Monday, July 8, 2013

{REVIEW} Downside Up: Transform Rejection into Your Golden Opportunity by Tracey Mitchell

A harsh reality of life is that it’s not always enjoyable. Everyone has experienced rejection. Whether in the form of hash words, unreciprocated love, loss or betrayal. Most people perceive rejection as a negative occurrence, when, in reality, rejection can be one of the most powerful tools in life.
Downside Up contains step-by-step guides, resources, and inter-active pages necessary to restore lost identity and transform dreams into reality. Downside Up offers wisdom, guidance, and personal application while also outlining and establishing key biblical principles that promote emotional and mental wellness. Readers will:
  • Understand the importance of developing a positive and God-designed self-portrait
  • Identify their life’s purpose and maximize their potential for success
  • Discover the value of godly mentors and other positive relationships
  • Overcome negative thoughts, fear, and lack of self-confidence
  • Rejection is not about experiencing loss. It is an asset for fulfilling your dreams.
Selecting my next Booksneeze book to review was difficult. I wanted to stay away from the meaty books I usually read...the ones with a message I Don't Really Want To Hear, But Need To...but I kept coming back to this one. Eventually, I gave in and I'm glad I did. This time, however, the message was something that wasn't painful to read!
There isn't a person on the planet that hasn't, at some time, experienced rejection. I am personally acquainted with it, much more intimately than I'd like to be honest. All you have to do is look around wherever you are, the world is full of people who have felt the sting of rejection. But not everyone handles it the same way.
The most eye-opening aspect of this book was the shift in perspective that it gave me regarding rejection. Most people avoid it like the plague. Let's face it, being rejected hurts. And the message that is often received is "there is something fundamentally wrong with me."  But, by using rejection to your advantage to filter out the people and situations that don't qualify for a place in your life, rejection can actually be a very useful and positive tool to shape your future. 
This book is not overly preachy, and in fact I was a bit disappointed that there weren't more scriptural references. It also had parts that I felt kind of came across in a Modern Psychobabble kind of fashion. But, for someone dealing with very extreme rejection extreme that they even reject God, a book that is overly preachy or filled with too many scriptures might be a turn-off.  There was only one thing that I particularly disagreed with:
"If you have suffered from tragic feelings associated with betrayal, it is important for you to begin the healing journey toward wholeness. Healing begins by addressing the negative events that have taken place and then focusing on the positive takeaways that will help you be more discriminating in selecting who qualifies for your future." pg 118

While I do not disagree that healing includes addressing the negative and focusing on the positive, healing, especially from betrayal, begins with forgiveness. As long as you are holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness toward someone who has hurt you, you are actually imprisoning yourself! You are holding yourself captive by the very person who has hurt you. Once you forgive and release that betrayal, and the person involved, then healing can begin. Then you can be open and receptive to the positives in the negative situation. Perhaps the author assumed that the reader would know that forgiveness should come first, but I can tell you from my own experience that forgiveness is absolutely critical in healing from emotional wounds. 

Downside Up is a book that I haven't read, it's one that I have devoured. There is so much positive and transformative truth within its pages. Each chapter includes a summary of the chapter principles, a pertinent scripture, a "power quote" and a "plan of action" to help the reader implement the principles in their life. It will help you assess your current relationships to determine which are healthy and which are dysfunctional, and who really belongs in your life as well as help you identify potential abusers and manipulators.  Most importantly, it will help you turn the tables on rejection and view it in a different light. I wish that I had had the perspective on rejection, that it reveals who or what qualifies for a place in my life, years ago. What a difference that would have made in my life! I have highlighted many, many golden nuggets as I've read, and have recommended this book to just about anyone who will listen. I think it would be good as a group study book as well and am hoping that our mom's group at church will agree to use it. Oh, and it's not just a book for women, it is absolutely for anyone! 
I wanted to close this review with a quote from the book, and had a hard time choosing just one. There are so many eye-opening statements in Downside Up!  But I will leave you with this thought, let it sink down deep and take root...
The God-given ability to love is limitless. The capacity to give and receive love is a condition of our relationship with God, past exeriences, and relationships.  Pg 75
It is my sincere prayer that all who read this book be transformed in such a way that their capacity to give and receive love is equal to the limitless ability to love that God has given each person that He purposefully and lovingly created.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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