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Stop Being Mean to Yourself: A Story About Finding the True Meaning of Self-Love Hardcover – June 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0788158254 ISBN-10: 0788158252

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Editorial Reviews Review

Using the unlikely backdrop of Northern Africa, Melody Beattie (author of Co-Dependent No More) blends the genres of travel adventure and spiritual quest. Traveling mishaps such as being led unknowingly into the souk of Cairo (rumored to be a clandestine marketplace of no return), become metaphors for learning how to let go of fear while still honoring your instincts. Interrogations at border crossings symbolize the self-examination we must endure before crossing over to a new stage of enlightenment. Fortunately, this is not a U.S.-centric travelogue. In war-ravaged Algiers, Beattie diligently pursues the truth of its people rather than her own reactions to poverty and terrorism. Despite its pop-psychology title, this is a book of impressive depth, exploring the global challenge of loving thy neighbor as well as thy self. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is a sequel to Beattie's best-selling book, Codependent No More (Hazelden, 1993). Her new work contains the same compassionate tone and penetrating insight for which Beattie has become well known and loved. She takes her audience on an odyssey that starts in Northern Africa. On her journey she shares hope and encouragement and employs analogies along the way to Casablanca, Algeria, and Egypt. She provides lessons about letting go of fear and trusting one's instincts. This is a masterful blend of travel adventure and a refreshing guide to spiritual discovery. Some of Beattie's other books include The Lessons of Love (HarperSanFrancisco, 1994) and Journey to the Heart (HarperSanFrancisco, 1996). Recommended for libraries with self-help collections.?Ravonne A. Green, Emmanuel Coll. Lib., Franklin Springs, Ga.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins (June 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788158252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788158254
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,075,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Melody Beattie is one of America's most beloved self-help authors and a household name in addiction and recovery circles. Her international bestselling book, Codependent No More, introduced the world to the term "codependency" in 1986. Millions of readers have trusted Melody's words of wisdom and guidance because she knows firsthand what they're going through. In her lifetime, she has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child. "Beattie understands being overboard, which helps her throw bestselling lifelines to those still adrift," said Time Magazine.

Melody was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1948. Her father left home when she was a toddler, and she was raised by her mother. She was abducted by a stranger at age four. Although she was rescued the same day, the incident set the tone for a childhood of abuse, and she was sexually abused by a neighbor throughout her youth. Her mother turned a blind eye, just as she had denied the occurrence of abuse in her own past.

"My mother was a classic codependent," Melody recalls. "If she had a migraine, she wouldn't take an aspirin because she didn't do drugs. She believed in suffering." Unlike her mother, Melody was determined to self-medicate her emotional pain. Beattie began drinking at age 12, was a full-blown alcoholic by age 13, and a junkie by 18, even as she graduated from high school with honors. She ran with a crowd called "The Minnesota Mafia" who robbed pharmacies to get drugs. After several arrests, a judge mandated that she had to "go to treatment for as long as it takes or go to jail."

Melody continued to score drugs in treatment until a spiritual epiphany transformed her. "I was on the lawn smoking dope when the world turned this purplish color. Everything looked connected--like a Monet painting. It wasn't a hallucination; it was what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous calls 'a spiritual awakening.' Until then, I'd felt entitled to use drugs. I finally realized that if I put half as much energy into doing the right thing as I had into doing wrong, I could do anything," Beattie said.

After eight months of treatment, Melody left the hospital clean and sober, ready to take on new goals: helping others get sober, and getting married and having a family of her own. She married a former alcoholic who was also a prominent and respected counselor and had two children with him. Although she had stopped drinking and using drugs, she found herself sinking in despair. She discovered that her husband wasn't sober; he'd been drinking and lying about it since before their marriage.

During her work with the spouses of addicts at a treatment center, she realized the problems that had led to her alcoholism were still there. Her pain wasn't about her husband or his drinking; it was about her. There wasn't a word for codependency yet. While Melody didn't coin the term codependency, she became passionate about the subject. What was this thing we were doing to ourselves?

Driven into the ground financially by her husband's alcoholism, Melody turned a life-long passion for writing into a career in journalism, writing about the issues that had consumed her for years. Her 24-year writing career has produced fifteen books published in twenty languages and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She has been a frequent guest on many national television shows, including Oprah. She and her books continue to be featured regularly in national publications including Time, People, and most major periodicals around the world.

Although it almost destroyed her when her twelve-year-old son Shane died in a ski accident in 1991, eventually Melody picked up the pieces of her life again. "I wanted to die, but I kept waking up alive," she says. She began skydiving, mountain-climbing, and teaching others what she'd learned about grief.

