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Spiritual Divorce: Divorce As a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life Paperback – December 24, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Whether you are the one who leaves or the one who is left, divorce is a painful, wrenching experience, explains author Debbie Ford. Since Ford is comfortable dwelling in the shadow side of life, it's not surprising that she believes that the excruciating pain of divorce can lead to enormous spiritual growth. "Emotional turmoil can be a powerful catalyst to reconnect us with our divine nature," she writes. "It propels us into a journey of self discovery and urges us to learn how to love and accept our entire being." Herein lies the promise of a "spiritual divorce."

Because Ford is a highly effective workshop leader, she has a knack for breaking down spiritual matters into manageable bites. She is also willing to share the truth of her own painful divorce, allowing readers to see her initial pain and consuming resentments. Ford divides her book into seven laws, beginning with the "The Law of Acceptance," where readers are asked to imagine a benevolent divine order at play rather than taking a blaming stance. In the section titled "The Law of Responsibility," Ford encourages readers to gently begin the process of taking responsibility for their own darkest qualities. This is the thrust of Ford's highly respected shadow work--illuminating the dark side so we can stand in divine light. Each section ends with "Healing Action Steps," where Ford suggests specific exercises or meditations. For example, in the final chapter Ford asks readers to make a new "divorce vow" that is a lifelong commitment to one's highest self. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Despite the deluge of books on divorce, Ford (The Dark Side of the Light Chasers) still manages to offer a fresh perspective on this difficult and potentially devastating experience, which she identifies as "one of the darkest times in most people's lives." Calling on the popular tenets of 12-step programs and A Course in Miracles, Ford advises readers to view divorce as a "spiritual wake-up call" that "propels us to a journey of self-discovery," an opportunity to learn the lessons sent by the Universe or God, to "align with the destiny of our higher selves [and] our soul's purpose." While these tenets are no longer new, Ford applies them for the first time in this area, guiding readers with her Seven Spiritual Laws: Acceptance, Surrender, Divine Guidance, Responsibility, Choice, Forgiveness and Creation. Her clear and uncomplicated structure makes it easy for readers to absorb the underlying principles through meditation, prayer and the "healing action steps" presented at the end of each chapter. A workshop facilitator with the Chopra Center for Well Being, Ford knows the self-help/divorce audience intimately. Her first-hand experience of her parents' divorce as well as her own lends authenticity and empathy to what would otherwise be an abstract philosophy. Her voice is positive, encouraging, understanding, loving toward self and others and deeply personal, making this a better book than her first one; it could well become recommended reading for all divorcing couples. (Feb.)Forecast: The success of Ford's first book and her affiliation with Deepak Chopra will, along with her 12-city lecture tour, spur interest in this worthy book and prompt healthy sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco; Reissue edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062516965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062516961
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,207,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Debbie Ford was an internationally recognized expert in the field of personal transformation. She was the bestselling author of nine books -- The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, The Secret of the Shadow, Spiritual Divorce, The Right Questions, The Best Year of Your Life, Why Good People Do Bad Things, The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse, The Shadow Effect, and Courage. A transformational coach, speaker and teacher for more than 20 years, Debbie was the creator of the renowned Shadow Process Workshop, the executive producer of The Shadow Effect transformational documentary and founder of The Ford Institute for Transformational Training, the world-renowned personal and professional training organization. A pioneering force in incorporating the study and integration of the shadow into modern psychological and spiritual practices, Debbie Ford's books have sold over 1 million copies, are translated into 32 languages, and are used in institutions of learning worldwide. For more information, visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By G. Powell on January 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The basic mantra of this book is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and until you let go of your anger toward your former SO, you won't heal. This message is repeated over and over, in many very helpful ways.
When I was first seperated, I was a victim of cloudy thinking, life as I knew it was over. And while that was true, it has become a spring board for personal growth and a new life. It's the no pain, no gain theory of life. While I would not advocate this life experience as good plan, if it happens to you, you might as well use it as an opportunity to grow.
While it has been a number of years since the divorce, I still found some good information about myself within the pages of this book. Plus it was an affirmation that the course I was on is the right one. (Also people thinking about getting married, might do well to read this for the information on how not to choose a mate, as Ms. Ford goes over what happened with her marriage. The misplaced expectations and poor commuincation.)
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rusty Appell on January 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you are thinking about ending your marriage, seperated or already divorced, Debbie Ford shines a bright light on the path toward reclaiming your spirit. You can spend years in therapy or sit down and absorb the insights that Debbie offers as she shares candidly and with great passion, the journey to not only heal, but rediscover who you are and where you are headed.
In a quote from Proust Debbie captures how we must shift our vision when confronted with the pain, fear, anger and uncertainty that divorce bestows upon us - "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Through Ford's new eyes and personal divorce experience, we learn from and make peace with what we are leaving behind and focus on what new vistas and opportunities are opening up for us. She offers 7 spiritual laws for healing and takes us through these stages with examples that we can all relate to. We begin with acceptance and move along through various stages, including forgiveness and accepting responsiblity. We transform this experience into a new future, filled with the power, energy and knowledge we have gathered from this life lesson.
Debbie guides us through this journey with support, warmth and enthusiasm and the reader is left with the vision of unlimited opportunities by seeing tomorrow through "new eyes". I have read many books on divorce, but none as powerful,hopeful and motivating as "Spiritual Divorce". Thank you Ms. Ford for lighting the way for me.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By K. Morgan on June 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
In a deep state of depression, I looked up "divorce" on, hoping to find something to help me through the pain of my own divorce. Let me state first that I have read several books, dozens perhaps, by so-called "life coaches" or self-help "gurus." While there is wisdom in many of them, none of those books connected to me in any deep, visceral, meaningful way. Then I found this book.

