Books That Help Us Reclaim Ourselves

Originally published by    on "The Passionate Wise Woman"

I have always loved peeking at people’s office or creative space. I love checking out the books they have read. The books we’ve read say a lot about us. Over the years, my library has grown in more ways than just in size. I recently did a purge. It involved tears! I released years of homeschooling books. It hurt to see the end of a time. I also released some books that showed the “right way” to be a mother, wife, faith person, etc.

Photo courtesy of Zimpenfish

I think on what is left behind—some family relics, and the holy grail of my unfolding. I think back to my burnout/depression/exhaustion or breakdown. There were specific books I turned to, they helped me reclaim who I am. They laid down crumbs, no spoon feeding—no. Tools for the journey of my life, the journey back to my heart.

Now let me say that I haven’t always known who I was. But I believe that before the people, before the pain—there I was with the Divine—in our purest form. I remember…. these pieces come back to me! I am eternally grateful to the Spirit for all that brought me back to myself. And so here in this blog post, I will share some books that were gentle to me and held my hand. They gave me ample permission, when I wasn’t yet able to give myself the gift of kindness.

So here goes! I will add a blurb about each book’s impact on me.

The Artist Way by Julia Cameron—I spent weeks with this book. It was the first book I actually allowed myself to be guided through every exercise, week by week, with no questioning. I had burnt-out. Bed was my constant companion. Cameron gave me permission to excavate my artist—to acknowledge I was an artist, poet, writer…… I needed that. Perfectionism had nearly killed me. I began my journey back to myself through journaling—raw authentic journaling. I told the truth as it was. I didn’t care who read it or what would happen. It was the truth for me, and if I couldn’t admit to my truth—how could I be free?
Cameron moved me deeply. Her struggle with depression helped me understand that I had my own unique way of doing things…. and it was okay as long as I engaged in it, and did the work!

Women Who Run With The Wolves by Dr. Pinkola Estes—This book is a woman’s manual = bible for her full embodiment. I will try to use words to describe it. Estes gave me back my dreams, my knowing. The mysterious pieces were reunited. Division no longer was my modus operandi. I no longer hated the darkness deep within. I learned to honor the Scar Clan woman that I was. She held the voice of the grandmothers, my ancestors. She is Mexican. I am Puertorican. She understands the need to go back home to them. Women Who Run With The Wolves is a reclamation of epic proportions and the beginning of healing the woman we are now.

Photo courtesy of Charles Clegg

Fool’s Gold by Susan Wooldridge–This book unleashed my creativity for the first time. I learned to dance with colors. Ahhh—sweet beginnings of visual art journaling.

A Year By The Sea: Thoughts Of An Unfolding Woman
by Joan Anderson. Healing relationships. This book freed me from my own imprisonment as a woman. She was raw and real…. my tears were endless. And while I was much younger than she was when she began her journey, I had already surrendered myself to a form of womanhood that was going to kill my spirit if I didn’t free myself.

An Unconventional Marriage by Joan Anderson—Anderson tells the story of what it looks like to start her marriage over—with space for herself….

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, where I will share more books = tools!

Use the comments section below to list 3 of your own favorite reclamation tools!

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