cover image How Do We Know When It's God?: A Spiritual Memoir

How Do We Know When It's God?: A Spiritual Memoir

Dan Wakefield. Little Brown and Company, $28 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-316-91778-0

In 1988, Wakefield (Going All the Way) thought he had set his feet firmly on the spiritual path. He had just published Returning, an inspiring memoir about his return to faith and health after decades of heavy drinking and serious despair. He was happily running workshops around the country, helping people recognize the way the spiritual manifested in their own lives. As detailed here, when he then meets up with an old high school crush on a visit to his hometown in Indianapolis, he feels that the overwhelming attraction they share is a sign from God that they should marry and live happily ever after. As soon as the ceremony is over, however, Wakefield realizes that he has made a major mistake. Divorced within months, he's left feeling as if the joy and balance he has treasured has ""collapsed within me, like a tent brought down in a high wind."" Step by step, Wakefield finds his way to a new kind of openness to himself and to God. He turns to yoga, ""going back to the body to find the spirit,"" and learns in other areas of his life to listen more deeply to the truth of his physical and emotional being. Moving from Boston to New York to Miami Beach, Wakefield learns that discerning God's will starts with paying attention to what is, without rushing to facile conclusions. Wakefield offers readers an engrossing story as well as a guide to spiritual maturity. With breathtaking honesty, he shows that real spiritual faith requires that we be explorers, open to the possibility that our wrong turns and mishaps might lead to the richest territory of all. (Aug.)