Diana, Herself – Women, you NEED to read this book!

I have just finished the most spectacular book (!!!!) called Diana, Herself by Martha Beck. She is a prolific self-help author. And a little head’s up: I’ve written about her before on this blog.

Beck is tiny and wise… and truth be told, she reminds me of an adorable, sparkly elf. So does the friend who recommended the book to me, which is why (perhaps?) I didn’t ask questions and just jumped right in. <<< I ordered the book within five minutes of her recommendation, got the book two days later, opened the box the moment it arrived, sat down and started reading, and didn’t stop until this morning when I finished it.

Here’s what I want to say: ALL WOMEN NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

Be forewarned… you will giggle, cry, gasp, grunt, sigh, feel full-on gut punches, see sparkles, know – as in ***know*** – you have read truth even though it’s an allegory which reads more like an adult fairy tale.

And now, I must present my own story-within-a-story because the truth is steeped in muck so gooey and messy that it can’t be made clean… not even in magical blue Dawn dish soap.

And that – as they say – is all I’ll say about that.

Come with me… it’s storytime.

I am a healer and helper in need of a guidebook and of course, as always happens in my world, one arrived in my lap.

I love books and yet, even though the cover art is beautiful and the author is a favorite of mine, I would never have picked up this particular book on my own. In fact, I would have seen the words on the front – no, one word – and it would have squeezed my throat until I had no breath left. Dramatic, yes. But, true.

(Sometimes it happens when the phone rings – but thankfully, not as often anymore. Other times, when I see someone on the street or am asked how it’s going all these years later. And sometimes, it leaps out as I walk down an aisle at the bookstore or browse through the stacks of books online and see the word – big as life, don’tcha know?). 

Anyway, a dear friend wrote to me and said, “You HAVE to read this book,” along with a photo of the cover. After the initial choking – as mentioned above – I ordered it. 

The story captivated me from the very first page. It was magic. Pure magic.

But.

There was something I  should have realized – so obvious! – which was that the word – that word! – was going to show up over and over again. Of course, it would! 

And every time it did, my stomach lurched.

Slight digression that’s not really a digression: Have you ever had someone in your life who wished the worst for you? Wanted you dead? Told you so?  

I do.

I have done everything within my power to remove the poison but there are always weddings and funerals and phone calls and threats, some subtle, some not.

What shames me most is that I put myself there. Here. Still here. 

So, although this book was fantastic and magical… it brought all this to the fore. Because I dared to be brave enough to push the fear aside and deal with the word.

Something else: Within the allegory are seven tasks – and they’re wonderful, healing, life-affirming tasks.

But we’re going to talk about just one of them –  The fifth: Tell the truth.

I have been honest with you – always.

BUT.

There is one particular thing I have not shared in public because although it’s my story to tell, other innocents are involved. It could irrevocably harm relationships that are not mine to ruin. 

And so I stay silent.

Until now. In the only way I can. By storytelling. 

Once upon a time, I met a raging narcissist who changed my life forever and continues to dance around the fringes. They say not to let the bad guys rent out space in your head. I get that… I do! But – as the book calls them – the Furies are still there. Here. Always. 

Now, this book… this book… has forced me to face the many ways in which I do NOT respect, care, and protect myself and that, in turn, does not allow me to respect, care and protect others. 

It all begins with the goddess, herself. 

PSSSSST:::::::

What I didn’t realize…

The goddess is me. 

Maybe I should rename the book Sheryl, Herself

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