Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book Review - The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life by Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow, MD

I have not been a huge Glenn Beck fan.  I don't watch much broadcast TV and so I haven't watched his show ever.  I've seen a few clips on YouTube and liked them.  The consequence is that I'd never heard of this book.

A couple of weeks ago Sweetie's cousin, Duane came for a visit.  He was carrying the book and shared a metaphor from it with me.  Something about following bread crumbs.  The bread crumbs notion really struck me and seemed to be an answer to my most current prayers and gave me insight into my most current frustrations.

Essentially, the book is about change.  Beck tells the story of his recovery from alcoholism and consequently, his meteoric rise to fame, fortune and remarkably settled happiness.  He tells it in a most insightful and candid way.  Interspersed with that story lie chapters by Dr. Ablow, who gives wonderful insight into what has and is transpiring in Beck's recovery story.

Glenn Beck and I both have experienced recovery through the 12 Step Model.  The book is full of clear hints of AA's influence.  What I have recently struggled with is that, for me, the 12 Steps have been helpful in accomplishing what I don't want to be, I just couldn't get past that to what I do want to be, beyond sober.

For that, for my quest toward a healthy, happy, productive future, The Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life has hit the nail right on the head!  Years of addiction have kept me from my potential in real and painful ways.  I have not fully discovered who I am and what I am meant to accomplish in this life.  When I express this concern, my friends and family tend to play it down with lists of my accomplishments, trying to cheer me by reminding me of this or that good in my past.  While their intentions are great and appreciated, they haven't been much help.  I am 61 years old, and still often complain that I haven't got a clue as to what I want to be when I grow up.  I have always lived my life by default; by dealing as best I could with the things that happened to me.  Lehi says I was meant to act and not to be acted upon.  This book is teaching me how to act!

Years and years of inappropriately dealt with baggage have caused me to give up on so many hopes and dreams that I have quit hoping and dreaming.  All of my efforts were too intensely focused on doing battle with my addictive behavior that there was little energy for anything else.  As addictive behaviors are only symptoms of deeper causes and conditions, I was expending all my energies addressing the wrong problems. The 12 Steps were magnificent at helping me discover, deal with and surrender the real problems, the baggage, if you will.  But, where do I go from here?  How do I get back my possibilities?  How, at this age, do I move forward toward my full potential?  How to I learn again to hope?  To dream?  These questions are all answered, so powerfully, in this wonderful book!

In AA it is often said, "When the student is ready, the teacher will come."  I was ready.  So ready.  And sure enough, along came Duane, Glenn Beck and Dr. Ablow, right on time, with just the right answers.  Not just them either.  On the day I walked into the book store to find this gem I noticed a framed quotation hanging on the wall.  It was from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and said, "God is anxiously waiting to answer your prayers and to fulfill your dreams, but He can't if you don't pray and He can't if you don't dream."  I bought it and am looking at it now, hanging on the wall of my study.  I can hardly express what joy I have in having dreams again.

I have spent my life trying to appear to be authentic.  It was all a lie.  I did what I thought people would like me to do.  I said, what I thought they wanted to hear.  It was all a lie.  This great little book is helping me past that, helping me find my own truth.  Helping me to discover and live a congruent and authentic life.  It is telling me how to find that truth, not between it's covers, but deep within my own heart and soul.

Five Stars

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Did this hit a nerve! Made me cry right there at my desk at work. I, too, gave up hoping and dreaming many years ago. Been living in such a war zone that all I have had time for is dodging the bullets. Oh, how I miss hoping and dreaming!

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