Fierce love A bold path to ferocious courage and rule-breaking kindness that can heal the world

Jacqueline Janette Lewis, 1959-

Book - 2021

"Inspired by the Ubuntu philosophy "I am who I am because we are who we are" and explained through stories from her own life and those of her mentors and inspirations, Dr. Lewis details the nine daily practices necessary for transforming ourselves, our communities, and our world at large. From learning to put down our emotional baggage to speaking truth to power to fueling our activism with joy, Dr. Lewis gives readers a renewed sense of the power they have to create caring commun...ities; to stand up for the vulnerable; and to change our shared human story from one of anxiety, anger, and divisiveness to one of mindfulness, compassion, and unity. Dr. Lewis's Fierce Love is a manifesto for all generations, a universalist's vision for mending our broken hearts and fractured world"--

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Subjects
Genres
Self-help publications
Published
New York : Harmony Books [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
218 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780593233863
0593233867
Main Author
Jacqueline Janette Lewis, 1959- (author)
  • You
  • Love yourself unconditionally. It all starts here
  • Speak truthfully. It will set you free
  • Travel lightly. Downsize the burdens you carry
  • You and your posse
  • Show kindness and affection wildly. Make fierce love real
  • Confront boldly. Transform your circumstances with moral courage
  • Think inclusively. They're your people too!
  • You and the world
  • Live justly. Choose fairness and equality every day
  • Find joy daily. It is the water of life
  • Believe assiduously. Have faith in love.
Review by Booklist Reviews

If learning to love yourself was an easy process, everyone would be an expert. It isn't easy, though, and that is where Lewis' story begins. On her journey of self-inquiry, Lewis discovers the Zulu philosophy of ubuntu and the healing power of us. Through her childhood of expected perfection, into her young adulthood of mistakes, and during her middle adulthood of truth-telling, readers learn that we, too, can discover ubuntu. Lewis' own self appointed need to be perfect creates a deep hole in her sense of belonging and worth that keeps her from experiencing her true self for much of her life. It leads her into a marriage that isn't right, a one night stand that opens her eyes to a world she never thought she would belong to, and eventually to her place as a minister and activist. Lewis uses stories from the Bible, her own experiences, and honest reflection of American culture to remind us that not only will the truth set us free, but we can take others with us, too. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

