Book DNA: When the Heart Waits

This is a painful post to write, yet it feels good to be typing away about another marker in my own Book DNA. I find myself in search of a book. Usually, when this feeling comes over me, it is right before I pick up a book that will change me forever. Sometimes these stories are new to me and other times the books are seasonal reads and my body is yearning for the words on the page. This morning, it was the latter. A book I have not picked up since my last crisis of self in 2007 was howling my name. I tried to resist the calling of this book because that would mean I have to admit I am facing another crisis of self. That is never a thing we wish to admit to ourselves or publicly.

I read the final paragraph on the first page of this book and the words grabbed a hold of my soul just as it did seven years ago.

For some months I had been lost in a baffling crisis of spirit. Back in the autumn I had awakened to a growing darkness and cacophony, as if something in my depths were crying out. A whole chorus of voices. Orphaned voices. They seemed to speak for all the unlived parts of me, and they came with a force and dazzle that I couldn’t contain. They seemed to explode the boundaries of my existence. I know now that they were the clamor of a new self struggling to be born.” – When the Heart Waits, Sue Monk Kidd

I should have seen the signs. This past January, Sue Monk Kidd visited our neighborhood book store to talk about her new book, The Invention of Wings. As she autographed the copy of the new book, I told her how much When the Heart Waits had impacted me. I don’t cry easy or often and at the moment I could not prevent the tears welling up in my eyes. Sue Monk Kidd stopped the grueling and long process of the book signing to give me a hug and share a moment about how and why she had written this book. My soul was aching to read the book at that time, but I pushed down and ignored the request.

Over the past year, books like Lean In and even the new book by Hillary Rodham Clinton, talk about how we can have it all. Balance can be achieved. Rarely, do people want to read about the messy stuff that have to be broken and fixed to achieve any balance or how that balance is fragile and must be nurtured. Rarely, do we want to ask ourselves the tough personal questions about our own journeys. Living through another’s tale of woe and come-back is false hope. We can’t have it all. That is not looking at life with a glass half empty approach, but the truth. There are times in our lives where we can handle more and do it well and other times we have to surrender to life. If you find yourself in a similar place, I encourage you to pick up, When the Heart Waits. Don’t rush through it. Let the book feed you. Be ready and open to address those orphaned voices because you will never be able to run far or fast enough to keep them silent.

[Please note this is a spiritual book. I do not follow one faith over another, but explore and respect a Higher Power. I read this book appreciating the questions being posed by the author.]

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