When Everyone Shines But You by Kelly Martin is a book unlike any other you will read. I guess the genre that this book is categorised as would be self-help. Usually, when you read a self-help book the author encourages you to be positive, bury your anger and never be jealous of anyone.
All good and well in theory, but putting all of that into practice is another matter entirely. If your life has been one catastrophe after another or one big mess after another then it is really difficult to just swallow all of that anger, bitterness, the disappointment, then you will understand just how difficult it is to be the best version of yourself.
This book encourages the reader to be fully present in the moment and if that means you have to work on why you are feeling angry about something, then that is what you have to do. The author tells us that it is healthier to vent in private – she suggests using a journal or even a trusted person whom you can vent away to. Self-help books have a tendency just to focus on the positive but Kelly wants us to work on all of our feelings. This is very different to the usual love and light that most self-help books preach and I found it wonderfully refreshing.
Am I angry that some people use me? You bet I am. Kelly writes that it is OK for me to feel that anger. She encourages me to get personal with it and work with it, and I have found that this is a lot more healthy than suppressing it and expecting it to just go away. That’s the thing with negative emotions though, ignoring them will not just make them go away and left to their own devices they have the potential to fester and grow into something rather unpleasant. Dealing with the negative stuff releases those feelings that we have about the situation that is getting us all bent out of shape and that in turn leads to a much healthy version of ourselves.
Kelly also encourages us to let go of our ego centred way of thinking. This, for me, is where the real work on ourselves is. How many times have we thought that we need something only to feel disappointment once we have actually got it? That is the ego urging us on, telling us we must have the thing we desire. Be it the latest gadget or a few more friends on social media, chances are we don’t actually need it, we just want it. Kelly has a trusted method she suggests we use whenever we are faced with making choices. She suggests we ask ourselves these three questions:
Do I need this? Why do I really want this? Is there anything beneath this want that may be messing with my judgment here?
By asking ourselves these three questions when faced with making decisions we can, the author assures us, be sure we are not just letting the ego lead.
This book is a revelation when it comes to getting rid of the negativity in your life. Positivity is encouraged but dealing with the negative is also encouraged and this is usually where we get into trouble when we do this kind of work. Kelly doesn’t promise that we are going to suddenly become forever shiny, happy people, that just isn’t real. What she does encourage is to deal with all of the negative emotions as and when they arise in order to release them so that they have no power over us. For me that is a winning formula, it is down to earth and very practical. Not everyone buys into positive thinking anyway so this book is just what you need if you fall into that category.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take their life in their own hands and steer it towards the best version of themselves. This book gets right into the heart of why we so often fail at becoming better versions of ourselves. If you are looking for a no-nonsense book that will help you improve your life, then this is the book for you.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. FIVE STARS *****