Monday, January 30, 2017

Book Review

Why Good People Do Bad Things: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst EnemyWhy Good People Do Bad Things: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy by Debbie Ford

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
—Rumi; translation by Coleman Bark

"Forgiveness challenges us to find the gold in the dark, the wisdom in our wounds, and the possibility hidden within our pain."

This is an excellent, excellent book. I highly recommend it. Debbie Ford's writing eminently readable, conversational, logical, easy to follow. She's written a lot of books on The Shadow, our darker self we'd like to pretend isn't there but keeps showing up in our lives to lead us astray and avert our path from the best of life. From the different descriptions I just picked this one to start with and, without having read any others yet, I feel like I made a good choice. This is in perhaps the best self-help book, especially for those of us who're so used to bad situations that The Law of Attraction works against us and, like me, can't figure out how to get it going the other way, to work for us. This book is that instruction manual. It tells us how to embrace our past, forgive ourselves, embrace the strength and lessons of our darker selves, and move forward. I highlighted about 10% of the book and made notes to many of those. I really like that she closes with examples from her own shortcomings and how those are also her strengths. Don't bother reading Deepak Chopra on The Shadow and definitely stay away from Marianne Williamson on the subject.

"My fear of being called lazy gives me my drive. It is my vanity that dresses me in the morning and gets me to work out even when I’m tired. My fear of being a negligent mother makes sure that I go to all the flag football games (even when I’m busy) and drive my son to school (even when I’m tired and he could take the bus). It is my greed and love for fine things that drive me to work when others are out partying, and it is my denial of the evil and angry judgments of others that allows me to stand up in front of group after group and tout my message—to heal the split between the two forces that exist within each of us."

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