Ever walk in a bookstore and over the self-improvement aisle to see a wall of books? Last night I was at the bookstore and my first decision was I didn’t want self-improvement I wanted someone to do it for me (I was a bit lazy last night), then I wanted to see what they had in the health aisle…it wasn’t much.
Always one of my concerns for people given a health diagnosis is that it’s common for them to take the written word as gospel. I have seen too many people following the books and wondering when the next symptom discussed was going to fall at their feet and invade their body. When we are vulnerable we are suggestible.
When I was in graduate school studying to be a psychotherapist I had to take a course in psychopathology using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (at the time DSM-IV). The professor’s first words were don’t be surprised if you develop intern syndrome. We all looked at her with confusion and then she explained. Intern Syndrome is when you read about, in our case, a disorder and you start to develop the symptoms on the list.
The funny part is that we all have some quirks and as they say everything in moderation is okay. But do these books that we all gobble up looking for solace leave us in despair because of what might happen to us; leaving us on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop. My hope as that walking the pilgrim’s path you will question everything and make decisions about the information you ingest. Remember, in many cases what you read is opinion based on their experience, and their experience is probably not your experience.
I believe pilgrim’s have a unique journey because the nature of the pilgrim is to live with questions. I hope you keep that nature alive and well. I can tell you that keeping my focus on the question has served me well.