I read this book in my 7th treatment stay inside of the psych ward of a hospital because my heart was un-stable. I got wheeled every morning across the parking lot into a treatment program ran inside of the hospital. I had never wanted to cease to live so bad in my life. I had left my love and my life…and I had given up on a hope that I would ever get out. This book inspired me to start looking within myself. During the “Pray” portion of this book, I took the words from her adventurous findings in a temple of meditation, and I applied them to myself during the times in my stay when it was just me, and that starch white bed…and golf pencil and paper…hospital socks….vitals in half an hour.
“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”
It forced me to pray within myself…sometimes to myself…and realizing that God…and myself…is the only spirit and soul in the world that will ever be able to show me the tenderness that I needed in that time of insanity in re-feeding and the guilt over leaving baby girl for so long.
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
It created in me a desire for happiness. A thirst for it. I began to reach within myself and seek out any sort of hope for happiness that was left. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
At this moment in the book…and in the treatment, with low blood pressure and an added fruit I realized that I could still have control. But this time, of my mind.
“I used to spend a lotta time worryin that I was different from other people, even from other homeless folks. Then, after I met Miss Debbie and Mr. Ron, I worried that I was so different from them that we wadn’t ever gon’ have no kind a’ future. But I found out everybody’s different – the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us. The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless – just workin our way toward home.”
“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, “Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?”
I read this book during my stay in San Diego, CA at a treatment center called Harmony Grove.
This book helped me to distract myself during the discomfort of re-feeding and gave me an opportunity to flash back into the bigger issues that woman have overcome generations before me. It does much good to read the victories of others when faced with the decision to claim victory over your own.
“All my life I’d been told what to believe about politics, coloreds, being a girl. But with Constantine’s thumb pressed in my hand, I realized I actually had a choice in what I could believe.”
It was also helpful for me, having a complicated relationship with my biological mother…and every other mother after that, to peek into the truly emotional side of connections with those who raised us. It sucked those feelings out of me that I had been spending so many hours burying deep inside of me.
A book solely dedicated to depicting a clear picture of spiritual warfare, was recommended to me by my pastor’s wife, who is also one of my many mothers. I read this book in the very darkest depths of my eating disorder. Several times in fact. I was fascinated by the idea that a demon was following me and pulling me into darkness against the fight of good that was pulling me the other way.
I was absolutely enthralled with the idea of re-creating stories from my childhood and re-verbalizing them from the standpoint of the outcast. Any and all of the books by Gregory Maguire are a definite must-read in treatment. It is the most wonderful and enjoyable distraction from the prison 🙂
“People who claim that they’re evil are usually no worse than the rest of us… It’s people who claim that they’re good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”
This book also taught me to look at how black and white thinking destroys us all.
“One never learns how the witch became wicked, or whether that was the right choice for her~is it ever the right choice? Does the devil ever struggle to be good again, or if so is he not a devil?”
My mother had read this book in prison, and had talked so much about loving it that I wound up reading it in treatment a few years later.
“I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”