According to Patricia Spadaro, “When you honor yourself, you are giving birth to your best self so that you can turn around and give creatively and abundantly to others. Conversely, and just as importantly, when you give to others, you also honor yourself. You honor what your heart was made to do.” Yet, for most people, the concept of honoring the self raises a paradox: “How do I honor myself and honor others? How do I balance what others need with what I need? How do I give and receive?”
The sages of the East and the West all teach that learning to dance with paradox is part of what it means to live a fully human, engaged life in which one is both a giver and a receiver. “Life,” say the sages, “is not a matter of this or that, but a matter of this and that.” Spadaro reveals how paradox, “woven like a golden thread through the worlds spiritual traditions,” is meant to offer an opportunity for breakthroughs-the apparent tension inherent in paradox produces energy, creative thought, and reorganization at a higher level of functioning.
The author states that assumptions about the way things work, the “myths” that are learned early in life and then automatically accepted as true, keep one stuck in a straitjacket that prohibits turning around to perceive that there are other possible options. Spadaro counters these myths with the real magic that can happen when one knows, accepts, and honors oneself at the deepest levels; only then can one give with an open heart, freely, and without resentment.
With stories from the wisdom traditions of East and West, personal anecdotes, and the experiences of contemporary people as they explore the art of giving and receiving, Spadaro illuminates ways to celebrate ones gifts and greatness, to appreciate the wisdom of the heart, set adequate boundaries, recognize and deal with unhealthy relationships, and honor necessary endings.
Spadaros engaging, compassionate, and at times, surprising book asserts that honoring oneself so that the gifts one was born to share are “no longer gasping for air” frees one to give the only gift that matters-the gift of oneself.
Patricia Spadaro has co-authored six books on personal growth and practical spirituality. She is also a publishing coach, freelance writer, and executive editor.
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