The Book of Daniel, Vagina Juice and People Pleasing… or Three Reads I’ve Recently Added to My Breakup Bookshelf
My list of BreakUp Book recommendations have recently undergone a MAJOR makeover.
Anyone who knows me, knows they can ask me what they should read, eat, pray or listen to when they’re going thru something. I sometimes wonder if I’ve been thru as much as I have solely to recommend books to pals. I’m cool with that. Wiser though. Smarter now… Fun Fact: My first job was at the library.
My #1 breakup book used to be tailored to girls who had a hard time getting over an end in coy ice cream dates, arguments over when you’ll meet the parents, and wishing the other would have just opened up more. “It’s Called A Breakup Because it’s Broken” is like having raw cookie dough when yoga just isn’t working. It heals you in that way only sugar and chocolate can. I still have a copy of it (after giving many to friends) on both my bookshelf and in my Audiobooks app. It’s sweet and comforting and VERY funny.
Now breakup books have to be suitable for war. We’re talking loveless marriages, verbal assault recovery, financial abuse and mental anguish. Sure, I’ve written songs about breakups. I’ve put out full albums about them! Thanks Neyo! But man, I can’t imagine the task of having to write the book that pulls a woman up and out of her death bed of a relationship to remind her that not only is she worth being loved, she’s capable of FINDING IT. Things have changed in the world since 2006. Women are more investigative about love, the mind of a man and more importantly their own minds and how to present their best selves to the world, spiritually, physically and mentally.
Christians have over-quoted the same scriptures for years forgetting the heart of the matter, the turn of the century and the evolution of human communication and connection. So, while amazing Christian authors give me a soul washing, Holy Ghost healing, I need a book that encourages me to be BOLD AND COURAGEOUS on the quest for ADMITTING what I need and then not settling until I HAVE what I need.
I think the mistake I’ve made in the past is being apologetic for what I desire. “Girl Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis, nipped that crap in the bud immediately. (I recommend the audio version. She’s like a coach!) I was reminded that God gave me my desires for a reason and as long as I’ve committed to keeping Him first in my life, I don’t have to live in the MENTAL ANGUISH of self doubt and fear of my ideas. God gives GOOD ideas. Honor them! The war of the mind is really the new ground for breakup books and self help books in general. Truth is, you’ve gotta be ready for war when breaking up and seeking love. This is the part where someone comments, “he who finds…”… I get it. I pray that we ALL find our minds though and organize them according to the priorities that bring us closer to our destiny. We have to feed ourselves the things we’d like to manifest. Where you anchor your heart is what informs your mind and your mind instructs your physical to manifest your destiny. So, let’s get to work.
The books. Let’s do this in steps. I believe in order to completely move on from a disastrous experience you must understand your own faults and your partners. Some times that understanding comes during the relationship and sometimes it comes when the relationship has GONE TO HELL and you’ve emerged from the ashes. I’ll be honest. It’s easier to look at the other person first before addressing your own flaws.
1 You’ll see what kind of mess you’re in
2 You’ll realize that you definitely need to run
3 You’ll have something to hold on to when you run. In other words, they won’t be able to lure you back in once you understand the danger of their ways.
Enter “WHOLE AGAIN”. This book highlights narcissism, and manipulation. The hardest kind of relationship to run from is one where you’re caught up in manipulation. I wrote a post about it recently. Check it out.
This is the book that saved my life. If you sense traits of control, bullying, intimidation, silent treatment, and are with someone who never takes responsibility for actions, then take a deeper look. Breakups need a little prodding sometimes and you’ll get it with this author. If this book doesn’t scare the crap out of you for what these manipulators can do to your future, I don’t know what will.
I LOVE the warmth and non-judgmental way the writer has. For some reason, even though what he’s sharing is nightmare-ish, you feel this strange sense that you’re wrapped in the loving arms of someone who loves you and wants you to succeed. Read this.
Step 2, is taking a look at your own flaws. I’ll be gentle. This one sounds victim-y but it’s not. It hits deep and shows the danger of continuing in your ways. Not just because you need to move on, but because you’ll attract the same foolishness if you don’t change.
“The Disease To Please” is about the habitual traits you’ve allowed yourself to keep that cause you to say “yes”, when you mean “no”. This book outlines the passive and even passive aggressive behaviors we may have that literally sabotage our own future in favor of the ones we love. I felt so convicted reading this book. I had to apologize to myself for hiding myself in the shadows of confrontation and erasing myself in discussion for fear of confrontation. This book is like an eight hour therapy session. (Took me about 8 hours to read it...).
I learned from this book and a few others that I can be “conflict avoidant” and steer away from any subject that may cause an argument or altercation. The tools I’ve gotten from this book weren’t just about a breakup but about standing up for myself when I have an opinion, idea or choice to make. If I feel abused, bullied, manipulated or belittled when standing in my truth, it’s okay to take my love and my choices elsewhere.
