I strongly recommend this book even though it was first written in 1984. Her health book is timeless. It doesn't overwhelm with health jargon and yet it will really cause you to stop and think about how you treat and think about your body. I decided to go through this book one chapter per day. The chapters are short and it is easy to read one a day, even if you have a tight schedule. She presents interesting a model linking specific health problems and our daily thoughts and behaviors.
"Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens."- quote by Louise L. Hay
Louise Hay saves her personal story until the very end of her book. That disappointed me so I am going to tell you about her now. You see, her book is very positive and very empowering. I know that when I am struggling with negative feelings I try to dismiss empowering words because I expect that the person saying them is a super-human. You know the type, skinny, beautiful, rich, problem free… Of course they can be positive, they don’t have problems like I have. They probably have a house cleaner. I clean my house when I have insomnia at two in the morning. But Louise Hay started her life on the wrong foot.
Her parents divorced when she was just eighteen months old. It appears that her father left and her mother decided to leave her with someone else so that she could take an in-house domestic job. Baby Louise cried for three weeks until her surrogate caretakers told her mother to come get her. Children are never too young to be impacted by family problems. By the time she was five, she had an abusive step-father, and little sister, and the 1930’s Depression was beginning.*
She broke free from her awful family life when she was fifteen and at sixteen, she found herself pregnant. Not knowing how to support her child, she gave the baby up for adoption. Struggling to create a life for herself, she later married and was very happy until many years later her husband initiated a divorce. Again, she dusted herself off and became a counselor. She was very happy and successful as she helped people get through their own hard times until she was diagnosed with an incurable cancer.
Any woman who had been through what she had must be a survivor. She wasn’t going to believe the experts when they told her she was going to die. She began to thoroughly explore her past, possibly examine her beliefs originating from her societal stew, and to treat her body with absolute respect.
Today, she is a celebrated pioneer of the "self-help" industry and runs her own publishing company. Her company has published books by authors you may have heard of – Phil McGraw, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and Suze Orman. Do you agree that a woman who has risen from such adversity might be able to help us with her book, "You Can Heal Your Life?"
In her book, Louise teaches that repeated patterns show us our needs. Each need is reflected in a habit and each habit is reflected in a belief. She writes about the battles many of us face when we are trying to change something about ourselves but don’t seem to be making any headway.
"How may times have we said, "I won’t ever do that again!"? Then, before the day is up, we have the piece of cake, smoke the cigarettes, say hateful things to the ones we love, and so on. Then we compound the whole problem by angrily saying to ourselves, "Oh, you have no willpower, no discipline. You’re just weak." This only adds to the guilt we carry."**
* You Can Heal Your Life, p. 215
**You Can Heal Your Life, p. 57
Also see the You Can Heal Your Life Affirmation Cards.