If learning to love yourself was an easy process, everyone would be an expert. It isn't easy, though, and that is where Lewis' story begins. On her journey of self-inquiry, Lewis discovers the Zulu philosophy of ubuntu and the healing power of us. Through her childhood of expected perfection, into her young adulthood of mistakes, and during her middle adulthood of truth-telling, readers learn that we, too, can discover ubuntu. Lewis' own self appointed need to be perfect creates a deep hole in her sense of belonging and worth that keeps her from experiencing her true self for much of her life. It leads her into a marriage that isn't right, a one night stand that opens her eyes to a world she never thought she would belong to, and eventually to her place as a minister and activist. Lewis uses stories from the Bible, her own experiences, and honest reflection of American culture to remind us that not only will the truth set us free, but we can take others with us, too. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage and a resident of both London and Brooklyn, PEN Ackerley Prize—winning poet Daley-Ward explains how we can become our own best and truest selves in The How. A principal dancer at the New York City Ballet who starred on Broadway in On the Town, plus a podcast host, MBA student, and mother of three, Fairchild explains The Ballerina Mindset that lets her do it all with apparent ease. In parlous times. Stoic philosophy is suddenly trending, and Fideler's Breakfast with Seneca provides an accessible overview. The first woman and first Black minister at the progressive Collegiate Church in Manhattan, which dates from 1628, Lewis shows how we can cope with today's divisive culture by discussing her own reckoning with racism, her interracial marriage, nine daily spiritual practices that have sustained her, and the importance of Fierce Love. In The Power of Fun, award-winning science journalist Price argues that treating fun as an important part of your life—and she doesn't mean binge-watch your favorite TV shows—will make you happier and more productive. In Saving Grace, Powers leans on her experiences as a CNN senior political analyst and USA TODAY columnist to explain how we can maintain mental well-being without deserting our own convictions during conflict-ridden times. Author of the New York Times best-seller and Reese's Book Club pick Fair Play, Rodsky urges women to rethink their priorities and claim essential healing time for themselves in Find Your Unicorn Space. Having left their New York desk jobs and moved to Montana, leading culture journalists Warzel and Petersen see today's pandemic-driven work-at-home situation as a cobbled-together compromise and explain how we can create true Out of Office work schedules benefiting both workers and employers. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This debut by theologian Lewis is the kind of book that will inspire and encourage and may push readers out of their comfort zones. Lewis (senior minister of Collegiate Church in New York City and creator of the MSNBC online show Just Faith and the PBS show Faith and Justice) advocates a radically accepting brand of Christianity that finds its roots in her experience growing up as a Black child in the United States, a country that tolerates and rarely confronts racism and misogyny. The author also reveals the effects of her sometimes supportive, sometimes dysfunctional family life on her spiritual and emotional growth—a path that she says included a failed first marriage, a suicide attempt, and, ultimately, a PhD in psychology and religion and a career in the ministry. To explain her deep passion for activism, she writes: "My new religion is Love. Fierce Love. Period. This is all that matters." The book's autobiographical elements lend authenticity to Lewis's writing. VERDICT Lewis's infectious optimism (about the power of love and its potential to change society) will reignite hope in many readers who might be weary from personal and professional struggles.—Gail Eubanks, Univ. of Missouri, Springfield Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Lewis, a Christian minister and creator of the MSNBC talk show Just Faith, advocates in this passionate memoir-as-sermon for change in a turbulent world via "a demanding, heart transforming, fierce love" that breaks through "tribalism" to find connection and community. Using her own life story and family history, Lewis introduces readers to ubuntu, the Zulu philosophy of "I am who I am because we are who we are." She proposes nine ubuntu-inspired philosophies geared toward "engineer a badly needed love revolution to rise up out of the ashes," among them loving oneself, speaking the truth, living justly, finding joy, and others. There are real-world examples to accompany each, such as of Lewis facing racism for the first time or dealing with her father's legacy of abuse, her relationships with men, her years as a successful sales representative for Eastman Kodak, and the growing faith that ultimately led to her becoming a minister. Rather than a recipe for self-help, the approach is autobiographical, emphasizing how lives intertwine and actions impact one another, and urging readers to bring in ubuntu as an attitude to accomplish sexual, racial, and economic justice ("What hurts you hurts me. What heals you heals me."). There's not one single pathway here; rather it's a dynamic missive about how one woman has made a difference. (Nov.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Inspired by the Ubuntu philosophy "I am who I am because we are who we are" and explained through stories from her own life and those of her mentors and inspirations, Dr. Lewis details the nine daily practices necessary for transforming ourselves, our communities, and our world at large. From learning to put down our emotional baggage to speaking truth to power to fueling our activism with joy, Dr. Lewis gives readers a renewed sense of the power they have to create caring communities; to stand up for the vulnerable; and to change our shared human story from one of anxiety, anger, and divisiveness to one of mindfulness, compassion, and unity. Dr. Lewis's Fierce Love is a manifesto for all generations, a universalist's vision for mending our broken hearts and fractured world"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A public theologian and the first Black or female senior minister at the progressive, multicultural Collegiate Church in Manhattan, illustrates through nine daily practices how to increase our human capacity for empathy and forgiveness to heal our lives and communities.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A healing antidote to our divisive culture, full of evocative storytelling, spiritual wisdom, and nine essential daily practices—by the first female, Black senior minister at the historic Collegiate Churches of New York“Fierce Love teaches us that with spiritual faith we can transcend the darkest moments and come through stronger.”—Gabrielle Bernstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back We are living in a world divided. Race and ethnicity, caste and color, gender and sexuality, class and education, religion and political party have all become demographic labels that reduce our differences to simplistic categories in which “we” are vehemently against “them.” But Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis’s own experience—of being the first female and first Black minister in her church’s history, of being in an interracial marriage, and of making peace with childhood abuse—illustrates that our human capacity for empathy and forgiveness is the key to reversing these ugly trends.Inspired by the tenets of ubuntu—the Zulu philosophy that we are each impacted by the circumstances that impact those around us, and that the world won’t get better until we all get better—Fierce Love lays out the nine daily practices for breaking through tribalism and engineering the change we seek. From downsizing our emotional baggage to speaking truth to power to fueling our activism with joy, it demonstrates the power of small, morally courageous steps to heal our own lives, our posse, and our larger communities. Sharing stories that trace her personal reckoning with racism as well as the arc of her journey to an inclusive and service-driven faith, Dr. Lewis shows that kindness, compassion, and inclusive thinking are muscles that can be exercised and strengthened. With the goal of mending our inextricable human connection, Fierce Love is a manifesto for all generations: a bighearted, healing antidote to our rancorous culture.