When self-development goes too far

Image for post
Image for post

That time I went full woo

Unfortunately, I’ve been there. By the time I healed from my PTSD, depression, and anxiety, self-development practices had become part of my life. So I just kept going with it. I got my yoga teacher certification, went to nutrition school, hired a health coach. You know, all the things.

The problem with self-development

At some point, the healing practices that helped me get out of depression reached a tipping point, from helping me feel happy to helping me focus on myself and my own “spiritual journey.” And what is the point of that? So I can post pictures of myself wearing mala beads to Instagram and pair them with meaningful Rumi quotes? (Guilty.)

The antidote to self-development

Now I’m not saying religion is the antidote to self-development. But religion does offer a great alternative: charity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines charity as “the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” It does not mean “donating to a charity” or “volunteering for a charity.” It means focusing on others instead of yourself. And it is the most important virtue according to Catholicism.

The parts of self-development I still really like

Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of things I love about self-development. And since my husband and I moved to Utah four years ago, we have found a much healthier balance of it. In fact, we frequently spend dinner discussing the inspiring articles, books, podcasts, and videos we took in during the day and the important takaways we learned from them.

Author of a newsletter about writing (and other things) called The Novelleist. About to release my novel via Substack. Subscribe at ellegriffin.substack.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store