Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer

This was another book that I had heard some good things about and different people have mentioned it in conversations about favorite or most impactful books. When I saw it on Audible I thought that it was just the right time to work my way through it. While I did not get the same incredible impact that others had from this book, I did enjoy it and had a few valuable takeaways as a result.

The beginning shared something that the author did for his children and I thought that it was a great plan. This is also something that I desire to do for my future children. I think about myself and so many of the things that I have forgotten about from my childhood. I don’t remember a lot of the things that I used to like and dislike. Also, I don’t remember a lot of the things that I did that one of my parents may have loved or admired.

I will keep track of the things implanted in her at birth. What does she like and dislike? What is she drawn to? What repels her? What does she do? What does she say? Gather observations and share them in late teens or early twenties with a preface that this is a sketch of who you were as your earliest person, it is merely a sketch, only you can draw it out but, perhaps these notes will help you do something and remember who you were and reclaim your true self

The author talked about limitations and I think this is probably one of the most important things for people to understand. Self-imposed limitations are so prevalent in many people’s lives. The difference, I am seeing, is the way that we handle those limitations. The most successful people are able to work around those limitations and attack them head-on. The people who are less assertive and do not take responsibility for the limitations they place on themselves rarely seem to get past them. Limitations from people trying to keep us stagnant typically involve a class or group of people, but again, we can either use the imposed limitation for motivation or we can become limited as a result.

2 kinds of limitations

1. Self
2. Imposed by people or political forces determined to keep us in the same place

As the author stated, weakness, darkness, and liability want to control us. The truth is that we ALL have weaknesses, darknesses, and liabilities. The challenge is what we do with those weaknesses. The great leaders in business all echo the same message. Most say, “I’ve only ever done what I was good at.” They acknowledge their weaknesses but understand that there are people who exemplify those as strengths within their own lives. We all have different things that make us who we are and it is up to us to embrace our whole self — God created us the way that we are for a reason.

To close the introduction for this short highlighted portion of the book, I’ll remind everyone of this — the darkness and challenges that we go through? Someone else is going to go through the same thing, the worst thing we can do is keep the trials and tribulations that we’ve overcome to ourselves.

To embrace weakness, darkness, and liability as part of who I am gives them less sway over me because all those things wanted were acknowledgment to be part of who I am.

This following part was quite incredible to me. It’s amazing to think about the way that people view the world. The author said it best by restating our purpose in the world. It’s not just about us in this world, and it never has been.

A Chinese child may ask, “how does a baby grow?” An American child will ask, “how do you make a baby?” We are here to transform the world but also to be transformed by the world.

Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans on Unsplash

In closing, I enjoyed this book. The author shared some great perspectives and echoed a lot of the things that I hold close to my heart: an open perspective, love, limitless potential, and God’s grace. This is definitely an impactful book and one that challenged me throughout it.

I gave this book a 3.5/5

To read this book, get it here

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