Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's Just Hair - AMAZING "self-help" book

It's Just Hair: 20 Essential Life Lessons by Judith L. Pearson (Book # 27 of 2012)

It's crazy sometimes how life works in serendipitous ways.  My receiving this book when I did was definitely one of those instances.  I won this book, in exchange for a review, as part of a Member Giveaway on LibraryThing - and if the website is correct, only 10 people won out of 67 requesting.  The good Lord above was definitely watching out for me on this one :-)  Anyway, this book was written by a woman who battled breast cancer (using her favorite way to describe it) and won.  The book is separated into 20 different life lessons that Judith learned from her experience; including everything from "You Were Chosen" to allowing others to help you to, of course, "It's Just Hair."  I started this book the minute I took it out of the mailbox and finished it within a few hours - I could NOT put it down.  The author's sense of humor and light approach to such a heavy subject was refreshing and extremely enjoyable.  She uses anecdotes, lists, and quotes from famous people to put her point across.  This book is never devoid of variety and interest.  While I may not be currently dealing with something directly affecting my physical health like breast cancer, I do have serious issues with depression and loneliness.  Being a 25 year old very single female surrounded by so many other 20-somethings who have spouses and children eats away daily at my feelings of worth and happiness.  All of the lessons Judith details were lessons that I desperately needed to hear.  One of my favorites, which she referred back to several times, is that you are not the only person affected by your negative circumstance.  In fact, all the people that love you are also deeply tied into the way that you feel and the way you approach life.  I always forget how my being down and despondent affects my parents, little brother, and few close friends that I have.  But whenever I can't find the energy to be happy or encouraging on the phone with any of them I can tell that they are strongly affected by what I'm going through.  I in no way want to bring them down with me because I love them too, so much, and so was thankful to be reminded of this truth.  Another lesson that profoundly touched me was that of "You Were Chosen."  This lesson actually has a very Christian perspective about it in that I would interpret it as God has chosen me to be single at this point in my life so that I can focus on Him and love Him and show others that He is all I need.  While I may fail at this royally most of the time, it's still something that gives me hope when I put my mind to it.  Also, I can show people that I am happy (which I really am a lot of the time, it's just that the down times are so intense that I tend to forget the happy times were ever there) with my life right now and that I have found ways to enjoy myself and make my life meaningful even without a significant other - which I most definitely have.  I know that there are plenty of other females my age who are unmarried and single and showing them that I'm okay with it can make a huge difference in how they approach life.  I'll mention one more of her lessons and then leave it at that since this has turned into quite a long review (I'm telling you - READ THIS BOOK).  "Lesson 11: Helping Hands" discusses how we absolutely cannot do everything by ourselves and thus must willingly accept help from others.  Not only will doing this help us, but it will also bring joy to those helping us.  One time recently, I had let my house get super cluttered as I was devoured by loads of constant school work.  I asked my brother's girlfriend if she would help me make a dent in the mess and she gladly accepted.  That night, she and my brother showed up to help me clean and they noticed things that I hadn't even realized - they were obviously getting a helper's high in making my house a neater place.  This is actually a concept that Gretchen Rubin talks about in her book, The Happiness Project.  When I find myself in the future desperately needing a little help to tackle something, I will ask for helping hands.  So in conclusion, this is a book that I will keep around and refer to frequently when I need a little encouragement and need to remember that I do have worth.

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