The message of non-judgmental love and support offered in You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay has endeared it to millions of people around the globe. The author attributes the success of the book simply to her ability to “help people change without laying guilt on them”, but the readers and fans agree that she also offers tangible ways to help peel away negative self-talk and subsequently, build you back up again.
The essence of the book is the message of love of the self and evaporation of guilt. Hay believes that this process not only makes us mentally free, but physically healthy as well. Disease – or “dis-ease”, as she calls it – is the product of states of mind: the root cause of all illness is in our inability to forgive, and healing requires us to change the negative thinking and belief patterns we’ve been holding on to.
Everyone has a deep belief that they aren’t good enough, and this belief is masked by the superficial things we don’t like about ourselves. We have to change that belief and to start genuinely loving ourselves in order to heal, so one of the first things she’ll say to someone who is dealing with an illness is: “Stop criticizing yourself!” The moment we decide to give ourselves a break, our healing begins.
Affirmations play a crucial role in this process. They are about remembering our true selves and utilizing the power of that self, so we need to trust in the power of affirmations to manifest what we want. They should always be in the present tense, and they have to be positive. Hay gives many affirmations to choose from in the book.
Part I: Introduction.
- Suggestions to My Readers
- Some Points of My Philosophy
- Chapter 1: What I Believe
In the introduction, the author explains how the book should be read, and that the readers should do the exercises she presents them with. She then presents the main points of her philosophy, some of which are:
We are each responsible for all of our experiences.
Every thought we think is creating our future.
It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.
The bottom line issue for everyone is “I’m not good enough.”
Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns.
Self-acceptance in the now is the key to positive change.
Chapter 2: What Is the Problem?Part II: A Session with Louise
- Chapter 3: Where Does It Come From?
- Chapter 4: Is It True?
- Chapter 5: What Do We Do Now?
- Chapter 6: Resistance to Change
- Chapter 7: How to Change
- Chapter 8: Building the New
- Chapter 9: Daily Work
The second part starts with asking questions about the problem and explains that it all comes from our negative thoughts and false beliefs, extended to all sectors of human life: health, relationships, financial relationships and home economics, family, friends… Hay gives us the solution: it shows exercises to change our mental attitudes, how to learn to love ourselves, how to perform mental cleansing and to dissolve negative thoughts.
Part III: Putting These Ideas to Work
- Chapter 10: Relationships
- Chapter 11: Work
- Chapter 12: Success
- Chapter 13: Prosperity
- Chapter 14: The Body
- Chapter 15: The List
This part tells us how to implement these ideas to the different areas of our live. This chapter essentially explains how the Law of attraction works: in relationships, for example, we are the mirror of those around us; when we’re thinking positively, we attract people who accept us, but when our thoughts are negative, we attract those who reject us. The state of our body is also a reflection of our thoughts and beliefs. Chapter 15 lists just about every illness and its likely corresponding mental “blockage”.
Part IV: Conclusion
- Chapter 16: My Story
- Deep at the Center
The final part is dedicated to Louisa Hay’s story of how she beat cancer by defining that the root problem was in her holding on to resentment, and by applying the regime of forgiveness. She says that “we are all one” in the multiplicity of disparate beliefs and thoughts, and finishes with the invitation to the readers to infinitely love themselves, forgetting the past and focusing on the new.
So many of us are just suffering quietly inside, and pretending that the world is just fine and peachy. So many of us would never utter a word about our inner tumult to anyone and in fact, I am certain that Louise Hay wrote her book “You Can Heal Your Life” for the silently misguided souls among us much more so than the ones that are openly unhappy and miserable and in dire need of help.
Louise Hay has been there and done that and this is evidenced by the content of her book. When I first bought a copy of You Can Heal Her Life, I read the first 2 chapters, and put the book down. I was angry because Ms Hay was telling me like it was, and I didn’t want to hear the truth. I didn’t want to look at myself and take responsibility for my life and my happiness and my health. I wanted to be told that My situation was beyond my control. A couple of years later, I picked up that copy of You Can Heal Your Life, ready to read it and hear the truth that saved Ms Hay’s life, years before. As I worked through the exercises and started practicing the affirmations in the way Ms Hay instructed, I literally began to heal my life of suicidal depression, kidney disfunction, arthritis, and the hurt of child sexual abuse, as well as a slew of other problems. A miracle happened. I started to become happy.
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