Lessons in Simply Being
A recovering control addict finds freedom and faith as she struggles with much of what she most feared.
Lessons in Simply Being is the memoir of a recovering control addict who finds meaning in life after the collapse of all she had clung to. Plunged into despair, she calls upon the skills honed in her thirty- our years as a behavioral scientist and professor at Duke University. She searches for order, change, and meaning as she walks through much of what she most feared (divorce, aloneness, physical disability, her mother s dementia and dying, and her children s struggles with cancer). She discovers a mysterious loving presence that permeates her world, even its darkest corners. As she moves deeper into this unknown faith territory and lives what she had never imagined possible, love trumps fear. A troubled mother-daughter relationship transforms into one of mutual mothering. She moves toward understanding, forgiveness, and intimacy with the man whose actions triggered her despair. Her dives into tumult awaken her to the peace within and to a single new lesson to live by: simply be. She is discovering her place within the flow of Spirit that permeates all of life.
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Many readers will connect with issues raised in this well-written book. ~ Canon Bruce Duncan, Church Times: Books April 2013
Carol Eckerman shares with us her gripping psychological, family, and spiritual life story in which I expect every reader will find some poignant personal connections. It is brimming with existential and spiritual insights emerging from the process of living through many painful, beautiful and adventurous experiences and relationships with honesty and humility. Over time she found threaded through her life a mysterious, loving, healing Presence that freed her to trust life, relinquish many oppressive fears and securing attachments, and become more fully the person she was born to be. Her story left me inspired to face further into my own life experiences with a hopeful, loving trust, a desire for the truth, and an awareness of the gifted interconnectedness of all life's happenings in the hidden Love that lives in and among us.~ The Rev. Tilden Edwards, PhD, Founder and Senior Fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of eight books on the spiritual life.
To read Carol Eckerman's Lessons in Simply Being is like a warm and candid conversation with a trusted friend. Her account of her spiritual quest toward peace and wholeness is deeply personal, warm, accessible, and highly readable. I couldn't put it down.~ Rev. Margaret B. Guenther, Professor Emerita, General Theological Seminary, and author of Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction
This deeply spiritual memoir will resonate with many women looking for peace within the tumult of family care relationships. Eckerman's insights increase her comfort with herself and her mother as her mother's thinking and memory decline at the end of life. In well-chosen and articulated glimpses of dialogue and revelations, there are fresh hopeful messages for daughters standing by as parents die incrementally.~ Lisa P. Gwyther, MSW, LCSW, Director, Duke Aging Center Family Support Program, and co-author of The Alzheimer's Action Plan: A Family Guide
The Lessons in Simply Being that have been part of Carol Eckerman's life journey are movingly described in this book. Through her willingness to begin to navigate "myths of control" she was drawn more deeply into herself. As she embraced the path of unknowing, she was invited to abandon herself to a love that seeks to heal, purify and make all things new from the inside out. Her reflections offer a major contribution to how the spiritual journey contributes to the ongoing integration of all life experience into something beautiful for God.~ Fr William Sheehan, OMI, Centering Prayer teacher and retreat leader, Contemplative Outreach of New England
For me this memoir operates on two levels. First, it is a beautifully written story of spiritual transformation in Carol Eckerman's life and in her relationships--especially within her family. One of the most moving sections is about the healing that took place between Carol and her mother, despite her mother's dementia. On the second level, it serves gently and indirectly as spiritual guidance for the reader. On that level I can honestly say that it was deeply transformational for me.
~ Rev. Larry C. Williams, Director, The Pastor as Spiritual Guide Program