(Review by E Barratt) This is the first book that I have read by Debbie Ford and the first of this type. I especially found the section about masks interesting and useful. I wish I'd read it before now.
Debbie Ford introduced me to the shadows we all have within and how this effects this has on our self worth and how accepting our whole self liberates us to a higher evolving and the ability to transend our deepest loathing.
This book could really change your life. I have read several self-help books but this one stands out. Debbie has an amazing grasp on innermost thoughts and reactions. I really thought she had got into my current mind-set and was showing me a way out of my misery. She has an engaging style which is easy to read; with her own examples included you feel as if she is alongside you and not above you. A book to keep with you and gift to friends.
There is much to value and enjoy in this perceptive book. Debbie Ford write about the 'public face' that every person puts on to mask their weaknesses and insecurities and make themselves socially acceptable. I do not agree with her Jungian world-view, which is fundamentally at odds with my own, but I do find Jung's ideas fascinating and there is much here which is enlightening and thought-provoking. I do not believe that the answer to our human dilemmas is to 'embrace the dark side' of our character, as if we were bad only because we have been hurt and damaged by abuse. I agree with her that humans are fundamentally good, because we are made in the image of a good creator. I believe that we have enormous potential both for creativity and for change, as she does, and like her I believe that we are damaged. In my view, it is untrue to say that we have infinite potential and that 'God' or whatever term we use is merely a name for the universal unconscious of which we are a mystical part. This is another version of the age-old doctrine that we are gods. It is more realistic, in my view, to see ourselves as limited by our humanity and our mortality and best off when we surrender to God and receive forgiveness for our sins, the badness in our nature. Debbie Ford says that we need to forgive ourselves, others and even God for allowing us to be abused. Actually, I agree with much of that. It is just that we need something greater - we need God's forgiveness and also a realistic attitude to life that enables us to deal with it wisely as we learn from our sufferings. Ford's reason for saying that we need to integrate the dark side is that otherwise we will repress it. Repression is certainly damaging and also ineffective, as she points out. There is, however, a third alternative - to confess our dark side and then allow God to cleanse it and to change us into people of the Light, in the truly Christian sense. We are not stuck with our darkness and can come fully into the light of his Son and be whole. there are plenty of religious hypocrites, but there is also spiritual reality and holiness. Let's pursue that.
Debbie Ford has made me realise a lot about myself (as both the prey and the predator) and the way I being stuck in the past by holding on to all of my regrets as well as grudges around how others have treated me, blocking myself from seeing the wider perspective, unconsciously sabotaging myself day by day for not being the "perfect person" repeating the same unnecessary patterns/experiences. She has taught me that it's okay to embrace the whole spectrum of my emotions, about the shame body and how it is developed, to embrace myself as a whole human being by identifying the importance of accepting both the "good" and "bad" sides of me. the 7 key areas to focus on in order to remain balanced. The importance of forgiving yourself and others, to develop awareness, close the door of the past and many more. The saying "the teacher will come when the student is ready" is so true as I felt so connected to this book. So thank you Debbie Ford for being such an inspiring, unique and gifted teacher. Because of this book (along with the 22 daily cleanse also by Debbie for and the 4 agreements by don Miguel) I am ready to close the for of the past, to move forward and see where life takes me. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who is ready to take these unique teachings in and embark on a journey to love, authenticity, acceptance and compassion to both themselves, others and the world.
Why Good People Do Bad Things: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy Love the book. It is really powerful and I am still using it to work on my shadow. Debbie has a powerful way with words and an uncanny ability to explain how to integrate the dark side of your personality into the whole. This is not a book for everyone but is there for those who wish to stop lying to themselves and to deal with their issues. A powerful and heart warming book which hits the right notes. Absolute a must for anyone who is serious about self-improvement.
Absolutely great book. It talks about what it says on the title. It really analyses your dark shadows which may be hiding behind the facade of positive, good side. Particularly must for people who gets sometimes overwhelmed by 'positive' concepts. Might(more likely) help you to be more compassionate,loving and truthful to others -and more importantly, to yourself.