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“When Things Fall Apart” – Pema Chödrön

4.0 out of 4.0 stars.

“A deeper post by Dogearedtails than normal”

This book is about moving toward tough situations instead of running away from them. The lesson is that the more we become “friends” with the hardships than our hearts will not be as scared of opening up to them and looking them in the eye. The reason this book has had such wide popularity is because despite Chödrön being a Buddhist that does not mean that anyone, regardless of their religion, can enjoy this book. It is completely universal with its message.

For me, this book and this review is one of the hardest I have had to get through. I was given this story as a gift from my dear friend after the passing of my mother a month ago yesterday when she was only 57 years old from ovarian cancer. I normally do not get too personal in my posts because I always wanted them to be a joyful and fun creative outlet. However, when I received this book as a present it seemed only natural to review it and share it with my followers. My pal knew that I absolutely adored reading and during the grieving process it has been hard for me to read as much as I would like because my brain is mush. Anyone else know the feeling when you are depressed? I feel like my brain is a winter white-out and I have so many thoughts but cannot piece them together. I will try though because I do think that writing is beneficial to help cope.

At first, each page of this book was so deep and dense that it would take me a full day to fully comprehend a few pages and what was going on. It was all new ideas for me to grasp. However, after really learning Pema’s lessons of, not being so hard on myself and relaxing/freeing my mind the lessons started to flow and click more easily. Although the practices are not one hundred percent organic/natural to me as of right now, I will continue to try. I believe when one is grieving you will attempt to do anything in order to feel better.

I absolutely adore reading, dogs, and learning. They are my three passions. This book helped bring those all together when I needed them the most. Sadie (my cockapoo) and I would sit down each morning and quietly pick this book up and learn about a new way of life that I have never experienced before. This is due to the lessons the book taught and a lifestyle where my mom and I were not physically in the same world. If you have ever lost someone you know how much it helps to have a routine when your mind is in absolute chaos and feeling alone. I desperately hung on to waking up, making my bed, brushing my teeth, and settling in with a cup of tea with Sadie at my feet to read. It was a slow start but at least I was inching toward something instead of stopping.

I would recommend this to anyone if they would like another suggestion of how to help those difficult days. It is only a 160 page book so it shouldn’t take  too long. Why not give it a shot? I also highly recommend “Healing After Loss'” by Martha Whitmore Hickman. This is more of a daily meditation that helps to work through grief. It gives a mantra for each day that you can repeat over and over.


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