At the beginning of my all time favorite movie a shockingly young Fred Savage almost shuts the whole thing down before it starts by asking, is this a Kissing Book?
That was pretty much my reaction when friends recommended I read Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge. I could tell just by looking that this was going to be a Jesus Book.
My relationship with Christianity and people who call themselves Christians has had its ups and downs over the years and has mostly settled into “it’s complicated,” so it seemed impossible to believe that I would connect with a book that talked about the “Heart of Jesus” in a 100% absolutely completely sincere way. On top of that it was chock full of gender essentialism of almost every flavor.
And yet, I cried (in a good way) through the whole thing. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I was blocked, and this book contained perspective I needed to live my life more abundantly There is undeniably some truth here that resonates with my soul.
Will it resonate with you? I can’t even begin to say, but if the following statements apply to you, it’s worth a shot.
- You feel stuck, or sad, or like you are in someway separated from the person you want to be, or know you are, but aren’t sure what to do about it.
- You feel disconnected from the feminine aspect of your nature. I believe Stasi would say this is a book for women, and, for the most part, it will probably resonate more with women. That having been said I believe we all have feminine and masculine elements to our nature, and it’s easy for both genders to discount the value that the feminine brings to our life.
- You know and respect at least one Born Again Christian. This book comes from a 100%, hard core, personal-relationship-with-Jesus Christian perspective. You don’t have to identify as a Christian to find value in this book, but if you’ve never known, and preferably loved, someone with this kind of relationship with Jesus, the language will get in your way. While I would no longer call myself a Born Again Christian, my life has been blessed with many amazing people who do. Even with that connection to where she was coming from, I still found myself needing to take breaks when it got to be too much.
- You believe that there is some kind of loving consciousness in the universe. You don’t have to think of that consciousness as the Christian God, but if you see humans as fundamentally separate beings who exist here and on no other plane of existence, you may not be offended by the book, but it won’t help you either.
- Are comfortable with gender essentialism or can look past it to see the deeper message. This was the hardest thing for me. The idea that men need one core thing to be fulfilled and women need something else trips my bullshit alarm faster than almost anything else. And frankly this book is full of that. It helped me to think about her advice in terms of humans having dual masculine and feminine natures and that her advice was about how to nurture our feminine halves. That may or may not work for you.
To be clear, I was right. This is a Jesus book, but like Fred I found that by the end I didn’t mind so much.
Smart. Kind. Funny. At least that's the goal. I care about encouraging girls to consider STEM careers, helping nonprofits be the best they can be, cats, and German-style boardgames.