Cover image for Choices : taking control of your life and making it matter
Title:
Choices : taking control of your life and making it matter
Author:
Beattie, Melody.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xvi, 256 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060088293

9780060507220
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Central Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Lackawanna Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Lancaster Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Orchard Park Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Anna M. Reinstein Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Audubon Library BL624 .B43 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

In Choices, the author who changed forever how we experience our relationships once again revolutionizes how we see our lives. Don't do more, be better, or try harder, she says, but understand that all our actions have consequences and we must listen to our hearts and souls to gain a clear sense of how life, relationships, and love really work. We are not helpless; we have choices. We can choose our path and create meaningful lives.

Melody Beattie shows us how even the smallest choices matter. By paying attention to everyday decisions and nurturing an intimate awareness of our lives, we build a strong foundation that can support us whenever the most difficult conditions loom large and require us to act. Beattie's compassionate wisdom shines light on the ways we sabotage ourselves from getting what we want and deserve, whether it's tangible -- good relationships, success in our career -- or the intangible benefits of grace, contentment, and peace. By clearly laying out situations in which we tend to give away our power or make decisions that compromise or diminish us, Beattie shows us the true range of choices we actually have.

This book is about feeling again -- coming alive, not staying numb. It's about timeless values that we've walked away from, like service, caring about other people -- and ourselves. It's a new look at some great old ideas that will serve us well in our search for happiness, love, and making sense of the mystery of our lives. It's about reconciling the joy and the sadness, the failures and successes in life, and being willing to live comfortably with what we don't understand. It's about being willing to let go of guilt, and to live with pain.

Filled with illuminating stories and offering the kind of practical yet inspirational guidance and comfort that have gained Beattie an audience measured in the millions, this book will move anyone who reads it to a new level of personal freedom, power, and wholeness.


