06 February 2017

Three Books That Actually Changed My Life (and that every woman needs!)

Over the years, I have went to counseling on and off at different times. Counseling is great thing, and at some point in life I think everybody should go. We all have issues and baggage to work through. Why not face it and use it as a growth opportunity?

The woman I currently see I have been with for 3 years-ish. She has challenged me in more ways I can count and helped me work through stuff in ways I never knew I needed. Continuing to work with her is one of the best ways for me to heal and be better prepared for a future relationship someday.

There are three specific tools, or books we have used in our time together that have been absolute game-changers in my own healing and self-discovery.

Disclaimer: No I don't think self-books are all we need to heal and work through our issues but there are a tool in our toolbox; one way to help us face the painful, even traumatic stuff in our lives.

Hi my name is Patty, and I am recovering codependent. #truestory

I spent about a year working through the above workbook, which is also accompanied by this book. In terms of counseling, this is what I am just finishing reading and working on. 

Both books are very, very good, but also quite painful at times because it goes into the nitty-gritty of past abuse and/or trauma which lead to codependency. 

So what exactly is codependency?

According to author Pia Mellody, codependence as "the lack of those functional internal habit patterns regarding the body, thinking, feeling, and behavior that are necessary to be a mature adult of having healthy relationships and finding a reasonable level of comfort in life."

Codependents have difficulty:

  • experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem
  • setting functional, healthy boundaries
  • owning and expressing their own feelings
  • taking care of their needs and wants
  • expressing thoughts and feelings moderately
Mellody, herself a recovering codependent, goes into great detail about each symptom and how it plays out in and affects our lives. She helps the reader dig deep, really.deep. Working through this with my therapist helped me look at my childhood honestly, acknowledge and work through past abuse and trauma, and untie all the unhealthy knots to learn how to be in healthy relationships with others. Its like I'm giving a future relationship a complete detox of all the unhealthy I used to function out of.

Highly, highly recommend. 

I come to realize I've had some very faulty, idealistic idea's about love and relationships. Sure all those Disney movies and happily-ever-after stories probably don't help, but I cannot blame it all on that.

Looking back on all dating relationships and to some degree my relationship with men has not been healthy. Much of it seemed from my own neediness, emotional insecurities, low self-esteem, and falling in love with the idea of being in love. Just looking back at how my perspective has changed over the last year has blown me away.

This book is based off the 12 Steps and has lots of exercises and journal prompts to make you think. 

I can look back and see what were the unhealthy dynamics present in past relationships. It can feel a little embarrassing to of course learn this all after the fact of going through a divorce but I'm not gonna beat myself up about that either.

You know what you know when you know it.

And I know a lot more about myself which is only going to help me in my future.

Very good read, not as triggering as the previous workbook and accompanying book.
Very practical.

I stumbled across this book quite by accident right before the holidays. It wrecked me.

Shame is one of the most powerful, deadly lies Satan can get us to believe about ourselves. It can sneak in and take over your mindset and what you think about yourself.

Herself an abuse victim and passionate Christian, Christine breaks down the hidden consequences of shame and the effects of it in our lives. She breaks down powerful Biblical truths in strong and mighty ways.

This book surprised me. It was like the cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae, the finishing touches of many other things I have been learning and wrestling with.

Very easy, yet powerful read. Every woman needs to read this book.

I hope you check out these books and find them as helpful and life-changing as I have. If you ever get a chance to read them, send me an e-mail and let me know what you think of them!

Do you have any life-hanging books to recommend? 

What have been game changers in your own personal story?

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