April Fools: Don’t be fooled in your self-help search!

Who’s the most foolish fool on April Fools?

As we approach April Fools’ Day, let’s consider the possibility of being “fooled.” While the origins of this day are unclear; some cite the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, others refer to a long standing practice of merriment and pranks as spring approaches.  Universally it is viewed as a day of light-hearted fun.

Aprils Fools Day

Image courtesy of OneWayStock.com

How does this relate to our mission at SEEK Safely? We have been exploring ReligionSpirituality…God…higher power…self-development…growth. I believe that we are all seeking and searching for meaning and purpose in life. According to many psychologists, the tasks of adolescence and young adulthood are both to separate from the family of origin and establish an identity, while fashioning a personal philosophy of life. That philosophy addresses the big questions: what is life about? why am I here? what do I have to gain? what do I have to contribute? is there a God? whom do I want to become?  

Our Belief System

Where do our basic beliefs about life come from? Our parents? Our reaction to circumstance? Our religion? Our spiritual discipline? Our teachers? Our inspirational leaders? And, a critical question is: am I fooling myself or allowing others to fool me about what I think is most important and how I should live? It takes a lifetime to both discover these basic beliefs and to live them with integrity. Sometimes we encounter challenges that cause us to question our personal philosophy and the things we’ve learned. When a person is desperate for answers and emotionally vulnerable, what is wanted often supercedes what is best. When someone is totally parched, they will reach for the nearest liquid to quench that thirst. When one’s feelings are running the show, rational thought takes a back seat, often to a person’s detriment. These are the moments that we are open to manipulation by someone who may not have our best interest at heart.

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“A prom dress” by foxbride on Flickr

And even sometimes when we think we are secure in our beliefs, we can be swayed by a smooth-talker with a great sales pitch. Pranks and jokes can be fun. However, when it comes to our core beliefs and what is truly important, April Fools Day can serve as a reminder to us that we can fool ourselves or find ourselves being fooled by others.  

Red Flags for Seekers

If you are a seeker, pay attention to your emotions and motivations when desiring to grow, learn and expand. Consider the red flags in the Empowerment Guide to distinguish help from possible harm when placing trust in a self-help leader or attending an event. Don’t be fooled!

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