Sometimes I love being with people. Sometimes I flee from company and bear only silence.
Sometimes I am sure people see my gifts, my wisdom and my light. Sometimes I think people have no clue who I really am.
Sometimes I will forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive no matter what someone does to me. Sometimes a line is crossed, and I close the door.
Sometimes I am the ancient goddess with the power of the universe flowing through me. Sometimes I am an insecure, wounded little girl afraid to make a phone call.
-Barbara De Angilis
How Did I Get Here? is authored by Barbara De Angelis. Do you remember her?
Back in the day, she and her husband were quite “the thing”… and why wouldn’t they be? Young and attractive, they raked in the bucks teaching relationship courses, first separately and then, together.
He was the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and she was also a relationship coach and author in her own right who focused mostly on the sexual side of things.
Both were Doctors, having received their PhD degrees from the now-defunct Columbia Pacific University. One problem. The degrees were bogus. Oops!
Now, in my post about Men Are From Mars […] as linked above, I had some rather harsh words for “Dr” John Gray. As I said then, the book that made him a household name wasn’t baaaad. But it wasn’t good, either.
I saw De Angelis in a different light, however. I’m not sure why that is… because I often find myself giving men the benefit of the doubt (where did that come from? True words, though!). I just found Gray to be a bit of a smarm-bucket. Maybe it was intuition. Was I surprised to learn that he also – in his very early days – focused on sexuality, teaching “Enlightened Sexuality Seminars”? Um, no. No, I wasn’t. I’ll leave what happened during them to your own interpretation (and/or imagination).
That said, I always liked De Angelis, and found her writing engaging and oh-so-human. This book is no exception. Speaking of her books, she’s written a whole whack of ’em. (Look here for a Google listing.) And let me be clear… both she and Gray suffered immensely when they divorced after only a couple of years of marriage. I mean, they were “relationship experts” getting divorced. The “degrees” they received turned out to be worth less than the paper they were printed on… *shrug*… I mean, ya know… that tends not to look good.
But this isn’t a biography of their lives, it is a post about De Angelis’ book. I like it. It feels like a comfortable sweater on a winter’s day… by the window as the snow softly drifts by… and you, with your cup of tea.
Does it snap, crackle or pop? No. There’s really nothing new in it, nor will you find yourself saying, “A-ha!” – with one caveat: If you haven’t done the work on yourself and this is your first foray into self-help (and it shouldn’t be but I can certainly think of worse books)… you might actually say, “A-ha!”
What you will find is a woman who has been through the emotional wringer. Her life hasn’t been easy – sometimes by her own choices, sometimes by the choices of others. She doesn’t stay in that place, complain or belabor the point. Instead, she asks, “How did I get here?” and shows you how to answer that question for yourself. It’s okay if she leads for a little while… it’s a wisdom born of pain and all that jazz.
About her being a guilty pleasure… all I mean is that I *should* dislike her for the same reasons I disliked her ex-husband. But I can’t. Is it a true guilty pleasure, like, say, audio books read out loud by Tori Spelling? Okay, no. Let me tell you the difference: I wouldn’t dare tell anyone about how much I love those! Not a soul. Shhhhhhh. That’s our secret, okay?
*Originally written by me for this blog on December 3, 2018