There is No Substitute for Time

In therapy the other day my therapist said to me “You’ve got to stop reading those self-help books.”  I audibly GASPED!  What?!!  I work 12 hour shifts in the middle of the night where the whole world is a sleep and it’s silent as a tomb.  I’d felt rather productive lately, as if I had been making good use of my time cramming one self-help book after another in to my head.  Stop?  Seriously?

“It’s like you’re seeing two therapists” he replied.  He then proceeded to suggest I read some fluff, like romance novels.  Huh?

Now, I do have quite the collection of Danielle Steele novels but for some reason, at that very moment my pompous ass side emerged– and went all “holier than thou” on those frivolous books.  How could they help me?  How could they get me where I wanted to be?

I have been a reading machine lately.  Reading my ass off, and even re-reading self-help books I had read before.  High lighting, doodling in them, journaling about them.  The minute I stopped doing this, and just put them down… took all the fodder for my obsession OUT of my work bag–  I breathed a sigh of relief.  That’s when I realized that was I seriously overloading myself with this crap.  I mean, it’s not crap but everything in moderation and what I was practicing was certainly NOT moderation.

Here I am talking a good line about how I am striving for balance, whilst feverishly working at throwing things OUT of balance, without even realizing it.  I guess what it comes down to is that I would like to be done with this healing process right here and right now.  Sure, I gave myself permission to grieve for as long as it takes, but if I can make it go ANY faster so I can get to the fun stuff up ahead–  then I was determined to do it.

Instead, it seemed I’d been kind of driving myself crazy with all this stuff about relationships and The Ambassador and all that self-help junk–  and then I was shoveling more shit in on top of it.  ( Check out Columbus Cynic’s post about this phenomenon )

Well, I am starting to surrender more and more… and surrendering to TIME simply has to happen.  It is going to take time.  Like it or not, that’s the TRUTH.  As much as I try to look at everyday as a precious gift, and live it to the fullest…  I also need to plan for the future.  I need to do the work now, so the future will be brighter.

Right now, the first phase of my own personal happiness project doesn’t feel very happy.  *snort*.  I want to rush ahead to the fun stuff I see down the road, but I can’t.  The work now is to just be…   To just breathe and work steady and slow.  There is no substitute for time.

This situation also makes me look at that phrase “live life to the fullest” in a different way.  It becomes less about galloping in to the sunset on a new adventure, and more about blooming where you’re planted.  Enjoying all the things you have to do along the way.  That’s life &  I can do that.  I was BORN to do that.

Published in: on June 3, 2012 at 9:00 am  Comments (16)  
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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sometimes you CAN overload on that stuff. I had a gf that went kind of mental after reading too much of that stuff and she became too self-riteous and impossible to talk to.
    You are right on the money though… TIME. Chill on the books for a bit and when you need a pick me up – go read a few hi-lighted lines. 😉 xo

    • Ya, I was headed for a self-help OD for sure! I don’t think it makes me insufferaable to talk to, but it sure gets my head screwed up with gobbledy gook… Sets the overthinking in to overdrive! & that’s miserable. Thing is, I didn’t realize I was doin that til I put the junk down.

  2. So many books! Different angles. I say we be authentic, positive and communicative, and try to put ourselves in another’s shoes… no games, no facades, no pretending. Then – they can take it or leave it!

    • Definitely working on that. Didn’t even realize I’d gotten so off track.. But sometimes people can make things more complicated than they need to be & I’m no exception. :-/

  3. I always assumed you read that stuff to have something to give posts contrast and some flavor 🙂 Really, I did…

    I swear, I said to myself, “Self, why do you think she reads those?”

    After a moment or two, I responded, “Self, you ask the best questions, but really, I think she reads those books because she wants to have a set of rules to work with. A framework for dating, for her relationships, so she can have a reason to bale”

    I thought about what I had said and also considered the brilliance of my words. “You know, I think you are correct!” I always use the word correct in my mind after I remember that figuring out if it should be ‘right’ or ‘write’ is too confusing. “I think she may need to have these frameworks in place to prevent her from actually living”.

    Self likes to talk about other people and ignore the fact that Self doesn’t do much living or reading himself.

    • Nice little conversation you had with yourself there, runner. You made some good points about looking for framework but it’s not so I could find a reason to bail.. I never bailed on The Ambassador.. Once I waas in, tht was it. I think I crave some guidance & framework because I’m scared… Scared to make a wrong choice again. Scared to get hurt again. Not trusting myself & God.

      • I am sorry, I misunderstood. You should remove my comments

      • NO way! You were seriously on the right track and I found your comments very insightful! I feel the base motivation is a little different than what you described but wth – your’re not psychic. Your thoughts were smart and perceptive.. Don’t apologize for them. I’m glad you wrote what you did. Thank you.

  4. Great post! Time heals all wounds…..and wounds all heels 😉
    Just sayin’

    • Yep, that’s what I am tryin to do.. Take time to BREATHE 🙂

  5. Like the reference…
    One step at a time, Cadence…
    As far as the self-help books, in my opinion, they tell you what you already know, on some level. It’s just an affirmation of that fact that makes them sell.

    • Yes, I think you are right.. That they tell you something you already know. After all, that’s what will really resonate with you and stand out to you when you read it… Stuff your heart already knew.

  6. Awesome post, simply amazing. Love the whole breathing, planting, enjoying. It reminds me to stop being in such a rush and just enjoy agony, joy, and whatever else I’m feeling. Thank you. 😀


  7. I think sometimes we read that stuff so we can feel like we are “working” through things. The hardest thing to do is sit back and wait. We need to feel like we are making progress. But its so hard when there is nothing to measure it all by… no road map, no finish line, no visible, tangible end to the pain. The book has a last page, we can get through that! But sometimes, we have to be stuck in the “waiting place” and its not a lot of fun, but in the waiting place, there is work being done. Hang in there!

    • What a perfect description, Tiff. You are def right. I hate the waiting place.

      • Best self-help book EVER…. Oh! The Places You Will Go! (yep, good ole Dr. Suess) There is simplicity mixed with the best advice in the world. It applies at every age. Read it again, and see if you don’t find exactly what you need in those words! Whenever I read it to my kids I think to myself, “yep, he’s right!”

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