Interesting Attack on My Book and Me

Congratulations to the Coaching Session Winners  Sharon G., Rick R., Mary E., Sylvia (Serenity)!!!

A couple of days ago, I was alerted to a review for Living the Life You Love by a blogger, so I clicked on the link and skimmed it as I usually do. It took me a few seconds to figure out that the woman was trashing my book—and me personally. That was a first for this book and I was really surprised to read her interpretation, particularly since some of her statements about what I had said in the book simply weren’t true.

Now, when you’re an author and in the public eye, having people say and write things about you—good and bad—is just part of the drill. It’s certainly not the first time someone hasn’t liked what I’ve written nor will it be the last. This one, however, prompted me to write about it for two reasons. One, it’s a fabulous example to learn from, and two, I need to publicly correct some false statements.

In short, the reviewer seemed quite upset with my book, feeling that I was “giving the finger” to my “abusive husband” and my alcoholic family. Her main takeaway was that she wanted to make sure her children didn’t grow up to be like me.

I found her and interpretation and emotional responses to Living the Life You Love interesting since she was the first of the thousands who have read it to mention such things. My own curiosity piqued, I did a quick word search of the eBook version. The word “abusive” does not appear anywhere in the book. The word “abuse” is found once in a list and in this quote: “Where is the rulebook that says you have to show up so someone can abuse you?” As for alcohol, there is one page—yes, just one page—in the entire book where I talk about realizing I’d grown up in an alcoholic family and how that had created particular behaviors and beliefs that I’d had to face and reprogram.

There’s no basis for her comments and I certainly don’t take them personally even though that’s how she meant them—I understand what’s going on and it’s not about me or the book. Living the Life You Love has won four national book awards, is published in three languages and is endorsed by a long list of therapists and health professionals—the material is solid. That leaves only one bottom line—her. The book didn’t give her what she wanted—it didn’t make her feel the way she wanted it to. However, it probably gave her exactly what she needed if she’d been willing to hear it.

Years ago, when I was coming to terms with a lot of things in my marriage and my life, my dear friend Paige sent me a gift of Caroline Myss’ audio program, Sacred Contracts. She loved it and thought I would too. It sounded like it was going to be great and I started listening as soon as it arrived. The more I listened, however, angrier I got. I was appalled that Paige thought the woman’s hateful words might apply to me and I promptly called to tell her so.

“That Myss woman is a total idiot! Nothing she says makes any sense whatsoever and I can’t see why you thought it was it was good. It’s not good at all, it’s horrible!”

When I finally quieted down, Paige very calmly said that she was really surprised at what I’d heard from the program since she’d gotten a very different message. She said she was going to go back and listen again to see what she’d missed and we’d talk some more then.

All I can say is that I am forever thankful to Paige for being so patient with me in those dark times. I’m also glad that I had enough sense to realize that the one having the wildly emotional reaction might be the one who needed to listen again. And when I did, the dam broke loose.

The walls of denial and anger I’d worked so hard keep in place began to crumble. I finally began to hear what I desperately needed to—but vehemently didn’t want to—and it literally put me on the floor. I don’t know how long I lay there, sobbing, the long-suppressed thoughts and emotions bubbling up and out, but it was a profound moment for me.

Looking back, I mark that point as the first step across the threshold of becoming willing to become authentically me. There were many more pivotal points, of course, but I had to get that first breakthrough before I could begin to see the others.

And, just so you know, Caroline Myss is one of my absolute favorite teachers and that first exp experience taught me a valuable lesson that is one of the foundation points of my own teachings today: If you feel it, you need to deal with it.

So, hopefully, the angry and unhappy reviewer will discover that truth just as I did. Hopefully, she’ll stop looking for only the words she wants to hear and allow the words she needs to hear to break through. Hopefully, she’ll see how she truly can live a life she loves if she really wants to.



PS: By the way, the main reason I wrote this article was to make a public statement that my ex-husband was never abusive nor did I ever say he was. He’s a nice guy. The end.

PSS: I’ve changed my hair–drastically–and I’ll be talking about that soon. For now, let’s just say that if you were looking for me based on my photo here you wouldn’t recognize me on the street. Stay tuned for THAT story!

* * * * * *

Change your life in 3 days? You bet!

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Spa City in November, Hot Springs, Arkansas, November 15-17.

Destin in December, Destin, Florida, December 13-15

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