Fewer things have been more important to my personal journey than reading self-help books. Nowadays it seems as if it’s somewhat of a fad to rip on the self-help genre, but I am grateful to the self-help industry because many of its authors, books, seminars, and podcasts have helped me overcome a lot of hardship necessary to get through some pretty dark periods in my life. Sure, there’s a lot of horrible literature in the self-help section, but the same can easily be said about politics and economics. What industry does not have charlatans, bad writers. and useless ideas?
When I think of all the works that have impacted my journey, there is one self-help book that has been of great use to me and I think it’s fitting, as a tribute of sorts, to give it a shout it here. It’s called “Pulling Your Own Strings'” by Wayne Dyer. I read this book several years ago at a time when I walked around feeling very angry at the world. I felt like a complete victim. I felt like other people were in control of where I worked, who my friends were, where I went to church, what I believed, what I did on the weekends, and much much more. I literally felt as if other people were pulling all the strings in my life.
I had heard of Wayne Dyer before, but mostly because of his teachings on metaphysical stuff like meditation and the law of attraction. This book was different. I don’t know what Dr. Dyer was going through when he wrote it, but this book had an edgy, no-nonsense, don’t take sh*t from anyone tone that was just what I needed. It taught me how to see through my own BS. It showed me how many of my problems were the result of me victimizing myself through a combination of ignorance and failing to stand up for myself. It gave me practical straightforward insights on how to start taking my power back in my everyday life. He didn’t just tell me to close my eyes and visualize happy thoughts. He showed me how to break my pattern of self-sabotage.
A few months ago, my wife picked up my copy of that book and read it in less than two weeks. Scales fell from her eyes. I saw her stand up for herself in ways that she had struggled with for years. She was moved by the book so deeply that she basically took over my bookshelf. She spoke of meeting him someday in order to thank the man who made so many things clear to her for the first time. Last night when we heard of his passing, we were both grieved.
Many celebrities come and go, but they don’t all touch our lives with equal depth. Wayne Dyer was one of those guys who played a significant role in helping us learn how to respect our time, value, and dignity as human beings. We took a walk together last night to process our feelings and reflect on the things we’ve learned from him about self-respect. I don’t know what Wayne Dyer was in the middle of creating when he died, but I know that he left behind a lot of value for those of us who are still here trying to put together the pieces of their puzzle. Today I show my respect to a man who taught me how to show that same respect to my self.
May he rest in peace and may we live in the knowledge of our own power.