read with me - november edition

This month, I am LOVING The Gift: 12 Lessons To Save Your Life by Dr. Edith Eger.

A Holocaust survivor, a psychotherapist, a ballet dancer - at 93 years young, this powerhouse of a woman has truly created a gift for us all. A book filled with humanity, spirit, lessons and guidance we can all use in our lives.

Here are some of my favourite nuggets of wisdom from this powerful & healing book.

“When we’ve been victimized, there’s a part of our psyche that identifies with the victimizer, and sometimes we adopt that punitive, victimizer stance toward ourselves, denying ourselves the permission to feel good, depriving ourselves of our birthright: joy.”

“She was protecting him from worry. From guilt. But she was also depriving him, not letting him in. Denying him the opportunity to try to protect her.”

“But you’re lying. You’re not being the whole you to your family. You’re depriving yourself of freedom. And you’re depriving them, too. Your strategy for dealing with your difficult emotions has become another problem.”

“Nobody can take your inner life or responses from you. Why do you give him more power?”

“Whatever you practice, you become better at. ”

“No more don’t, don’t, don’t,” I told her. “I want to give you lots of dos. I do have a choice. I do have a life to live. I do have a role. I do live in the present. I do pay attention to what I’m focusing on, and it’s definitely in alignment with the goals I’m choosing: what gives me pleasure, what gives me joy.”

“This is how we release ourselves from the prison of avoidance—we let the feelings come. We let them move through us. And then we let them go.”

“But as long as you’re avoiding your feelings, you’re denying reality. And if you try to shut something out and say, “I don’t want to think about it,” I guarantee that you’re going to think about it. So invite the feeling in, sit down with it, keep it company. And then decide how long you’re going to hold on to it. Because you’re not a fragile little somebody. It’s good to face every reality. To stop fighting and hiding. To remember that a feeling is just a feeling—it’s not your identity.”

“When we’re in the habit of denying our feelings, it can be hard even to identify what we’re feeling, much less face it, express it, and finally release”

“Feelings are energy. With feelings there’s no way out but through. We have to be with them. It takes so much courage to be, without having to do anything about anything—to just simply be.”

“Healing can’t happen as long as we’re hiding or disowning parts of ourselves. The things we silence or cover up become like hostages in the basement, trying more and more desperately to get our attention.”

“Our childhoods end when we begin to live in someone else’s image of who we are.”

“When you turn the other cheek, you look at the same thing from a new perspective. You can’t change the situation, you can’t change someone else’s mind, but you can look at reality differently. You can accept and integrate multiple points of view. This flexibility”

“We don’t know where we’re going. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Just remember, no one can take away what you’ve put in your mind.”

“The opposite of depression is expression. What comes out of you doesn’t make you sick; what stays in there does.”

“In Hungary we say, “Don’t inhale your anger to your breast.” It can be harmful to hold on to feelings and keep them locked inside.”

“When adults create a home environment where anger isn’t allowed to be expressed, or where anger is vented in harmful ways, children learn that strong feelings aren’t permissible or safe.”

“Hope isn’t the white paint we use to mask our suffering. It’s an investment in curiosity. A recognition that if we give up now, we’ll never get to see what happens next"

“Try this instead. Acknowledge the feeling. It’s grief. It’s fear. It’s sadness. Just acknowledge it. And then give up the need for others’ approval. They can’t live your life. They can’t feel your feelings.

ENJOY & REMEMBER, you already have all the answers within you. All you need to do is learn to look within and listen.

- with love, ilona