Saturday, October 25, 2014

What Freedom Smells Like: A #Memoir by Amy Lewis @AmyLewisAuthor #Excerpt #AmReading #TBR

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes decades to shed our childhood conditioning – the beliefs and thoughts that pieced together like not so colorful charms on a bracelet determine our destiny. But sometimes one moment pierces a hole so large in our consciousness, we can’t continue living as we once did. Seeing my husband’s dead body was that moment for me.

Religion meant very little to me growing up. I was raised Episcopalian. Like Catholic but without the confessional. I attended Sunday school for about a year as a young child. My parents felt obliged to send my sister and me off to church, not because they believed in any of it, but because it seemed proper. After about a year, I think they grew weary of pretending and announced church was no longer required. At fifteen when I could drive, I went back a few times on my own. I liked the church and its 1960s mid-century design. It felt peaceful to me. And, I liked the priest. He was cute, and at 15 older men did something for me. I would kneel in the pew enjoying the atmosphere and fantasize about the priest – romantic fantasies, not sexual ones.

Dad was an atheist although he would never use that word for it. My mother was more of an agnostic. We never talked about God in our family although we did say grace, always the same prayer. “Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.” We must have said it a thousand times. We didn’t have a backup grace, and we never free styled it. That was the only time we ever mentioned Jesus, and I think we only said it to please my father’s mother. I got most of my views on religion, God and Jesus based on my fathers’ negative tirades about his sister. She was a born again Christian. My father thought the whole thing utterly ridiculous at best and highly dangerous at worst.

We never spoke of death. We never spoke of souls. We certainly never spoke of eternity. I had a clear picture of death: darkness. Death was pitch-black darkness. The coffin lid closes, the lights go out, and it’s over - forever. I remember staying awake for hours in my preteen years thinking about infinity. I would lay stiff like a corpse and imagine what death would be like. Pitch black darkness forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. The and evers would torture me. I couldn’t stop obsessing night after night. I decided I would stop thinking of death. From that moment onward, I became terrified of death. The thought, the image, the mere mention of the word made me go numb.

I stood by the door of his room. I had no concept of time so I can’t tell how long. Then my body decided to move, and I took one step and another and another and with my fourth step I found myself right next to Truth’s body, which was slightly slumped to the left.

What I witnessed when I looked into his eyes was the beginning of my own personal revolution. If seeing was believing, then I couldn’t believe what was before my eyes. My husband, whom I had never spent a day apart from in four and a half years, was no longer there. He was dead. Yes, I knew that. His body, which the nurse insisted I say goodbye to, was not him. I knew it instantly when I looked into his eyes. He was nowhere to be found. Who I knew him to be had disappeared. Gone. I couldn’t believe what I saw and what I felt in every pore of my being. He was not there, but his body was. So to whom was I saying goodbye?

I realize all this may sound elementary to those who were raised to believe in what I was just embarking on. I had no idea. My belief system told me it was him but dead. But it wasn’t him. Was I going crazy? I found my presence there pointless. He wasn’t there. I knew it just as much as I knew he had been there a few hours ago. So I left.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.
 Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter


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