Reading books is one the most pleasurable things I can treat my self with. It is a pure bliss to be able to sit with a book, probably with coffee, and read. Books can take me to places I can’t even imagine and open doors that I didn’t know exist. I read books about subjects that I want to learn more about, it is my window to learning and exploring. Reflecting back on 2015, I can’t help but reflect on the books I read that definitely shaped my views and colored my experiences. Here are the books that left a significant impact on my year along with a favorite excerpt.
“When I speak of a religion of one’s own, I’m not talking about a selfish, ego-centered, loosely patched together spiritual concoction. I’m recommending a courageous, deep-seated, fate-driven, informed, and intelligent life that has sublime and transcendent dimension. It can be shared in a community. It can be accomplished inside or outside a traditional religious organization. It is suitable for pious members of a religious group and for agnostics and atheists. To be religious even in a personal way, you have to wake up and find your own portals to wonder and transcendence.”
“To opt for kids is to opt for chaos, complexity, turbulence, and truth. Kids will make you love them in a way you never thought possible. They will also confront you with all the painful and unsavory emotions that humans put so much energy into trying to avoid. Children will teach you about yourself and about what it’s like not to be up to the demands of the most important responsibility you’ll ever have. They’ll teach you that you are capable of deep compassion, and also that you are definitely not the nice, calm, competent, clear-thinking, highly evolved person you fancied yourself to be before you became a mother. Your children will call on you to grow up.”
“Marriage is an ordeal in which two souls, at least, mature and blossom. I say “at least,” because children and relatives also benefit from the couple’s generosity. Sometimes marriage is an alchemical acid pouring over your life and personality, reshaping it and deepening it. It makes you a better person, though not necessarily a happier one. One hopes it offers moments of bliss, but you can be sure it will entail unexpected ordeals. Together, moments of bliss and periods of struggle make it a humanizing force, a way toward personal fulfillment that paradoxically involves an immediate, concrete, and felt transcendence of self. You are forced to move beyond self-regard and seriously consider another person.”
“Through relationship we grow and learn. Through relationship we heal and are returned to wholeness and truth. We need others to mirror our misperceptions and our projections and to help us bring repressed material to consciousness for healing.”
“We know our religion has meaning when it increases our loving-kindness and integrity”
“Change means acting in a new way. Transformation is complete change, a shift in one’s entire being. Change is based on our work on ourselves. Transformation happens only by grace.”
“The intimate relationships in our lives are often about what we need to learn more than what we think we need.”
As for 2016, here are the books on my shelf, started few, others are brand new. Will I read them in 2016 or some other books will come to my attention? Who knows! I trust that the rights books will come my way when I need them and when I’m most receptive to be inspired by them.
Happy 2016 🙂