Thursday, June 23, 2011
Peace From Broken Pieces Book Review: Life After Loss
Failure. The mere mention of the word sets off alarm bells throughout the nervous system. We want to reject the idea outright, to look away, and to consider something, anything else. The thought of it is far too daunting, and the fear of it is pervasive. New Agers typically respond to even the notion of it with their seemingly inexhaustible supplies of positive affirmations. The “Law of Attraction” crowd will take it one step further and practically blame the fallen for their circumstances. The Buddhists, with their rigorous practice of acceptance, are seemingly well prepared to handle its presence. The ACIM folks seem to share an ability to recognize even the worst parts of life as perfect, in the divine scheme of things. Then there’s Iyanla Vanzant.
Iyanla is a Yoruba trained Priestess who wrote an entire book about it. Failed marriage? Check. Failed major career opportunity, with none other than media icon Oprah Winfrey? Check. Home foreclosure? Yep. Loss of assets due to family illness? Iyanla’s been there and done that, too. Add the untimely death of her middle child to cancer, and you begin to get some idea of what “Peace From Broken Pieces” is all about.
Vanzant does not however, wallow in her misery. Rather she bravely combs through the ashes of her devastation. Like a dedicated forensic scientist, she pours through the wreckage of her life in search of origins, and answers. In the process she unearths family pathologies, but she doesn’t hang her story on those. Her journey is about self awareness and ultimately peace, and her courage and honestly are necessary and remarkable. The scenes, like those of childhood beatings, are at times harrowing. But her persistent search for meaning and understanding carry her and readers through them. Her willingness to share so candidly gives us all permission to take a deeper look at life’s uncomfortable side. Her strength and wisdom light our way through it.
FYI, Hay House provides the books I review, though they do not exercise any editorial control of the content of my reviews. I am also one of the featured bloggers on the new “Hay House Book Club” which air every Friday at 11:00 A.M. PST on Hay House Radio. In fact the show with Iyanla debuts June 24th. You can also join the discussion about “Peace From Broken Pieces” and other Book Club selections on Facebook.