Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bonds the Make us Free

I am once again going to be brave and post. I have been waiting for the book that Mandy suggested at the beginning of the year from the library so i had a couple of spare moments to play catch up.

I finished this book finally. It was a hard read. Lots of things to think about and ponder. Very deep. As I began reading this book I became very defensive and was not sure if I was going to make it through it. I was feeling like a terrible person and I had way too much to change but I kept reading and realized I am doing alright. As I was reading I was constantly looking for step by step of how to change. I am a list girl. Give me a list and I will accomplish it! I realized that this was more of here are some ideas and concepts to ponder and apply to your life instead of a step by step.

I enjoy greatly how this book eneded. Love is a power that makes anything possible. The more I love my husband the more I am willing to over look faults and work to be a better person. The more I love my daughter the more fun and enjoyment I have each day I spend with her.

This was a good book to read hard but good! Thanks!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thanks for your comment Catherine. My feelings about "Bonds that Make Us Free" were very similar. It was difficult to plow through in parts, and I especially had a tough time with the first half. My prejudice began with the preface, during which the author, states that there are two types of readers that will have difficulty "coming to grips" with what he has to say, those who read into everything intellectually and those who suffer from feelings of inadequacy. Although I admit this probably wasn’t the Mr. Warner’s intention, in my mind he was implying if certain readers don't like what he says in his book, there is something fundamentally wrong with them. That annoyed me.

That's not to say that there weren't some interesting insights throughout the first half. I think the concept of self-betrayal and the methods by which we do so (through self-righteousness, self-) is fascinating and definitely rings true in many arenas of life. Warner’s entire philosophy is centered on the fact that we as humans the ability to change our outlook, and ultimately redefine our relationships with others. This is a very empowering concept.

On the other hand I think sometimes he is too bold in his judgments. For example, with the chapter on victimization: while it is it is true that people shouldn’t make a habit of seeing themselves as victims, as it is dis-empowering (is that a word?), there are actual, legitimate cases in which people are victimized through no fault of their own, and shouldn’t be made to feel they are “betraying” themselves for realizing that.

This review has come across as very critical, so I’ll take it in a different direction and end on a positive note, because I am really glad I read this book. By the second half, which focuses on how we relate to others, I started to notice I was reading it not just as another psychological theory, but as an actual self-help book. I think all of us, even the most compassionate and patient; have certain people in our lives that just get under our skin, perhaps more than others. This book teaches how to experience a “change of heart” in the way we view those around us. (It so interesting to hear this term applied in the non-spiritual realm, even if it’s not that far of a departure from how it is used in the gospel sense). Whether this change arises in response those we are closest to, or to strangers we encounter in daily life, the insights are the same.

This is the overall message I took home: I don’t need to spend emotional energy needlessly on what I believe someone else’s thoughts, feelings and intentions are, because when I do, I’d probably judge them incorrectly anyway. It is important to simply be receptive to those around me, so I can pick up on what I am actually being shown, and then discern how to best respond to that person. At the same time, I can be kinder to myself by catching my own instances of “self betrayal.”

In a lot of small ways, I would say that I am a different person after reading this book. Thank you so much Shelli for the recommendation! (And I’m sorry it took me forever to finish it!)