Who hasn’t gone through a crisis or a devastating loss? Be it job-related, losing a home, ending a relationship, death of a child, parent, spouse or loved one, a health issue. Dark night of the soul. When the world, when everything, everyone, seems to be against us.
While we’re going through these most difficult experiences, it seems far-fetched to pull ourselves out of the rut. To pick up the pieces and make sense of the experience. We can’t even begin to think about how we can gather parts of ourselves and be whole again. In fact, that possibility seems quite an impossibility.
At times, often, it does seem like the end of the world. The end of our lives. And the thought of ending it may even seep through our consciousness.
There seems to be no glimmer of hope in sight. No light at the end of the tunnel. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And I sure experienced those times when the rainbow was taking the shape of a roller coaster! A long, winding roller coaster!
At times also, we really, badly want to get through the difficulty but we don’t know how.
The owner of a site that I’m following is currently going through one such crisis. This person has come across, serendipitously, the book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. Written by Pema Chodron, it is aimed at helping individuals deal with the difficulty and overcome the pain.
I was moved to put together a list of similar books which may help those who are going through similar challenges. After all, these are really challenging times for the rest of humanity as we go through transformational shifts, transitions and changes.
The words in these books and the loving energies behind them have helped me during my most difficult moments. And it is my hope and the intention of the books’ authors as well, that we get to the place where we are able to see that sometimes, things do need to fall apart in order for them to come together again — in a different way, in a whole new way, in a way intended for nothing but our best interest.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
The beautiful practicality of her teaching has made Pema Chödrön one of the most beloved of contemporary American spiritual authors among Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book is a treasury of wisdom for going on living when we are overcome by pain and difficulties.
• Using painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
• Communicating so as to encourage others to open up rather than shut down
• Practices for reversing habitual patterns
• Methods for working with chaotic situations
• Ways for creating effective social action
The 10 Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart: A Spiritual and Emotional Handbook by Daphne Rose Kingma
In her first book in several years, Daphne Rose Kingma takes us on a path of emotional and spiritual healing with particular attention to the complex and frequently overwhelming circumstances of our lives right now. Whether you’re struggling with money issues, job loss, relationship problems, an unexpected health crisis or all of the above, this book will light your path and heal your heart. Along with giving sound practical advice, The 10 Things will help you see your crisis in a larger context, one in which no matter what you are going through you’ll be able to find a sense of renewal and peace. Everybody has hard times and this is the book that will carry you through them.
“Anyone going through a dark night of the soul needs to have this book. It will be your closest companion and your most tender angel. Daphne Rose Kingma more than speaks to your soul; she knows how to heal it.” – Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love
Known primarily for books on relationships (Coming Apart), Kingma’s latest is a lifeline for those in the isolating depths of personal tragedy. Its purpose is to hold, to heal, and to listen, and it comes from a very real place: a friend of the author’s in the midst of physical and financial hardships asked for a list of 10 practices to survive his crisis. With chapters dedicated to the necessity of tears, the freedom of letting go, and the fulfillment found in simple living, these techniques are all about practicality. Realistic indeed, yet underlying the straightforward advice is an enlivening spiritual message that isn’t content with just soldiering on through the darkness. “Rather than being random assaults from an uncaring universe, the difficulties you are going through have meaning and purpose,” the author writes. Kingma relates her worldly and spiritual survival tools in graceful prose and includes illustrative, though somewhat broad, real-life stories of people who rise above catastrophe. This work is about more than just getting by; it directs the reader toward transcendence and peace.
The next book surely came in handy when I was going through a most painful breakup. It truly helped ease the pain and assisted me through the process. It is indeed a “first-aid kit for getting through the ending.” 🙂
Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours by Daphne Rose Kingma
Relationship coming apart and taking you with it? Then this is the book for you. For 20 years the classic book on how to get through the end of a relationship, Coming Apart will tell you why your relationship ended and how to go through the emotional process of the ending. No nonsense, factual, inspiring, and just plain incredibly helpful, it offers a hand to hold while you are going through the devastating heartbreak of the end of an intimate relationship.
Next to the death of a loved one, the ending of a relationship is the most painful experience most people will ever go through. Coming Apart is a first-aid kit for getting through the ending. It is a tool that will enable you to live through the end of your relationship with your self-esteem intact.
Daphne Rose Kingma, the undisputed expert on matters of the heart, explores the critical facets of relationship breakdowns:
- Love myths: why we are really in relationships
- The life span of love
- The emotional and unconscious processes of parting
- How to get through the ending
- How to create a personal workbook for finding resolution
Originally published in 1987, and continuously in print since then, with more than half a million copies sold, Coming Apart has been an important resource for hundreds of thousands of readers experiencing the pain and stress of a break-up. For anyone going through the ending of a relationship Kingma is a caring, sensitive guide.
I haven’t read the next book. But I came across it as I was browsing the Amazon site to get the links for the other books. From the table of contents, it does seem like another invaluable tool to help us go through our crisis.
Living Through Personal Crisis by Ann Kaiser Stearns
This book is about the small and large losses that happen to people, experiences that plunge them into a state of adjustment. It guides those moving through the mourning process and those who are struggling with depression and other symptoms of distress as they start to realize that they are grieving their loss. It is also for the families and friends of those who have suffered a loss.
The kinds of losses discussed include deaths and divorces; injuries to oneself and others; loss of jobs, health, and security from the economy, accidents, terrorist acts, or on the battlefield. The book guides its readers through the healing process, through the hurts, through the depression, through the anger and blame, back to the hope of a fulfilling life.
(Note: Book descriptions were taken from either the author’s or Amazon site.)
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