Soul Candy: When the Good News Goes Sour
I had a good time writing this article about spiritual health, and if I'm poking fun at anyone, that would be me. If you happen to see yourself in it also, you could be human.
There's eye candy, ear candy, and there's soul candy.
Soul candy is as old as man's first self-conscious thought. (Surely that was a woman's first thought, don't you think?) The moment humans began thinking, the sweet tooth was born.
There's a lot of soul candy on the market these days.
For $29.95 you can buy a spiritual guide to anything from selling real estate to shopping. (I kid you not. Check out St. Joseph, My Real Estate Agent and Retail Therapy: Life Lessons Learned While Shopping.)
There's nothing wrong with soul candy, per se. In fact, some soul candy is not really candy at all, but is perfectly good for your spiritual health when it's properly digested as part of a balanced diet. A little bit of scripture can go a long way.
(This is one reason why I appreciate the Jews’ studied approach to scripture. I'm thinking the rabbinic tradition of unfolding interpretations makes the Talmud and Torah spiritual analogs of "live food.")
But however nourishing and healthy a food may be, if you abuse it, you risk spiritual hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia (literally "low sugar") is a deficiency of glucose in your blood compounded with sensitivity to the sugar you crave. When you eat concentrated sugar, your blood sugar spikes, then drops, resulting is an unpleasant crash and a mighty hankering for sweets.
For a spiritual hypoglycemic, a movie like The Secret is the spiritual equivalent of 100% pure unadulterated corn syrup.
Fortified, the spiritual hypoglycemic takes on life challenges like a comic book superhero. Limited funds? Ka-POW! Low self-esteem? BAM! Lonely? Sad? Holy hyperbole, Batman, we better wipe out those self-defeating thoughts!
Being a super-hero is hard work even for a comic book character. For a human being, it's soul-crushing. When the spiritual hypoglycemic inevitably crashes, he lands in reality with a vicious thud.
Bills, weeds, traffic. His brother needs a ride to rehab (and a loan), his cat left a hairball on the bathroom rug, and his mom believes her caregivers are concealing microphones in their scrubs. “What,” the spiritual glycemic wonders, “am I doing to attract this?”
To top it off, the spiritual hypoglycemic blames himself for this depressing scenario. His unhappiness is clearly a manifestation of his poor excuse for a belief system, an indictment of his lack of faith.
There's Truth in that. But like 100% cane juice or 100-proof vodka, Truth consumed immoderately can bring on heart palpitations, high blood pressure, even hallucinations.
What's my point?
Simply this. Whatever your preferred brand of insight and inspiration, the Truth you are seeking is a lot bigger than you are. Try to swallow it, or manipulate it to get your way, and it will swallow you, chew you up, and spit you out.
It's nothing personal, just Reality doing Its thing.
And the Good News is that the same Truth in small doses really does set you free.
So go ahead, practice positive thinking; use affirmations; and align yourself as much as possible to attract success and prosperity. Just remember, a little soul candy goes along way. In this, as in all things, moderation is the key to spiritual health. ;-) [replace smiley with icon?)