I bought a book today. I saw it in the local bookstore and thought, “my mom had that book!” And it appealed to me in the moment, so I picked it up. I couldn’t remember what it was about – perhaps a daily devotional? – so I read the back. Yes, it was a daily devotional of sorts, but not the traditional Christian ones I’m used to. The book is called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and it has a daily reading for every day of the year- including leap day. Most simply put, it’s about becoming acquainted with your authentic self, and living true to that self. Each day is begun with a quote or lines from a poem (I think. I only leafed through it, and only read one day.) and then a reflection on that.
I think it is a beautiful book, and a beautiful idea. I see quite plainly why my mom and millions of other women have the book. I realized, too, that my mom was about my age when she bought it or was given it. Is it something about being mid-life that makes us all more aware, or more deliberate about becoming our authentic selves?
Perhaps we finally realize that being our real self is what matters in life. I know I don’t have time anymore to waste on people that are negative and drain my energy. I weed those people out of my life, or spend as little time as possible with them. By the same token (and seemingly in direct contradiction to that statement) I find that I am a lot more tolerant of people, and loving toward them. We are each carrying our own crosses, and just because I don’t see someone’s doesn’t mean it’s not there.
So I will begin reading my new book, smack in the middle of the year, and take to heart the hard-earned and generously shared lessons of the author. I’m looking forward to reading them, and to being inspired to lead an ever more authentic life, in simple abundance.
Oh, and the page that caught my eye?
June 15: Secret Anniversaries of the Heart.
The holiest of holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart,
The secret anniversaries of the heart…
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow