For the past several months, I have been working on the Your Best Life Now Journal by Joel Osteen. This is a companion book to his best-seller Your Best Life Now. I remember seeing YBLN in the bookstore and rolling my eyes at it. Oh, another Christian self-help book that pretends it can fix everything in our lives. Please.
Then, a bunch of my online friends started talking about doing the Journal, which is kind of a workbook. I read reviews of YBLN on amazon.com, thought about it, and decided to go for it.
I used to be a very positive person, always looking for the good in a situation. I eventually kind of had this beaten out of me (metaphorically). College was a really, really hard time for me socially. I felt like no matter what group I tried to join, no matter how many auditions I went on, it just wasn't working. I felt like I didn't have any friends, and if I only tried harder I could remedy this. I couldn't. To this day, I only have a couple of friends from college (well, I did meet my husband at college- I guess he counts too!), and aside from my husband, only one of them is really a close friend. Intellectually, I knew I could make and keep friends- I had a terrific group of friends in high school (most of them are still my friends!), so I didn't think it was all me. I don't know what it was, but it was just a very discouraging time in my life.
Things looked up after graduating from college, until my friend died, which was a huge, huge setback. Then I made the crazy decision of going to grad school and moving thousands of miles away, had a crazy horrible roommate with a cat that didn't like to use the litter box, and on top of all of that (not to mention being poor), I had this stressful incident where an epileptic with a suspended driver's license had a seizure and slammed into my parked car. Almost totalled it. Nice. (that situation worked out fine in the end, but was really stressful and awful).
So the combination of all these things over a 5 year period really got to me. I had been so disappointed on so many levels, that I just lowered my expectations to nothing, just to protect myself.
Recently, I have been feeling that I am ready to get back to who I used to be- the positive, upbeat QueenBee who was convinced that everything would work out in the end, and usually did.
Despite my initial skepticism of YBLN, it is really working! The journal is helping me look at the world in a more positive manner. It is helping me to expect positive outcomes from the world, and it is helping me to believe I can succeed. It's terrific!
I recently bought the book, as well as the YBLN devotional book. One of my complaints about the journal is that it seems so simplistic. The book really helps to clarify issues I was struggling with, and the devotional book is helping me understand the Biblical basis of what Joel Osteen is saying. I had originally thought that the book would be kind of "Name it and Claim it" (i.e. "prosperity gospel"), which I don't agree with, but it really isn't.
I highly recommend it. It's terrific.