The Transformative Power of Words
When I landed my first book deal I was so excited. Who wouldn't be? It was traditionally published, it
would be in bookstores all over the country, and it was a fun project. And in a small way it validated my value to the world-at-large that I might actually have something meaningful to share with the world. The intention I set for myself as a writer was to share things I've learned while travelling a non-traditional spiritual path. That was almost four years ago. . .
Since then I've sold more books than I imagined and received what seemed like the normal type of feedback from my books. Mostly a heaping pile of good praise with a few dark sprinkles of criticism. But a few months ago I noticed entirely new types of feedback, the type that helped me realize the transformative power of words.
Two people in particular come to mind, both social media connections. The first one posted a picture of A Little Bit of Buddha on social media with a few kind words. I made sure to thank them, and their reply blew me away. They said they'd purchased the book for a friend and it had helped their friend not commit suicide.
Never in a million years would I have thought such a thing was possible. Even now I ask myself how is this possible?
My mind is still numb from this. Words in a book helped prevent a suicide. Wow. Just wow. My heart goes out to whoever their friend is who suffered so. I dealt with suicidal moments myself in high school and I know how hopeless life can seem in those darkest of days. I guess that speaks to the power of the philosophy of the Buddha - to practice love and compassion for all beings, to remain mindful and aware of our lives without identifying too much to any particular aspect of it, to remain detached from our thoughts and emotions and live from the more serene state of pure awareness.
The other piece of mind-bending praise came from a reader in Canada. They sent me a beautiful message about how A Little Bit of Buddha helped them deal with a life-altering illness. She keeps the book by her side to help her get through her days of struggle. Her heartfelt positive feedback of the book took my breath away.
I was so ignorant of the power of words when I began writing this book. It never occurred to me that it would become anything more than a hopefully-not-too-dry reference book or stocking stuffer. But this kind of amazing feedback has reinvigorated my desire to make a difference in the world through writing. So I send my love and gratitude to those who've taken the time to share their kind words. Your actions have changed my life in the most positive way possible and I am forever grateful.
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