Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Me, a Junkie?

Title: Are You a Spiritual Hypochondriac?
Author: Dottie Randazzo
ISBN: 978-0-6151-8006-9
Publisher: Creative Dreaming
Reviewer: Yvonne Perry www.yvonneperry.net

If you wear your Awanas shirt on days other than Awanas meeting days, you might be a spiritual hypochondriac.

If you go to church five times a week, you might be a spiritual hypochondriac.

If have you have framed your VBS awards and baptism certificates and have them hanging on your wall, you might be a spiritual hypochondriac.

If you are waiting on God to fix all the problems you have created for yourself, you may be a spiritual hypochondriac. (You may be co-dependent too, but that’s another book.)

Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt, and gave it to another poor, lost sinner.

This book may have been written by Dottie Randazzo, but she stole my life story. I was a spiritual hypochondriac as I wandered for 40 years in the wilderness of organized religion. I always felt broken and in need of fixing, so I was constantly seeking the venue of a healing service, spiritual guru, or my next spiritual experience. I knew the scriptures and could quote chapter and verse to anyone who asked—even to those who didn’t ask. I was an evangelical Bible-thumper and I figured that if I was a broken wretch, then so was everyone else and we all needed to be saved. Saved from what? The only thing I needed saving from was myself and my religious addiction. I didn’t know it at the time. My reality checks bounced on the way to the bank. T’was blind, but, now I see.

All this searching was part of my quest to find out exactly what I did believe. For me, it was a method of madness for finding and owning my spiritual truth, which finally led me to leave organized religion altogether. This intense seeking was fine for a while, but it was not a good thing to continue indefinitely. The high did not and could not last, and I was never satisfied. Neither was Dottie and she wrote a book about this condition called spiritual hypochondria.

I like Randazzo’s style of writing. It is very succinct, short, and sweet. She gives her message to the reader in high-dose one-page entries that make us stop and think, “Why am I doing this to myself? Am I not okay like I am? Is good enough EVER good enough? Isn’t it okay to be human?”

Dottie asks some profound questions in her book. “You will have your Bible and/or beads with you, ready for the judgment when you get to heaven, won’t you?” “What if you get to the pearly gates and all these trophies don’t mean a thing?” “What if you are already exactly the way you are supposed to be?” “What if you are already perfect?” “What if you are only here to experience life with joy?” Wasted trip, huh? No, we learn from our mistakes and that is what Dottie is trying to tell us. Every experience, even the ones that seem to indicate failure, can serve a higher purpose: to know that you are one with your creator and have never been separated.

“Instead of using one spray for ants, another for flies, and another for bugs, let’s just use a blanket bomb and deal with it in one shot.” Randazzo’s humor has hit the nail on the head, and her book serves as a wakeup call to those who are still working their way back to wholeness. Use it as a daily devotional. Use it as a fly-swatter, but do use it and allow it to transform you. Let this author’s humor remind you that being human is not something to be ashamed of.

I still have my Sunday School perfect attendance pin in my jewelry box where it reminds me of how my parents raised me. I plan to put Dottie’s book in there beside it to remind me of how far I have come. From one reformed spiritual hypochondriac to another, thanks, Dottie!

1 comment:

Ginger Simpson said...

Yvonne,
Just letting you know that the 't' in net isn't included in your html text and so the link isn't working. Eagle eye that I am, I figured it out. :)


Ginger
http://mizging.blogspot.com