The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living

by Chip Dodd
Reviewed date: 2020 Jun 19
163 pages
cover art

This is a good idea but not a good book. The good idea is that in order to live full unstunted lives, we must be willing to feel our emotions. Author Chip Dodd lists the eight core emotions, which is a good place to start. Someone who isn't in touch with his or her emotions needs to start by learning what the emotions are. As an example, Dodd points out that anxiety is not a core emotion--it's a symptom of fear that isn't being dealt with honestly. If we identify the core emotion--the fear and the reason for the fear--then we can face it, fix it, and resolve the anxiety.

The bad, though: in attempting the explain the eight core feelings, author Chip Dodd sprews out a lot of words but I couldn't discern much organization or clear thinking. It struck me as someone with thirty pages of content who felt obligated to fill 160 pages.

Also, in addition to the eight core feelings, Chip Dodd introduces something he calls the Spiritual Root System. The five roots are feelings, needs, desire, longings, and hope. He presents the Spiritual Root System at the beginning of the book, doesn't really explain it, and then drops it.

I am disappointed. Understanding feelings is so important. I know for me, I made a real breakthrough when I realized that my anxiety was because I was avoiding things I feared. Trying to sooth my anxieties never worked, because I wasn't facing my fears. Now whenever I feel anxiety rising, I interrogate my own feelings and identify the fear. Then I can face it instead of avoiding it. So I dearly wanted this book to give me more tools like that.

It did not.

The book can still be valuable, not so much for what it says, but because by reading it you are forced to think about your feelings. And if you've never done that, you might just enter a whole new mode of healthy living.

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