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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
When Debbie Ford looked at the messy agony of her divorce, she saw peace. "I could either use this time to beat myself up or I could choose to see my divorce as a spiritual process," she explains. "I knew I only had one choice." Ford forged a path through her bitterness and guilt -- and, once through, she became a guide for others. In her new book, Spiritual Divorce, Ford shows us how to survive the painful lessons of separation and how to restore calm.
The lessons of Ford's book are neatly divided into seven laws: not too much to read in a weekend but enough to practice for years. First, Ford asks her readers to accept divorce as a reality. "To regain the big picture," Ford reasons, "we need to breathe deep and take the time to separate the facts of our present situation from our fears about what might happen in the future." Next, readers must stop trying to change that reality. "Give up the notion that you are right and the belief that you know what he's going to say," Ford suggests. "Step into a quiet place, into a bigger view of the Universe, recognizing that what's going on with your partner may not be personal." Then, as we stop trying to control partners and reality, she explains, we can allow God to guide us. Ford next insists that we accept responsibility for divorce, recognize what divorce has taught us, and work toward forgiving ourselves. With that, Ford promises, each reader can begin to build something new.
If these laws seem impossible to obey, never fear: Ford's book includes simple exercises and assignments that allow readers to practice spiritual growth. Over time, these exercises can help every person -- no matter how painful his or her circumstances -- to work toward serenity. For example, when readers feel unable to forgive their partners for a breakup, Ford lays out this simple plan: "Make a list of [your] partner's bothersome qualities and then name them as subpersonalities.... Lazy Louie, Irritating Irving, Steven the Stoner." Then, visualize yourself meeting these subpersonalities and asking each one what it needs. By performing this exercise, Ford promises, readers can better forgive their mates -- and themselves.
When life falls apart, as it does during a divorce, we need to reconstruct. With Debbie Ford's book, readers can use separation to reconstruct themselves spiritually. We can restore peace, or find a calm more lasting than before. (Jesse Gale)