You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay Book Review
Let me begin by saying I feel this book actually chose me! While working at a church book sale and sorting through literally hundreds of books, there it was. The day of the sale I was helping a customer, looked down, and it was lying at my feet! Anyone who has ever read or seen one of Louise Hay’s books would immediately recognize it as one of her works. They are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. Each page is a different blend of pastel colors with suns, moons, stars, hearts, and various objects of nature strategically placed on the page. They are truly a work of art, and You Can Heal Your Life is no exception.
The book begins with suggestions from Louise herself. She begins by explaining that she has incorporated portions of her best selling work entitled Heal Your Body, which has become known as an authoritative work on mental patterns that create dis-ease.
This book is set up as though you were actually taking a session with Louise Hay herself. There are exercises to follow as well as a wealth of information to be gleaned. Each chapter begins with an affirmation and closes with a treatment – a flow of positive ideas designed to change your consciousness. It is further broken down into four main sections which makes it easy to access when looking for specific information.
Part I, the introduction, takes an inside look at Hay’s philosophy and beliefs. She focuses on the need we seem to have to criticize ourselves and the harm this can do to our minds and bodies. Criticism, guilt, fear, and resentment are the four culprits that causes the most problems.
She points out that the only thing we are dealing with is a thought, and a thought can be changed! This was such an eye opener for me, and was only one of the many “aha” moments I experienced while reading this text.
The entirety of Part II, A Session With Louise Hay, is devoted to getting the reader immersed in the work necessary to change our thinking as well as our life. I just had to smile while reading this section, as Louise comes up with every conceivable excuse we could possibly think of ourselves for not continuing on our spiritual journey.
She begins with having the reader identify our problems, and though I was able to come up with quite a few, zeros in on the fact that failure to love ourselves is really the key factor for all our problems! She goes on to give a series of exercises to do, some of which are called ” mirror work”. I have found these to be extremely powerful and have incorporated them into my daily routine. She continues with explaining where this problem came from and our need to take ownership of and responsibility for our own lives.
As I have stated before, Perhaps the most powerful idea for me centered around examining our own thoughts and discovering that ” No matter what the problem is, it comes from our thoughts, and thought patterns can be changed”. To know that WE control our thoughts – our thoughts don’t control us is very empowering! Hay’s discusses our resistance to change and the many defense mechanisms we use to actively resist this change. Our beliefs, self-concept, fear, denial, and giving our powers to others are explored. Suggestions and affirmations that may be helpful are included. There are tools and practices to help manifest these changes into our lives.
Part III is entitled Putting These Ideas to Work. Relationships, work, success and prosperity are just a few of the topics explored. Hay’s offers even more suggestions pertaining to each of these areas to help achieve the results we want in our lives. In addition to this, a portion of the section is devoted to the body. There is an actual list of dis- eases taken from her book,Heal Your Body, along with probable causes and new thought patterns to assist in eliminating the dis-ease. She points out the importance of dissolving the cause of our problems as supposed to just eliminating the symptoms.
She states, “Trying to eliminate the symptoms without working on dissolving the cause is useless. The moment we release our willpower or discipline, the symptoms crop up again.” She also points out that there must be a need for this condition, which helped me to step back and look at my willingness to release this need. She made me aware of the many ways in which I have been sabotaging my success and has made me conscious of my tendency for self criticism. She gave me strategies I can use when I catch myself slipping into old patterns.
Part IV, the conclusion, is Louise Hay’s story. Reading this was truly inspirational! This is a woman who not only talks the talk, but has walked the walk. It makes this book even more meaningful as her experiences have led to all of these wonderful gifts she shares with her readers. At the very conclusion there are recommendations for healing.
I have quite an abundance of books to help me on this spiritual path I am pursuing, but this one, for me, is the holy Grail. I hope it will be for you too.