I took a chance and ordered it. When it arrived, I began reading it immediately. Within minutes I knew I had made the right decision. Debbie Ford was writing about the EXACT feelings I was having, laying bare the hurt, self-doubt, ego, jealousy, anger etc that was ruling my mind. This wonderful book reached places deep inside my mind and spirit that have been malnourished for years.

This book is NOT a bunch of new agey platitudes and superstitious claptrap. It is written in clear, almost conversational tones and is very easy to understand and absorb. I found myself highlighting sentences on EVERY page. It truly is a wonder.

Debbie Ford has been through divorce herself, and as a life coach, such a "failure" could have been disastrous for her. But she realized, as we all must, that divorce is NOT a failure at all. It is an opportunity to learn and grow, to find out what it was we gained from our relationship and how to use that information to better ourselves. It is about acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude, not vindictiveness, fear or jealousy.

Relationships don't end. They cannot. They can only change. Those we are tied to in a relationship are tied to us forever, even if only in the seemingly smallest way. A part of us is with them forever, and a part of them is with us.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. Every chapter led me to new levels of self acceptance, freedom, forgiveness and hope.
The book takes you on a journey through the seven laws for having a spiritual divorce -- acceptance, surrender, divine guidance, responsibility, choice, forgiveness and creation. Each step along the way to healing is punctuated with down-to-earth exercises, examples, and the author's own compelling story.
I was totally inspired by this book, and by Debbie Ford's work. I've already recommended it to several of my friends. This book will heal the hearts of everyone who reads it, and could ultimately transform the experience of divorce as we know it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Renee on May 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
To express how truly wonderful and helpful and enlightening and potentially life-changing this book is. In a way it's almost unfortunate that the book has the title "Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as A Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life," because a lot of people are going to pass right by it on the book shelf because they are going to feel it doesn't apply to them. In fact IT APPLIES TO VIRTUALLY ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE AND SHARE THAT BEST WITH ANOTHER HUMAN BEING BE IT IN MARRIAGE, FRIENDSHIPS OR WORK RELATIONSHIPS. In other words, this is NOT just a book for couples contemplating separation or even a book just for couples. Anyone who wants to grow as a human being, get the most from what life and people have to teach them and get rid of the baggage or negative thinking that might prevent -- or is preventing --them from having a healthy, long-lasting loving, productive relationship with another person should read this book.Trust me it is THAT good.
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