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Saturday, September 30, 2006

books like In the Meantime

The last few blogs have been on books I have read and enjoyed. Another in that category is "In the Meantime" by Iyanla Vanzant. It is about finding yourself and the love you want to be in your life with good suggestions on how to get there.

The main thrust of the book is that we sometimes live on floors in our houses that will never help us live as we wish-- floors that won't let us keep a good relationship healthy if we find one. We are running around all the time cleaning up our messes-- or that of someone else. We move up floors by dealing with our problems and growing as a person with our goal being third floor living.

The meaning to the title is that sometimes we mistake permanent relationships or situations in our lives for ones that are not meant to be forever. Some relationships are meant to be in the meantime and ones that can help us grow. Maybe even one that will someday be permanent is for now in the meantime.

It's been quite awhile since I read the book but would like to think I have continued to apply what I read. To give you an idea of what the book is like, here are a few of the many passages I highlighted:

"Everyone will find out what love is not on their way to finding out what love is."

"When you hear someone or yourself say, 'I have no choice! I have to do what I have to do!' know that you are in the company of someone who is having a meantime experience in the basement of life's house."

"When you know a thing, you do it, you live it."

"You overcome self-deception on the second floor."

"We must be willing to give up old notions, incorporate new information, change the direction in which we are traveling, and most of all take the strings off love. You can never love anyone to your own detriment. That is not love, that is possession, control, fear, or a combination of them all."

As you move up the floors, you will grow as a person with more and more capability to love as well as to know who you are. One suggestion she had that I particularly liked was taking the time to ask yourself questions-- and then even more importantly, wait for the answers. Too often we don't give ourselves time to even consider the questions, let alone wait for the inner voice to reply. She suggested if you ask a question and honestly receive no answer, don't ask a second question but come back to it another day.

"In the basement, you did not know you had a problem. On the first floor, you knew you had a problem and you learned the nature of the problem. On the second floor, you knew the nature of the problem, but you did not know what to do about it. On the second floor, you learned what to do about the problem. Now, in order, to be elevated to the third floor, you must learn how to do what you know."

More exactly what that means is why you buy or borrow the book from the library and take your time as you read it. Vanzant writes entertainingly and uses her own life for examples as to how this all works, and I personally will never look at houses without thinking of my own desire to live on that third floor in all my relationships.

I am currently reading The Second Half of Life, Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by Angeles Arrien. So far so good on it. Fran from Sacred Ordinary had mentioned it awhile back, and it seemed very apropos for my own thinking at this time.

When I am finished with it-- which might be awhile, as it requires considering how it applies to my life-- the next book is waiting, God Laughs and Plays by David James Duncan-- churchless sermons in response to the preachments of the fundamentalist right. This one was recommended to me by my daughter. As you can tell, I get a lot of my books by recommendation.

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