Time Warp Tuesday: Books That Change You

It’s time for the Time Warp! For more info on Kathy, of Bereaved and Blessed‘s Time Warp Tuesday, click on the icon!

I haven’t written a ton about books. I participated in the first two PAIL book clubs and wrote about Bringing Up Bébé and The Conflict. I thought both books were interesting and the discussions of those books prompted me to read Why Have Kids? which touches on similar themes. But both of those posts were kind of recent and I like to look back and find older posts for the Time Warp.

For this TWT, I decided to go back to a giveaway post from 2010 where I offered the winner one of four different books, one for each of the different parts of the TTC/loss/pregnancy/motherhood journey that I had traveled. One of those books touched me very deeply, and recently touched the life a dear friend in a really positive way. Here is what I wrote about the book in my previous post.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

This book touched me, during a time when I my heart felt unreachable . A friend gave me this book in the aftermath of my ectopic; each chapter helped me to accept the suffering in my life and learn to have faith in the peace of the present moment. I can’t explain how this book brought me such comfort, but I’ve given it to others in times of loss and they’ve all agreed it was invaluable. This book helped me pick up the pieces and gave me the courage to move forward.

This book had a profound effect on me after my loss. Like I said in my past post, it was able to reach me when nothing else could. It literally–at the time–changed my life.

Recently a dear friend of mine found her life collapsing around her. Her mother’s long time boyfriend had a stroke, then her mother had a heart attack, then her sister went into kidney failure that developed into sepsis. Her sister almost didn’t make it.

Around the same time her oldest son (19 years old) was charged with four felonies and–during an unrelated incident–got a DUI. Needless to say friend was really struggling.

When my mom told me about all the was going on (they are also very close friends) I immediately knew I had to get Chodron’s book to her. I had just recently gotten the book back from another friend who had needed it and I was thankful I had it to pass on to this friend during her impossible time. This same copy was given to me after my loss, from a friend who struggled with IF for ten years before adopting a son from Korea.

There are few books that really change the way we see the world. This book did that for me, it did that for the friend who gave it to me and for the friends to whom I passed it along. They all have reported profound experiences reading. This book is able to offer peace in times when peace seems ever elusive. It delivers a profound message in a way that people can understand.

These past months have not been easy for me. When I passed the well-worn copy to my friend I bought myself another copy for Kindle on my iPhone. Now, whenever I’m out and about and feel overwhelmed by this depression or TTC or work or my relationship, I open it and read a chapter or two. Chodron’s words never fail to instill a peace and gratitude that I wouldn’t be able to find by myself. I am forever grateful for her book and for the difference it has made in my life and in the lives of my friends.

5 responses

  1. I LOVE this post! It warms my heart to know how much this book changed your life and of course now I can’t wait to read it/download a copy for my Kindle. As I shared in my comment on your older post, I have read Pema Chodron and learned a lot from her teachings, but have not read the book you talk about here.

    “There are few books that really change the way we see the world. This book did that for me.”

    I had that kind of experience after reading The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. I read it soon after I graduated college, if I recall correctly and two things really struck me.

    1) The first sentence of the book: “Life is difficult.” I think that sentence what follows as the intro to the book is one of the most powerful intros to a non-fiction/self-help book that I have ever read. In case you haven’t read it, he basically says, “life is difficult,” once we learn to accept that, we can begin to deal with our problems, instead of dwelling in them as much.

    2) There is an awesome chapter about love. Prior to reading the book I had a very unrealistic image of what “real love” is/should be. I thought it should be like it is portrayed in the movies. My one friend used to quote Sleepless in Seattle to me. He would say, “you don’t want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie.” He was right. No person or personality was ever going to live up to my unrealistic expectations enough to be a worthy mate. I also didn’t understand that “real love” takes work and it is a choice we make, “to love someone” vs. a feeling that we have “loving someone.” Of course we can still have feelings of romantic love and lust for a person, but “real love” is so much more.

    Anyway, that helped me to come to a place where I was ready and able to be serious with someone (ultimately my husband) who didn’t necessary fit the profile of the person I imagined sharing my life with someday. It also helped me to realize that healthy relationships take a lot of work, but they are worth it.

    I also think it is awesome that you have passed on this book to help others over the years. I love when we are able to do that and see that ripple effect.

    Sending lots of peace, love, light, thoughts and prayers your way during this difficult and uncertain time in your life. You can do this! One day, one hour, one minute, one step at a time. xoxo

    Thank you for doing the Time Warp again this month! It is always wonderful to have you warping with us. 🙂

  2. What a powerful book this must be! I can think of a few people (besides myself) who could use copy.

    Having it on your Kindle for ready reference is big testament to its ability to help the reader see things in a new way.

    Sending well-wishes to your friend. Sounds like a really rough patch.

  3. I have to get this book … it’s definitely on my list. And I think it goes along with the self-care comments you make in your later post. To me, this is like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The caring about yourself needs to happen first, and then we reach out to care for others. Without a stable place to stand, we can reach outwards. So there is nothing wrong with that focus, with that self-care, until you are secure.

    Holding you in my heart.

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