This summer I have been slowly reading and savoring Susannah Conway’s book “This I know, Notes on Unraveling The Heart.” I am normally a speed reader (just ask Chris, it drives him crazy!) but I knew I wanted to take my time with this book. I just had a feeling it would touch my heart and I would need the time to process each chapter. I was right.
As I read her words I found myself saying, “Oh this chapter was just what I needed. It is so me. The next one couldn’t possibly touch me more than this.” But as I progressed through the book, the next chapter always did. And so did the one after that. Each one felt like it was just what I needed to read.
The thought of “unraveling” can sometimes seems scary…to peel back all our layers and really look at how we feel about things, how we think and learn and cope…how we celebrate. I am embracing it, however. Being in my own transitional period in my life, I am ready to unravel…eager to unravel. And so I followed Susannah as she shared her own journey to self-discovery through this book. It is full of her art…the polaroid photography she is so well known for, and each chapter ends with a “reflection,” a little exercise of sorts, to reflect upon and use in your own life. I truly loved reading it…
I wanted to share a couple of quotes from the book. These are things that I underlined as I read and rewrote in my own journal. Pages that I left tear stains on. Concepts that moved me. And I also want to encourage you to pick up a copy of your own. We could all use some unraveling…
“Each person experiences grief in their own individual way. And…there is no hierarchy to grief—only we can know the pain we feel and what we have lost… To assimilate the loss—to make sense of the change—we must allow ourselves to fully inhabit the pain for as long as we need.”
“So many of the difficult parts of our lives can be helped with a little kindness, and nowhere is that needed more than the way we view ourselves….I want to walk along the middle road, between vanity and not caring; I want to be seen and loved by the person I need it from most. To look in the mirror and smile at an ally I can always count on… My worth is not measured by my outward appearance, my worth is felt in my bones, in the quiet yes that starts in my belly and rises up to my lips as I reach forward and embrace my life, my world, this piece of experience that is mine alone.”
“The more I excavate myself, the richer my relationships with others become, because as we connect with our true selves we have so much more to give.”
If you love words written from the heart, the magic of polaroid, and find yourself needing a gentle push to learn more about yourself, this book is worth a read. Its one of my new favorites on my bookshelf. I’ve passed it on to my mum to read. I think she’ll love it as much as me.
Have you read “This I Know” yet?
What was your favorite chapter?
Do you read Susannah’s blog or taken any of her classes?