Brave Souls: Find your courage, speak your truth and be happy again after sexual violence by Jennifer Potter, The Big Ideas Library, Oct 2017.
I like autobiographies. Of all the books I read, they – along with biographies – are my favourite genre. Jennifer Potter’s book Brave Souls isn’t listed under that category – it’s listed on Amazon in the Self-Help category, which undoubtedly fits its purpose – although it holds some of the key ingredients of good autobiographies and what makes reading about significant aspects of a person’s life engaging and worthwhile. It’s honest, revealing, and nudges one towards delving into one’s own inner workings and hurts – and how we respond to them. Jennifer, with courage and open-heartedness, shares her process in grappling with past sexual assault, speaking out and freeing herself of its impact.
Jennifer has forged a path in life which has undoubtedly been influenced by those experiences, and that’s far from a bad thing. A key feature of her story is not only finding the courage to speak out but to manage the consequences (which cannot be underplayed) and to seek ways in which to take back and build on her own power as a woman – one whose living of life would not forever be defined by the abuse of power of others. I was left in no doubt that the process was not straight forward, without turmoil or pain, or that there is a final settling in Nirvana. Jennifer’s strength does indeed seem to emerge through her willingness to be vulnerable and to actively seek out ways in which to manifest more of the freedom, self-love and self-valuing that contribute to happiness on a daily basis. Her commitment to writing this book came about through this seeking of self-determination and power. Looking for something in the written form which might offer some echo of her own experience – and some help in managing the aftermath – she found little out there.
Whilst the subject matter is central – and will very usefully speak to many who may have experienced something similar – it also offers a useful resource for anyone that has experienced a traumatic event or feels the restrictions and shackles of an untold story or voice unheard. Jennifer shows us that we all have the power to take charge and choose more of what we want from the experiences of our lives.
Available as paperback or Kindle Edition.