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I'm a 35 year old man who read this book at considerable threat to my masculinity. I read it at coffee shops, doctor waiting rooms, and finally as I grew more bold, in the gym where I received withering looks from neckless men who were obviously out of touch with their feminine side.
It's a deceptive book, that hides something for a man who can see beyond the powder blue cover with a pert bride who sits dreamily in thought. In it I see what roller coaster the bride is on, as well as seeing myself reflected in those pages. It made me feel that I wasn't alone in my experiences with family and my bride, (now ex-wife) and I wondered to myself, where was this book when I needed it?
This book works on different levels that allows a reader to become more aware of unconscious processes and therefore more grounded in their wedding process. This awareness doesn't just apply to the wedding experience though, I find it helpful in giving me awareness about the processes to my everyday life.
The author discusses big issues that newly weds deal with as well as their families. She grounds us in the discussions by making us aware of the the things we didn't want to talk about. She sharpens our awareness of ourselves on a journey that treads inward and finally into a discussion of the nature of relationships in our culture and how this is changing. Imagine a future where no-neck guys in gyms openly read and discuss the Conscious Bride without shame.
In the end I felt the healing effects this book had to offer a man who went through many of the things she discusses. I found myself feeling no longer alone, and suddenly able to put context to my experience and hopefully the awareness that I will need to make my next experience more positive.
Yes, buy this book. Put it in your book collection and refer to it. Give it to friends who are getting married. Talk about it in coffee shops, near the water cooler, and in gyms with guys that have no necks.
Shauna McAllister just wants to forget. Her life to this point has been filled with pain. The death of her mother. The subsequent rejection of her by her father. Her physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her stepmother. She had lived a life of pain. And her father had caused it. All she want to do is just forget it.
In one fell swoop, she discovers what it is like to forget. Evidently she was in a wreck. Evidently she caused it. Evidently she was under the influence of drugs. Evidently, she seriously disabled her brother in the wreck. Evidently, she was being indicted for reckless driving and the semi she hit has already collected over a million in damages from her father. Evidently. Because she can't remember. Anything. At least not from the past six months.
As she returns to try to put together the pieces of her life she discovers that her accident-whatever she did-has certainly not strengthened the frayed and strained ties that bind her to her family. Her father, Presidential nominee Landon McAllister, will not forgive her for all but killing his favorite child. Shauna's only ally is the man who was evidently her boyfriend-maybe even more-Wayne Spade. The medicine they're giving her is doing strange things. Maybe she's crazy. She's remembering things that may not be hers to remember. Everything she thought she knew is being turned upside down again. But only the truth can save her. Only the Truth can set her free.
In their first collaboration, Dekker and Healy create a novel that - while not as twist-filled or unpredictable as some of Dekker's standalone works - pushes the reader to think about the problem of pain and discover whether or not ignorance really is bliss.
Dekker has often been criticized for his novels that revel in darkness before showing the light. Kiss is a story of why we must remember darkness and evil. It's not to remember and glorify and uphold the pain. It's to bring us perspective. Without the pain, we wouldn't be who we are. We have to keep it in perspective, give it credit for the better person it can make us, scars and all.
When the Israelites left Egypt, they were not told to forget their bondage and only look forward to the Promised Land. Rather, God commanded them to remember they were slaves in Egypt. Remember the bondage. Remember the pain. Remember the suffering. But Israel chose to forget. And when they forgot about their bondage, they forgot about their deliverance. They began to no longer care for the One who had delivered them.
Only if we hold on to a strong remembrance of our bondage will we also maintain the sense of wonder and awe at our deliverance. We diminish the power of God when we diminish or forget our bondage. Dekker and Healy leave us asking hard questions: Do we forget the darkness we were in? Or do we remember it vividly in order to never forget the greatness of our deliverance?
Do we choose Pain...or Perspective?
Being 1/126 Native American, wearing this incredible Three Wolves Howling at Moon Tee-shirt has a special signifigance for me. Each time I wear the shirt I feel connected to my Mother's Peple. No, not the Soiux nation... werewolves. My family comes from a long line of lycanthropes, and just seeing the image on this tee brings back memories of chasing rabbits and terrorizing peasants beneath the autumn moon. It lets me tell my fellow loup garrou 'brothers I am with you. Howl on!'