Abusive Relationship In Self-Help Land

There's a disturbing dynamic afoot in Self-Help Land.

I saw it play out right before my eyes on Oprah's Life Class one time.

The teacher (not Oprah) says:

  • you create your life
  • you are God
  • and so whatever you want in your life, you can manifest


A student asks how to deal with deep pain and hurt and disappointment.

The teacher responds: your problem is you're too attached to your ideal version of life; God's gonna do what God's gonna do, and you have to let go of your idea of how life would go.

Hold On A Freakin' Minute

The original teaching was that you COULD make life do what you want!

The original promise was: you are the creator of your life, you can have your wishes fulfilled, the secret is to just "attract" it!

Well, which is it, oh Self-Help Guru?

I feel for people who are hurting and then look to the typical "spiritual self-help" teachings for help.

It's like an abusive relationship.

This kind of teaching pushes them forward, then pulls them back.

It tells them they can do it!  Then tells them, actually, they can't (because they have to surrender to what God/Life's gonna do).

I mean, talk about pretty messed up, right?

So.  What do I think then?

Here's What I Think

For me, the answer is in a spirituality that is built less on blanket statement, abstract assertions like "you create your reality" and instead, built more on how the realities of earthly life act as mentors for our personal and spiritual lives.

Such as?

Such as the need for seasons.  

We Need Seasons

Seasons of life are normal and healthy.  It's not always Springtime.  And it's not always Winter.  In other words, there are times for profuse growth and times for laying low and being dormant.  So honor each of the seasons of your life in turn, and honor your need for them.  Because they're all needed for an actual, real, tried and true Life.

That season stuff is just one example.

But I hope it conveys a way of seeing that draws the spiritual closer to the earthy and organic, rather than distancing us from it.

This Way of Seeing

This way of seeing is all part of a spiritual framework I call Firekeepers.

I'm not gonna unpack or explain all of the Firekeepers framework at this time.  But I'm looking forward to writing more from that perspective, and producing content that speaks to those who it's suited for.

I'll leave it there for now.

Thanks for reading & have a kick-ass day/night.


I have tremendous respect and admiration for Oprah Winfrey.  This particular example happened to play out on Oprah's Life Class.  But I've seen, heard, and read the same thing many times over the course of a decade of navigating the self-help seas of life.  Have you?