Author Notes

Melody Beattie is the author of numerous best-selling books, including "Playing It by Heart," "Stop Being Mean to Yourself," "Codependent No More," "Beyond Codependency," "The Language of Letting Go," "Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps," & "The Lessons of Love." Beattie's writing draws on the wisdom of Twelve Step healing, Christianity, & Eastern religions. Her loyal readers continue to find her books accessible, practical, & filled with universal truths. She lives in Malibu, California.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Beattie (Codependent No More, The Language of Letting Go) has a gift for mixing traditional 12-step thinking with subtle wisdom from her own life to inspire readers to think beyond mainstream consciousness. Here she relays brief, uplifting tales of people (including herself and Elisabeth K bler-Ross, the late expert on death and dying) who overcame great inner resistance to make major life-affirming decisions. The author's stock meditation passages appear at the end of each story, helping readers absorb the lesson to be learned. Fleetingly covered in prior publications, the theme of making positive life choices is better explored here, although a few trite expressions weaken the book. Beattie does a fine job of discussing the spiritual milieu that we often find ourselves in when faced with a dilemma. Grounded in practical spirituality, she shares what really matters: staying attentive to what is happening after making a hard choice, which helps us to grow as individuals and brings us the peace we have been seeking all of our lives. Recommended for psychology/self-help collections in public libraries. Lisa Liquori, MLS, Syracuse, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Choices Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter Chapter Five Karma with Feet Sally was leaving church when Kevin pulled her aside. "Have you heard?" he asked. "Mark's back in town." "Mark?" she said. She tried to act casual, but just hearing his name made her feel more alive. That man -- that angel, that monster, that karma with feet -- was the love of her life. They had been together several times over the years. Each time it was a disaster. But each time when she'd run into him again after a separation, a tiny voice in her head would chime, "Maybe this time we could make it work." "What's he up to?" Sally asked, forcing herself to speak slowly. "Is he living here again or just in town visiting for a while?" Sally bit her lip, praying she'd get the information she needed without having to ask any more. In a matter of seconds, it was like God himself answered her prayer. She had the hotel name and location where Mark was staying. While her friend was still chattering at her, Sally was already figuring out how she could run into Mark. I could call him. Or I could go sit in the lobby and read magazines, waiting for him to leave. It wouldn't be stalking. More like strategically placing myself. Sally drove home, entered her apartment, and then paced the floor. For some reason she didn't understand, it always felt like she had compelling unfinished business with Mark. That's because you haven't let go, the quiet voice of reason said. You keep hoping and praying he'll be someone he's not. It's Darth Vader without the mask whispering, "I'm your father, Luke -- your father reincarnate" -- and you're trying to make him well. He's not. Shut up, she whispered back to subdue this sane voice within. You don't understand. We've been doing this dance for so many years. It's true love. The real thing. The length of time you've been doing the same stupid thing doesn't measure depth of love, the voice of reason replied. It just means it's taken you a long time to learn. Sally stared at the phone. Stared at the car keys. Then instead of calling Mark or driving to his hotel, she sat down at her desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out a letter. It was one she had written to herself. Dear Sally: I'm writing this letter because I care about you, I really do. And every time you get involved with Mark, it hurts you and it hurts him. Remember what happened last time? The fighting, the crying, the insanity that went on for weeks and months? I want you to really remember how it felt to be with him instead of walking down a selective vision memory lane. What you experience when you think of Mark aren't your true memories. It's euphoric recall. It's not real. I know if you're reading this you're probably feeling excited to see him again. Each time you think that if you do something better or different, you can make it work. You can't. Instead, each time the arguing and insanity gets worse. Chances are pretty good that if the same thing happens 100 times, it'll happen again on the 101st -- no matter how much time has elapsed. Please take a moment before you see him. Feel what you really feel, instead of just feeling excited to see him again. He tells lies, but he tells them so well he believes them and so do you. He tortures you for your past. He plays with your mind. He makes you feel crazy and afraid. You've worked hard to get where you are. Do you really want to trade your peace for another roller -- coaster ride with him? It's okay to let go of your fantasies and really let go of the past. He loved you the best that he could. Now it's time to pick up the slack. This time, please love yourself. Whew, that was a close one, Sally thought later, looking back on that day. She felt good. It had taken a while, but she'd finally learned that she could change her future by catching herself right before that moment in time and choosing what she wanted to create. I put the crock on the stove burner, turned the flame on low. Gee, I hope that pot doesn't crack, I thought. I simmered the meatballs and marinara sauce all afternoon while I worked. So far, so good, I thought toward the end of the day. Just a little longer. They'll be done. I can eat. I frowned. Hope that pot doesn't break, I thought again. Half an hour later I was on the phone. I heard a big pop. The pot cracked. Split right in two. "I knew that was going to happen," I said to my friend on the phone. "No, you didn't know it," he said. "If you knew it, you wouldn't have had to learn." It's not what others tell us we should know that matters. It's the lessons we get under our belts that count. When we don't have to go there anymore, we won't. Until then, it's not over yet. Some people call that learning the hard way. Cause -- effect, cause -- effect, cause -- effect. Wham. The lights come on. I get it. Life isn't torturing me. I created this myself. Congratulations. You passed the class. Let's see what's next. It's easy to slide by the little choices so fast we're not even aware that we choose. Slow down. Breathe. Take an extra moment. Choose to stay present for each step. Choices Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter . Copyright © by Melody Beattie. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Choices: Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter by Melody Beattie All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Open Your Presentp. xi
Section I The Great Lawp. 1
1. She Wanted a Babyp. 9
2. A Sad Week in Coventryp. 12
3. A Moment of Truthp. 14
4. The Drive Wasn't What He Expectedp. 16
5. Karma with Feetp. 20
6. She Had to Explainp. 24
7. First Classp. 27
8. He Hit the Wallp. 31
Section II Living in the Mysteryp. 35
1. She Found the Keyp. 43
2. An Angel Whispered to Himp. 47
3. She Couldn't Decidep. 50
4. He Saw the Lightp. 52
5. She Stopped Runningp. 56
6. She Saw a Monster in Her Bedroomp. 60
7. She Liked Itp. 64
Section III As the Wheel Turnsp. 69
1. Night Shiftp. 77
2. He Felt Spunp. 82
3. Her Room Was a Messp. 85
4. She Found Herself in Nowherep. 88
5. He Had to Backtrackp. 94
6. She Missed a Step, Toop. 100
7. She Laughed Away the Grayp. 104
8. He Was Sick of Being Sickp. 106
9. She Rode the Wheelp. 109
Section IV Bringing Heaven to Earthp. 113
1. She Made a Hard Callp. 121
2. He Found Peace in a War Zonep. 124
3. And Goodwill Toward Menp. 127
4. He Got What He Paid Forp. 131
5. She Got a Tipp. 133
Section V Opposites Attractp. 139
1. She Found the Right Wordsp. 147
2. Horse Sensep. 150
3. She Turned the Tablesp. 152
4. He Knew How He Feltp. 155
5. Let the Winds Blowp. 158
6. She Got Swept off Her Feetp. 160
7. Her Fantasy Became Realp. 163
8. He Went to Extremesp. 166
Section VI Go for the Goldp. 169
1. She Called the Lawp. 177
2. She Blamed Herselfp. 179
3. He Got Evenp. 184
4. Mommy Dearestp. 189
5. Her Halo Fell Offp. 191
6. He Wanted to Make Amendsp. 194
Section VII Staying on Trackp. 201
1. They Dug Deeperp. 209
2. A Curious Tablep. 212
3. She Made a Good Callp. 215
Section VIII Going Toward the Lightp. 221
1. He Ran Out of Hopep. 229
2. She Couldn't Sit Stillp. 233
3. He Saw the Futurep. 235
4. She Learned Nonattachmentp. 237
5. He Found the Rainbow and the Pot of Goldp. 239
Bibliographyp. 247
Acknowledgmentsp. 251
Indexp. 253

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