeyondbones, to show the world how to get it right.

  58. Hey lovely, its been a while since we last spoke, I have been through quite a lot the past few week, it has felt like such crap that I have been dealing with, but God told that it was in preparation for what is to come. the burial of the old me, and my rebirth into a new full life in Jesus, our beautiful saviour, my Baptism. I am so excited I am praying more, reading scripture more fluently & absolutely enjoying my personal time with the lord <3. I hope you are well my amazing friend <3
    God Bless you
    Benjamin xxx

  59. We tend to shy away from bringing Jesus ouir true face because we still have a human reasoning condition attached to our pysche. I find myself struggling for days searching for a specific piece of scripture that addresses my needs and until I find it I am unsettled.

    Thank you for you wisdom and your openness. It helps to know that we are all challenged in the same ways and to see how others manage their walk. Peace girl.

  60. I don’t know how I missed this post. Thank you. We have something for you. Inshallah we will share it with you on Monday. I really pray for you to write a book. Your posts speak of so much courage faith and determination

  61. Thank you for this lovely post. I am going through a similar period of defining what it means to get “self help”. This really brightened my day! Thanks fellow New Yorker

  62. I agree with all my <3 about books!! My favorite in NYC La Casa Azul Bookstore was started as a dream/vision by its owner a few years ago, first as a book club at El Museo Del Barrio. She finally opened a true "location" up on 103rd and I loved it!! I come to NYC once a year on a "shopper bus" (I live over 4hrs away) and for the past 3 years, I went loco buying from there. I was sooooooo psyched for her last year as they won one of those grants that Citicorp was handing out for small businesses. They were featured on a Citicorp add and everything. Though the store was small, it was always bustling with activity and had a LOT of events such as readings, signings and other things that really made the place vibrant. Sadly, they decided to close the store this past December. I truly don't know all the inside about why. Her post to all was that they were going to regroup and re-market their product with an even better focus on the community. They have a website, but their book selection there doesn't reflect what the store was. Its sad. I love and will always love books. LOL my poetry book has one all about that subject. As far as self help books, I tried one in college and it didn't do a thing for me. I found The Four Agreements ok when I read it a few years back but other than that, I don't pick them up. Biggest hugs u!!! xoxo