Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, by Elizabeth Lesser, is a book about how “suffering and crisis transform us, humble us, and bring out what matters most in life.” The quote is from a man in the book who was in a terrible accident and experienced much pain. It’s a very loving book, even as she tells heartbreaking stories of people coping with the loss of a child, their own illnesses, and more. Her own life is woven into the tales in a way that I really enjoyed, like getting to know someone.
I read it hoping for something that would help me come to terms with the rate of change in life, and the ways in which the environment is changing so fast: getting hotter in some places, getting so dry in so many parts of the American west that water for the future is a question mark.
I got what I needed from the book. I let my own grief about our world wash over me, and let it recede again. There were many moments of encouragement; the one that spoke to me the most in all the book was a quote from Mother Teresa:
The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.
That happened to speak to some questions in my life right now. How do I work on this website, how do I do what I can to make a difference in this crisis our world is in the midst of? I mean, these crises, as there are so many of them all at once. Drawing the circle of my family larger is what I am trying to do in this site. How well I succeed is yet to be seen, but persistence is surely part of what we will need.
This is very pertinent to simple living. It’s not easy to make some of the changes that a simpler lifestyle may ask of us.
Take a look at the reviews at Amazon if you are interested in a book that can inspire you to change and to live a more authentic life.
The sections are:
- The Call of the Soul
- The Phoenix Process
- The Shaman Lover
- Birth and Death
- The River of Change