Monday, November 15, 2010

My Mother's Rules

My Mother's Rules: a Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius by Lynn Toler

You might recognize the author as Judge Lynn Toler of the nationally syndicated show, Divorce Court.  In a mix of inspirational memoir meets self help, Toler shares with us her mother's "rules" for life.  Rules that were founded upon a need to do more than just survive.  A childhood of poverty, a mentally ill, alocholic husband, and two little girls ... this is where her mother began and her rules helped Toler become the successful woman that she is today.

Growing up in Ohio, the author takes us through her childhood, living with a father whose moods could be volatile, and a mother who managed to keep every one together.  We see how her mother's ability to keep her own feelings in check made it possible to somewhat gauge her husband's reaction to life's daily battles.

Toler describes, rather frankly, not only the outbursts she witnessed from her father as a child, but also how "the Beast" in her can also take over all rational thinking and replace it with fear.  We learn that the tools her mother used in living with a mentally ill husband, also work for Lynn when she is battling the demons that reside in her own mind.

These rules cover everything from knowing where your feelings come from, tackling them head on, and turning them around to make them work for you instead of against you ... working through an issue or avoiding one completely ... ignoring insult, helping others see what you're saying, and when to ask for help.

Most people are not, I have realized, emotionally well practiced.  We tend to misunderstand our fears and misinterpret our desires.  We act when we ought to sit still; we feel when we should instead think, and in the end, this allows our emotions to handle us as opposed to us handling them.

I came across this title on Amazon's recommended books and after reading a sample of it on my kindle, had no issue in paying for the rest.  I personally have my own set of "rules" in dealing with my emotions as a way to keep a handle on my bipolar.  By using what I've learned here, I feel confident that I can gain more control over the situations that I usually let slide by.  Things like displaced anger, blowing up over a small issue because I am still upset about something that happened earlier in the day, can be put aside until the time is right to deal with it.  This not only saves me the energy used in losing my cool, it also saves the embarrassment and guilt I'd feel later.

I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat.


  1. Wow. It sounds like a fabulous book, sweetie. I'm making a note of it. You KNOW how behind I am on my reading...but this one'll be a MUST when I find my reading-mojo.

    Great review!

  2. oh, is that paid job getting in the way again? seriously, we should do something about that ;0)