Whatever ails you, from a stubbed toe to a broken heart, gets space in Louise Hay’s classic You Can Heal Your Life. I had an ancient, yellowing copy of a paperback from an earlier printing that disappeared in some move or another. But the beautiful gift version Hay House printed caught my eye at a time when I was collecting ideas and remedies for life off-kilter and I added it to a shelf of Buddhism, nutrition, space clearing and other uplifting tomes. The dark days of December provided the impetus to crack its colorful cover and revisit the Hay brand of comfort and good cheer.
It’s a beautiful book, glossy pages, painted art illustrating sections, edging pages and filling in the background behind affirmations. And it is easy to navigate, from sections on resistance to change to lists of body parts and their ailments that offer Louise Hay’s philosophical interpretation of how the mind and the action create or cure the problem.
Hay’s ideas are not startling—more pragmatic and insightful. Break an index finger? The index finger represents ego and fear; the shift of mind is the reassurance: I am secure. Those heart problems might be a sign of lack of joy, long-standing emotional problems, a hardening of the heart. Allow joy to flow through your life to dissolve the blocks. Something as incidental as poison ivy could signify feeling defenseless and open to attack. Ease the itching by repeating: I am powerful, safe and secure. All is well. Hay doesn’t say to avoid the calamine lotion or necessary medical attention. She offers an empowering point of view to those who see an integration of body and spirit and want to heal both from the inside out.
There are chapters on relationships, work, prosperity, the body and other elements of life that can go off the rails. Throughout, there are positive affirmations you can adapt or repeat to restore the mental and emotional equanimity that speeds healing—whether the problem is lack of self-confidence, deep-seated anger or a mistaken interpretation of reality that embraces the negative. Louise Hay is all about gratitude, self-acceptance, clarity and going easy on yourself. If the world is beating you up, don’t join in the fray, she counsels. Tell yourself you are worth it and then begin to treat yourself like the valuable property you are.
“The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences,” Hay writes. Her book is a prescription for creating positive experiences, a return to glowing health and a deeper understanding of what drives us off balance. The gift edition is a visually appealing get well card for whatever ails you. It might be a nice holiday present for yourself or an open-minded friend in these unhealthy, unfriendly times.
You Can Heal Your Life Louise L. Hay | Hay House 1999