My self -help book for March was "Stand Up For Your Life" by Cheryl Richardson. Sorry I'm a bit late. My book for April is "The Secret".
Cheryl Richardson has a web site and you can look on it to join or start a 'Life Makeover Group' at http://www.cherylrichardson.com/ if anyone is interested.
"Stand Up For Your Life' was quite different than "Women Who Run With The Wolves" (a book of stories). It's more concise and more directed at just one thing - standing up for one's own life.
I know a lot of woman who have/had that issue (including yours truly). I'm thinking it's more of a women's issue than a man's, because I believe we 'middle aged women' (the last of the generation to be taught this misnomer) were taught that we had no life outside our family. We needed a husband, a house, a car, a dog, and kids to be happy. The all American dream.
Then guess what? A lot of us women grew older, we grew up, and realized what a falsehood that was and we felt cheated out of our own life. You wake up at fifty -you're kids are grown and gone -your husband is whatever - and you say to yourself - hey wait a minute - what about me?
They tell you that it was your own choice to sacrifice yourself, not theirs. Was it my choice? I guess it was - you have to take ownership of what you've done - but you DON'T have to stay muddled in self pity and angry.
After I saw this truth, I decided to waste no more time on having no life of my own and started making one. Now, if you think they liked me doing that and rejoiced over my new life you'd be mistaken. What they did was get mad and tried to bring me back to who I used to be. They wanted the status quo. Because when I changed my life - guess what - I changed their life as well and that made them very uncomfortable. They didn't know who they were anymore because they didn't know how I'd act in my relationship with them. Life changes. The best way to get even is to find yourself. You don't have to do anything else.
So this ones for the girls - don't fret about the years you wasted - rejoice about the years to come. It will get better I promise you. No life is perfect, but it will be much better.
What I felt was the most interesting in the book was found on pages 52 through 55. The following is directly from her book.
"As we consider the reality of how hard it is to stay connected to our inner lives, we’re all faced with a fundamental truth: We live in a world that forces us to shut down the very thing we need in order to experience deep meaning and fulfillment-inability to stay connected to how we feel."
"Most of us are constantly living in our heads-thinking, calculating, anticipating, multitasking, analyzing, and doing, doing, doing. The over focus on information has place a high value on what we know instead of what we feel. Unfortunately, the experience of leading a rich and fulfilling life comes not though thinking, bit though feeling. For example, when you get together with your friends, it’s probably not your conservation about politics or work that gives you a sense of connection; it’s the feeling of joy and camaraderie you get from being in their presence. Your conversation may be intellectually stimulating, but isn't it the laughter, the love, and the feeling of being connected that you most often remember?"
"Feelings are your inner guidance system- your emotional compass. When you allow this compass to direct your actions you build self-trust. When you feel hungry you eat. When you feel tired, you rest. When you feel lonely, you reach out for connection to others. In this most basic away, your feelings link you with the wisest part of yourself. They tell you what you need to know at any given moment."
"Many of us learn to shut off our feelings early in life. To Suck it up. We get disconnected from our emotional center."
"Open your heart and allowing yourself to feel can be frightening. You may feel uncomfortable. That’s why so many people flee from it. I believe there is more suffering from repressing than from the act of feeling in and of itself. In fact, when we neglect to express our feelings fully, those buried emotions can take a heavy toll on our health. Swallowing anger, sadness, or bitterness and carrying this heavy baggage in our bodies can result in everything from depression and physical illness to even death."
"Our unexpressed emotions can also become toxic obstacles that present us from moving forward with our lives."
"Connect with how you feel, connect with yourself.”
The point is by connecting to who you are - will thereby enable you find your own self/life. So FEEL life and CONNECT with it.
This belief is deep, deep, deeply rooted in my soul.