It crept up on me. I did not see this coming. Outwardly, I seemed to be Cheery-O, but when I came home, the stage make-up came off and my world was becoming about as wide as the living room couch. It revolved around watching episode after episode of Oprah Super Soul Sunday, cruising the internet for every and any New Age guru, Christian millionaire preacher, and just some tid-bit of new information, instruction, or hope to cling to. Before I knew it, all the psycho-babble, spiritual woo-woo’s, and stream of advice was all beginning to look like cheap, plastic, fixes to a problem that ran much deeper than my spirit seemed to be able to figure out. Everything from positive mental attitude, to law of attraction, gratitude journals, and I AM statements, and guilt based religious warnings, bombarded my inbox and life. I am suffering greatly from a severe overdose of spirituality overload. It too has become an addiction. When the first blush of the honeymoon wore off, they all came tumbling off their pedestal and I banished many of them to the land of Oz along with that other great and powerful charlatan. I became convinced their tricks really were designed to line already deep pockets; while out of the other side of their mouths, they professed a desire to share their knowledge, serve, and improve the lives of others.... For a mere $199.00, for starters that is; for the online course, or the latest download, or book. You too could find your value and self-worth, pursue your passion, experience bliss and become peace. Hmmm... I thought, maybe that age old adage, you have to have money, to make money, applies to the propagation of the gifts of the spirit too. Only the wealthy could immerse themselves in a cruise along with Dr. Wayne Dyer, or a week at Omega Institute with the finest in the self-help, personal growth and improvement industry. The less financially abundant among us had to sort of scramble for the crumbs at the feet of the rich enlightened; scotch-taping our own programs together. And the fear based warnings abounded.... Your thoughts create your reality, believe as I or burn in hell, forgive now or suffer. When you're in the midst of hopelessness, these are not helpful. I've crashed and burned on the altar of the spiritual movement. I know I will experience a rebirth, but for now, I am not interested in anymore techniques for inviting the happiness fairy into my life. It just is not that simple. At least for the average Joe (me).
those words. Those little sufferings add up. A young teen from my small community killed himself two weeks ago. It was heartbreaking. I am sure he didn’t share his pain, whether it was a girlfriend who dumped him, or grade issues, or he didn’t make the football team. Tragically, whatever he felt, that pain was enough to drive him to take his own life. It doesn’t seem to be acceptable to open up and share with others how you REALLY feel; overwhelmed, hurt, angry, scared, less-than, and it appears that’s the message we are even sending to our children.