My sister is the font of all great spiritual books, ones that speak to me anyway. Having just finished Into The Magic Shop, which I loved because it was packed with wisdom and not too much ‘God’ stuff, she has now directed me to Lost And Found by Geneen Roth.
I am only 30% of the way in (I read on a Kindle), but already I love this woman. I was bowled over by her before I read the book when I watched this interview she did with Eckhart Tolle.
She tells him that even though she had read all of his books, knew all the theory and meditated every day like a good spiritual girl, she STILL didn’t get it. Not on a soul level. She didn’t get it until she lost her life savings to Bernie Madoff. All $1 million of them. OMFG.
Geneen had a mentor at the time who said “Nothing of value was lost” and she yelled back: “Now is not the time to be spiritual. I’ve LOST ALL MY MONEY!!”
‘Why didn’t I see this coming?’ ‘Why didn’t I pay off my mortgage’ she asked herself over and over. The worst thing about it was this constant racket in her head and she was desperate for it to stop.
That is when she describes feeling the sensation of ‘aliveness’ that had eluded her for a lifetime.
I often read about how people connect with something bigger than themselves when they have lost everything. Eckhart Tolle was homeless as he pondered the beauty of the universe from a park bench and Neale Donald Walsch was also homeless, jobless, womanless….hopeless in fact, when God started talking to him and dictating bestselling books.
Look God, I know I have doubted you and go round saying you don’t exist, but if you could just pop a bestseller into my brain, I’d be awfully grateful and promise to start going to church. Or being kind to people Whatever you want.
Where was I? Yes, Geneen Roth. She tells Eckhart Tolle that if she can connect with her soul, then anybody can, because she is as crazy as anybody she has ever worked with – she’s an expert on food addiction and has written countless books about the topic.
I identify with Geneen more than any other ‘spiritual’ writer I have ever come across. There is a chapter in her book where she talks about how she was tempted to buy a pair of glasses worth $1,000 weeks after she’d lost all her money. What was she thinking?
I know that feeling. I am the same about coats. I love them and believe that each new purchase is somehow going to magically transform my life. It doesn’t of course. Coats, chocolate, sex, Love Island, nothing is ever enough. Geneen writes:
“I struggle with feeling insufficient and incompetent. I wonder if I am enough, if this life is enough. I long for a magical fix, whether it be a million dollars or the perfect body or a beautifully imperfect perfect relationship (or all three) that can deliver me the freedom and rest I long for. But then I imagine having all those new things, and I still feel heavy and indecisive. And then I realise that I keep fighting the heavinesss, the messy feelings. I realise it’s time to look at these feelings, be with them. Understand them. And then I go and buy a new coat instead.”
Honestly, if she were here in this room with me right now, I’d kiss her for hitting the nail on the proverbial head so perfectly. That is where I am too (without the bestsellers).
I really want to find the ‘freedom and rest’ that Geneen speaks of, but would rather not have to lose everything first. It sounds painful. Trouble is, I have a feeling there are no shortcuts. Perhaps it’s time for a new coat…