Love yourself enough to get real about what you need out of life and don’t let anyone make those choices for you.This book hits hard, but you’ll get valuable information about yourself. You’ll begin to notice dangerous patterns that will LITERALLY knock you out of your destiny if you let them continue.
My advice? Read it with a few colored pens. Write about yourself in the margins. My habit to lend books to friends ends with this particular book because you can literally read every gory detail of a relationship gone bad in my life. Almost lent it to my brother... I’m not sure he realized why I took it back so quick. (Sorry bro). My point... get a pen. I did and I’m a changed woman. Thanks Harriet B. Braiker… this is my most recommended book to friends and loved ones for all life crisis. Most of us have a little trouble identifying our truth and ourselves every once in a while.
Speaking of FINDING YOURSELF, no books sums it up better than Shan Boodram’s “The Game of Desire”. This is actually the book that persuaded me to write this blog. I was raised in holiness. It’s a very strict indoctrinated leg of Christianity. Much of it entails women to find their “place” in a male dominated, environment. While my mother was incredibly liberal in comparison to her sisters and brothers in Christ I was able to see first hand what it looked like when society told a woman “you can’t”. My mom was too powerful for that. I’m not sure if she’ll ever say so, but she was a girl-boss before the term became a hashtag. She had power and she wasn’t ashamed of it and she didn’t back down. Her courage attracted a supportive, helpful, strong and understanding man who loves her in her power to this day. Powerful, assertive women exist and thrive in the love space. They are valued by men and cherished in relationships.
In “The Game of Desire”, Shan Boodram teaches you how to walk in your power. She doesn’t paint every woman the same. She gives you space and instruction on fully understanding your personality, the type of love you need and the kind of love you give. Then thru the research and vulnerability of 6 epic women, she teaches you how to play the game in getting exactly what you want in love. This book takes you on the journey of Shan’s research project where she does tests in the real world with real women in real dating techniques. It reads like a novel at some moments, giving you room to let your hair down and gasp, laugh or cry at the stories of the women she works with as they fumble their way through how to approach a guy at a club, what to wear to enhance your love worthy attributes (be warned, this may or may not include your… well, vagina juice) or how to recover from rejection and stay in the game.
My favorite thing about this book is Shan is an absolute BOSS in real life yet she understands that BOSSDOME doesn’t necessarily mean we know how to “mingle”. The women in her test group, are smart, educated, hard working, loving women. They come from different backgrounds and literally RUN ish at work! She takes the assertion we are so accustomed to hearing about on entrepreneur panels and women’s empowerment events and turns it on its head to be used for our Love Lives. I think it’s genius. Shan knows that women have the tools to get what they want out of life and it doesn’t stop at the boardroom or the bank.
WARNING: I got thru most of this epic read in a day but then I broke down a little.
This book does require you to heal before you play or at least heal as you go. Well my healing came when Shan invited a stripper into the book to give instruction on sensual conversation. You see, sensuality is my love language. Touch and voice and eye contact. This moment in the book brought out the hurt of not receiving that the way I craved in the past. This chapter invaded my comfort zone and it will invade yours.
The genius is, Shan seemed to know this would happen so, there are six other women in the book taking this ride with you. In those moments of vulnerability you have a couple of your new book friends telling you the same fears. You feel supported. You feel understood. And suddenly, you feel your power. Thank you Shan for knowing the many powers of a woman.. You are a healer in your humor, your strategy, your coddling and your honesty. I needed this reminder of my sacred femininity and it’s necessity. The Game of Desire is certainly a game changer in the future of love and human connection.
I’m getting emotional and it’s 9:37 am. This blog was supposed to be up 30 minutes ago. All in all, these three books gave me permission. Permission to say “No” and make room for myself, permission to call some one what they truly are even if I “should have known better” and permission to celebrate my femininity and prowess in the divine journey to new love.
I pray these three books bring you peace and wholeness in what ever you’re going thru. Give yourself the time you need to think, listen, pray and heal. Write out your heart as often as you need. You’ll make it thru this season.
Incase you’re wondering. I also read the Bible. Daniel mostly. I knew that I needed structure when I was hurting the most. I needed the discipline not to eat my hurt away. Daniels discipline to care for his body, stand by his truth and love himself and his God in the face of some of his most trying times let me know that if Daniel could be a Vegan in the Lions den, I could surely make it thru my own personal fire.
You got this babe. Chin up.
PS - A special thanks to Shan Boodram for sending this book right to my mailbox when I needed it. I don’t know if she knew how impactful it would be, but girl, clearly... I LOVED IT.