“I wish it were easy to give feelings of self-esteem to children, young people, and the adults they become. If we could, many of society’s problems would disappear” – Cat Williams, author of “Stay Calm and Content: No Matter What Life Throws at You”
I heard Cat interviewed about the book on my local radio-station. Thinking she talked a lot of sense, I wrote to thank her, and she sent me a copy to review.
As the quote suggests, the book’s main focus is self-esteem; how it shapes us; why we act the way we do. As soon as I read the blurb on the cover, I looked forward to getting into this book. If (like me) you’ve read “The Five Love-Languages” by Gary Chapman, I think you might enjoy this one too. There are lots of personal stories in here and, although fictional, Cat is a relationship counsellor and some of the changes took place in the lives of her clients.
True to life, some situations are presented to us with no resolution, but my particular favourites are those where counselling has brought about positive change – an abusor being forgiven; a teenaged girl’s relationship with her mum; a marriage falling apart, now restored.
Cat says of the book: “I know that not everyone will like it and that some people might find faults or omissions. However, I hope you find it interesting and perhaps useful”, which I did. Things jumped out at me that I hadn’t thought of before, such as: ‘Old memories replaying can make you feel what you felt in the past, even though the circumstances are different’. Or: ‘An argument is 2 people experiencing low self-esteem, because it’s centred on defensiveness and/or criticism’.
So, if you buy this book, it’ll make you think. The only thing I found it lacked was the Christian perspective, so I might have phrased some of the assurances differently. For example, Cat says: “We can handle anything because we can choose how we respond to it”; I would add to that by saying: I can handle anything because God says however many days I’ve got, I’ll have enough strength for them all (Deuteronomy 33:25). Cat’s statement that we’re good enough when we’re born, before we’ve achieved anything, is such a rare thing to hear and really resonated with me, but I can’t think of that statement without being reminded of Jesus at His baptism, where God said He was pleased with Him before He’d even started teaching or doing any miracles. For me, my Christian faith is what’s got me through the last 14 years of my life; I can’t imagine how people cope without God, but I’ve certainly learnt from Cat’s book, and I like her style of writing. It’s very easy to read. She’s covered such a range of topics in this first book of hers, but I really hope we’ll see other books in the future.