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Guide to Enlightenment: “The Untethered Soul” Book Review

Everyone struggles with their emotions at least once in their life; It's a rite of passage into becoming a balanced human being. Sometimes, doing it alone can be difficult and demanding, so getting help from a third party is a mature decision that can better your understanding of yourself. But things like therapy can be stressful for some, regardless of the intentions, as it's sometimes easier to work on yourself independently. Thankfully, self-help books exist for this purpose, those who work with themselves to improve through new techniques and advice. A novel that got me through hard times was “The Untethered Soul”, by Michael A. Singer.

“The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” is a spiritual self-help book that looks to give the reader a better understanding of themselves, and what it really means to exist. It gets to be a heavy read, but with that weight comes enlightenment from Singer’s advice, and when applying it to my own life, I saw that it helped me with the little things. It gives you a reality check on accepting yourself and how to deal with commitment, not only to others but to your own wellbeing as well.

"To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them…” In a majority of Singer’s novel, he tells us to look beyond ourselves, from an objective self, looking at it like a problem that you can deal with if you continue to affirm yourself doesn’t go beyond yourself. It’s kind of like nurturing your anxieties and not letting them get the best of your level-headed self. Keeping yourself grounded is the only way you can move past things and let yourself develop off of your faults. “Once you've made the commitment to free yourself of that scared person inside, you will notice that there is a clear decision point at which your growth takes place." Singer writes.

A lot of the novel is spiritual, which makes people wary, but spirituality tends to be blown out of proportions. The way Singer goes about talking about your inner self is something everyone should think about, as it can give us insight into dealing with what we feel. Spirituality is a very freeing aspect of humanity and looking into the practices that Singer references regarding energy has bettered my own mindset greatly.

How can you deal with something you don’t know? That is why understanding and making a distinction between your two selves is important. One of Singer’s favorite lessons is realizing that there are two separate versions of you, and your personal self is just one of them. Your thoughts don’t define who you are. Consider this, if you often feel sad, you might start to think you’re just a sad person in general. As Singer puts it, “In reality, these thoughts are nothing more than thoughts, flowing through you, it just so happens that your inner voice keeps picking them up.” It’s important to be distinctive with these self-evaluations and to keep your main focus on your true self, your humanity and not the concepts that follow suit.

All of these lessons, and so much more, can shape our aspects of ourselves, and make us live with more ease. These lessons and concepts won’t cure you of any mental strife you may carry, but keeping them with you can relieve you of anxieties that seem to follow you. When reading it, I kept in mind that these are lessons that might not resonate with everyone, but if you feel like it can give you some assurance on days where you feel a little hopeless, I hope you earnestly consider what is written.

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