Customer Reviews

The book is a simple easy read and I enjoyed the engaging style in which it is written.
Angella Bramwell
The thought of subjecting someone else to this work was too distasteful that I actually threw the book in the trash, something I've never done before.
Sophie D.
It is written from the prospective of someone who has turned over every rock looking for it, and not in a systematic way.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Rafael Romo on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am writing to all of you who have written a review about this book, and especially to Melody Beattie. To the person who mocked about Melody's inner civil war, or you're already a god or you will never ever hope to KNOW what an inner civil war is. And to the rest of you, this book is not about traveling through Nothern Africa, it is about INNER travel, if you were trying to read an action-packed James Bond or Indiana Jones story, you guys picked the wrong book. This is not a fiction book, it is a book about how to find your inner deamons, your fears, face them and come through truly successfuly. This is a "self-help" book, and should be rated accordingly. I lived an inner civil war myself, and Melody greatly helped in making me understand how everything lies in subtleness, awareness, in trusting the universe. In trusting yourself, in listening to yourself for once! Hence the name of the book. This certainly was one of the pivotal steps in helping me change my life. This book is for people WHO needs it, otherwise you'd be bored to hell, of course. Every kind of book, song, movie, painting, etc... has a porpuse and is meant for certain kind of people. Just stop for a moment and THINK before you rate a book...before you rate anything. It is NOT about "if I liked it or not", it is about "does it work?" This book is not a novel, it is a tool for those who need it. It didn't work for you because you didn't need it. I needed it, and guess what, it worked. It really did. THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH MELODY, YOU REALLY HELPED SOMEONE BE MORE CONSCIOUS, MORE AWARE AND A BETTER PERSON. I ONLY WISH I COULD CONTACT YOU TO TELL YOU THIS PERSONALLY. GOD BLESS YOU, AND YOUR DAUGHTER. -Rafael Romo, Mexico City.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amy K. Reavis Sinn on November 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
It's interesting how things/situations "speak" to some people and don't to others. Books are this way. Some reviewers found Stop Being Mean to Yourself a waste of time, but I found it an inspiration and an adventure that made me WANT to stop feeling sorry for myself, to KNOW that I should listen to my higher self and to BEGIN being good to myself. I felt I was led to this book - I read it in one day, with verve! It's true that it seems to be a "story" about Beattie's adventures and her personal quest for enlightenment, but that's what I liked about it! I was looking for something different, something interesting - a "story" about life and what others have experienced that I want and need (whether it is fact or fiction!). Plain and simple, it touched me with its simplicity. I related to Melody's struggles - her questioning and searching and uncertainty. ... I've read plenty of spiritual awareness and self-help books with daily affirmations, etc., (from wealthy, educated doctor types! - does it make a difference who's actually doing the writing if it speaks to you?!) but they have gotten old - Melody intrigued me. She re-engaged my creativity and my interest in myself - not necessarily on fixing myself, but in being loving and nurturing to myself. I felt understood reading this book, because I felt that Melody is "one of us." She's on the same spirtual path (but maybe farther ahead ;-)) as the rest of us who read this book and any of the thousands of others that exist on similar subjects. I was brought to this book - as other people may have come upon it for their own personal reasons - if you weren't touched by this one, there will be another book out there that WILL get to you.Read more ›
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By BookloverForLife on January 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
We're all familiar with the saying, "I feel it in my gut." Many of us, however, are less prone to stop and listen to what our gut may be saying. In "Stop Being Mean to Yourself," Melody Beattie found a way to unravel why listening to her feelings had always been a challenge. During her 1996 journey through Algeria, Morocco and Egypt, Beattie became aware that her solar plexus (a complex of nerves near the abdomen) was sensitive - perhaps overly so. In Tibetan Buddhism, the solar plexus chakra is said to correspond not only to spiritual growth, but to fear, anxiety and introversion. What exactly was her gut trying to tell her?

In Cairo and Giza, the ancient rubs shoulders with the modern. While being guided through the "souk" or marketplace, Beattie observed a man using a stick to hit thieves (to identify them for the benefit of others in the crowd.) It occurred to her that she had been "walking without a stick" all these years; she had never been able to shield herself from those who would do her harm, much less identify them. She yearns for the intuition that would protect her in the future. Beattie makes the case that an underdeveloped capacity for self-preservation is what has fueled her low self-image.

Symbolism permeates each part of her story. There are references to living in a psychological "box" and being tossed about as in a "vortex." She makes good use of these images in describing some very disturbing episodes in her journey. What emerges, in the end, is Beattie's realization that her pain-filled life has had a greater purpose after all: a newfound self-awareness. Through writing, she discovers that her insights can potentially help others in their quest for meaning and fulfillment. Beattie's leap of faith came about as a by-product of her travels. Readers of "Stop Being Mean to Yourself" can vicariously experience this transformation as well.
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