“You Can Heal Your Life” is a huge bestseller among the self-help books genre, but personally I cannot fully endorse it.
I find it has both great and helpful wisdom and too much woo-woo, unscientific content which can harm people if they follow it blindly.
- The issues that we face in our lives stem from a lack of self love
- You have to approve of yourself exactly as you are
- You get what you focus on. Focus on positives
Accepting yourself unconditionally is one of the main tenet of You Can Heal Your Life.
Some very good suggestions on how to just that:
#1. Replace Should
Should is a very dangerous expression says Louise Hay. It puts has in the position of being wrong and feeling guilty. Such as, in a position of non accepting ourselves.
That runs contrary to Louise’s philosophy, which is that of never criticizing ourselves.
She recommends to change your “should” with “could”.
As Tony Robbins said, “quit shoulding all over yourself” :).
#2. Release The Past
Recriminating about the past is similar to how should affects us. It poisons us with no real advantages. Lear to let go of your past to enjoy a happier present.
Forgiving both yourself and others is a great way to let go of much hatred and negative emotions trapped within us.
Your State of Minds Produce Reality
The author says that diseases are a product of our states of mind.
And to invert the trend and heal ourselves, we need to love ourselves first.
You Get What You Focus On
Whatever you focus on, you will get. The more you focus on something, the more of it you will get.
And sadly we mostly focus on negative thoughts. Louise Hay exhorts then the readers to focus on positive thoughts instead.
Connect With Cosmic Powers (God)
You won’t get security with a job or a hefty bank account. And not even with a spouse.
You Can Heal Your Life says we become secure when we learn to connect with the cosmic power that creates all things (God).
Once you can do that, you will never be alone and insecure again.
Real Life Applications
- Ration Out Your Shoulds
I don’t think you should fully abandon your “should” and I believe you can use pain (read how to leverage pain) as much as you can leverage pleasure.
But most people will definitely gain by using less “should” in their lives -me included-.
- Treat Yourself Well
Learn to love and appreciate yourself can be a game changer for many of us.
- New Agey – Woowoo
A bit similar to The Secret, I find You Can Heal Your Life to be a bit light on science and practical knowledge. And a bit too much based on belief and ethereal state of minds.
My biggest problem with that though is when New Age books tell us everything is a product of our thoughts, and that can lead people astray.
- Unscientific & potentially harmful
Suggesting that all health issues are a consequence of feelings, thoughts and mental patterns is unhelpful.
And I also find it potentially offensive (like blaming the victim) and harmful (if it leads people to believe that simply changing their thoughts will cure them).
- Some good wisdom
Learning to absorb knowledge effectively is often a matter of not throwing the baby with the bad water. And albeit there are a few points I disagree with, You Can Heal Your Life does have some powerful wisdom.
- It helped lots of people
Many people testify the book changed their life. You can’t argue with that and I am happy the book helped so many people.
Books like You Can Heal Your Life loosely -or not so loosely- based on the law of attraction have become some of the biggest best sellers in the self-help genre.
However, Hay was a pioneer there.
Personally, I believe the law of attraction is 50% deep wisdom and 50% BS.
The 50% BS is that you won’t materialize a thing in your life with just your thoughts. Work, grit and skill acquisition will get you there -and yes, a little bit of luck can help too-.
On the other hand, what you focus on does revolutionize your mental states and how you approach the world. Both in terms of happiness and, indirectly, also on concrete results. Focus on problems indeed and you’ll be depressed and take little actions. Focus on opportunities and you’ll get more power and actions.