Stop Being Mean to Yourself: A Story, a Spiritual Adventure, a Timely Guide to Loving Your Neighbor and Yourself

Stop Being Mean to Yourself: A Story, a Spiritual Adventure, a Timely Guide to Loving Your Neighbor and Yourself

by Melody Beattie, Melody Beattie
     
 

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In this contemporized follow-up to Codependent No More (more than 3.8 million copies sold since 1986) beloved inspirational writer Melody Beattie narrates the story of her hard-won discovery that you really can love your neighbor and yourself.

Renowned for her compassionate voice and deep connection to the difficulties and joys of life and

Overview

In this contemporized follow-up to Codependent No More (more than 3.8 million copies sold since 1986) beloved inspirational writer Melody Beattie narrates the story of her hard-won discovery that you really can love your neighbor and yourself.

Renowned for her compassionate voice and deep connection to the difficulties and joys of life and love, Melody Beattie has touched many people through her long list of bestselling books. Her newest offering is in spirit a sequel to Codependent No More yet in style a departure: a finely crafted story of her own spiritual adventure through Northern Africa that "revitalized my faith in God, in the universe, and in myself."

Stop Being Mean To Yourself introduces refreshing new ideas about healthy self-esteem for people trying to overcome -- or avoid -- the pitfalls of guilt and self-doubt. Readers who have had enough of jargon, enough of programs, enough of traditional self-help books will appreciate the appeal of this spiritual adventure story and the jewels of inspiration wrapped in its folds.

This odyssey is modern, full of suspense, excitement and the light of personal discovery. In each chapter, Beattie narrates part of her travels and offers solid, universal lessons that will apply to every reader -- lessons about trusting our instincts, setting boundaries, loving ourselves and working with our power. It is a message about a way of living based not on prescriptions but on working from the heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062511195
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/21/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 7.67(h) x 1.01(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Stop Being Mean to Yourself

The Interrogation

Hurry," I told the taxi driver as we wound our way through the village of Giza.
He turned around to look at me. "Hurry?" he said, imitating the word with an Arabic accent. Obviously he didn't understand.
"Yes, hurry. Fast," I said, making a quick, sweeping gesture with my hand.
"Oh." He nodded in recognition. "Quickly!"
"Yes, quickly."
It had been a strange experience, spending the last three weeks in countries where few people spoke English and my best French was a "Bon soir, Pierre" that sounded as if I was parroting a cheap learn-to-speak-French tape. I turned around for a final look at the pyramids. Lit for the night shows, they glowed mystically on the desert skyline. I sank down into the seat and closed my eyes. Now, my driver was dutifully hurrying. I couldn't look. Cairo is a city with sixteen million people crammed into an area that would house a quarter of a million people in the United States. Riding in a car there is comparable to driving the 405 freeway in Los Angeles with no marked lanes and no highway patrol officers with quotas.
Many events and situations no longer surprise us, but we still don't become used to them. That's how I felt about the driving in the Middle East. It no longer surprised me, but I wasn't used to it. I felt relieved when we pulled into the parking lot at the Cairo Airport. I was a step closer to home. Just as I had felt convinced I was to come on this trip, despite the State Department's travel advisory warning against it, I was now equally convinced it was time to leave. I had felt almost panicky as I checked out of myhotel, then hailed a cab to the village of Giza to say good-bye to Essam before heading for the airport.
I had planned to stay here for several more weeks. I could tell Essam felt disappointed that I was leaving so soon. But he had respected my decision to leave, voicing no objections and asking only a few questions. Upon my arrival in Cairo, he had taught me the meaning of the Arabic phrase "Insha'a Allah."
He explained it to me one evening when I told his sister and aunt good-bye and they said they felt saddened to see me leave.
"Don't worry," I said. "I will be back soon. I promise."
"Don't say that," Essam corrected me. "Never say 'I will do this.' Instead say, 'I will do this Insha'a Allah.'"
"What does that mean?" I asked.
"If God wills it," he said.
My time in the Middle East had been a dream vacation—well, more like a codependent's dream vacation. But the same vortex that had propelled me here had taken me each place I needed to go to research this book. By now, researching the book had come
to mean researching a part of me and my life that needed to heal. There were times it felt more like an initiation than research.
It's a strange thing when we're in the middle of
a vortex. Outside a vortex, we watch and judge. Sometimes we don't even see or feel it. But the closer we get, the more we're drawn into it. Its power begins pulling on us as we get closer and closer. Then we're sucked into the middle of the experience with a chaotic rush of emotions until at the very center we find pure, absolute peace—although if we're conscious, we know we're in a vortex. We know we're in the midst of something, learning something. Then, suddenly, it's time to leave. The energy weakens. We begin to get thrust out—pushed out—but it's still necessary to pass through the whirling centrifugal force. Sometimes it spits us out; sometimes we extricate ourselves. But it's always a centrifugal, almost magnetic, push and pull. It's vortex energy. It's the way the forces of the universe work lately—Dorothy showed us this a long time ago in The Wizard of Oz.
Vortexes don't just destroy, the way tornadoes sometimes do. Vortexes don't just suck us down under, like eddies in the sea. They heal, energize, teach, empower, cleanse, enlighten, and transpose. They lift us up and set us down in a new place. They bring new energy in. They discharge the old. We're never the same again after a vortex experience.
That's the way this trip had been. Each place the vortex had set me down—from the museums in Paris, to the casbah in Rabat, to the terrorist-infested hills of Algiers—had held a lesson, an important one. Each experience I'd been through had brought me closer to the missing piece I was searching for: stumbling, my thigh-high stockings bunched around my ankles, through the crowded Cairo souk at two in the morning; riding a donkey through the village of Giza; galloping on horseback across the desert to meditate inside a pyramid.
And just as elephants tummy-rumble, calling to each other about the mysteries of life, the people I met and learned from had called to me—Fateh and Nazil in Algiers, the women "locked in the box" in Cairo, and my new friend, Essam.
But now the vortex was spitting me out. It was time to go.
As we made our way to the airport, a quiet thought haunted me. It's not over yet. I ignored it. I wanted out; I wanted to go home.
I reached the entrance to the airport. At the Cairo terminal, the first security check is at the door. I put my luggage on the conveyor belt and walked into
the building. Three young men scurried to pull my suitcases off the belt. I thanked them. Each young man then stood with his hand out, waiting for a gratuity. I shoved a few Egyptian pounds in each palm, loaded my luggage on a cart, and started pushing the cart across the terminal. A fourth man rushed up to me.
"Me too," he said, grabbing money out of my pocket.
"Stop that. You're disgusting," I screamed under my breath, the way we scream when we're out in public and we don't want anyone to know we're screaming. "You didn't even touch my luggage. Now get away."

Meet the Author

Melody Beattie is the New York Times bestselling author of Codependent No More, Beyond Codependency, and The Lessons of Love.

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