I just finished reading The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards for the BlogHer Book Review Program and though I felt the 377 page novel had a slow start, I found myself sobbing and overcome with emotion after getting a little past the half-way point.
While I wished I felt more of an attachment to the main character, Lucy Jarrett, what saved me from becoming totally bored with this book was the story of her long, lost ancestor Rose Jarrett in the letters written to her daughter, Iris.
Being a mother to a young daughter, reading the excerpts she wrote after leaving Iris during the woman’s suffrage movement, literally tore out my heart. I had to annoyingly leave my cozy couch to retrieve piles of tissues while I read as the tears wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t fathom having to make the decision to leave my daughter to have a “better” or more stable life, knowing she may forever feel disconnected and unwanted by her own mother.
Leading back to this distressing decision was a quote from Rose’s letters:
For this is what I have learned, in my short life: do not act out of anger. Act from love, or not at all. p. 273.
When she chose to leave her daughter in the care of her brother and his wife she was acting from love, and I like to think that even if her daughter felt abandoned, when intentions are based from love they can never be wrong.
This particular excerpt has made me question my own intentions and how choosing love over anger and fear have been such a huge part of the journey I share on this blog to “live in the moment and make it beautiful.” The simple decision to choose love over fear (or anger) has helped me get through some difficult times, as well as a lot of anxiety.
After going through a particularly hard time, in fact, this quote from Marianne Williamson, was what helped me to pull through.
“Every situation we find ourselves in is an opportunity,
perfectly planned by the Holy Spirit, to teach love instead of fear.”
If I take anything at all from this long story of interwoven ancestors it is not only to act from love over anger but to “act from love, or not at all.” It is one lesson that I plan on passing down to my own daughter.
And her daughter.
And all of those who follow.
How do you choose love over anger or fear in your own life?
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This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.