Based on a true story, this empowering account of an ordinary man’s quest for peace gives us an insider’s look at the relief self-honesty offers from the quiet desperation of a disingenuous life.
“The gift of willingness is the only thing that stands between the quiet desperation of a disingenuous life and the actualization of unexpressed potential.”
So begins Jim McDonald’s passionate and philosophical novel about the search for inner peace. Based on “a true story of a little willingness,” Who Would I Be Without centers around Nathan Vrite, an ordinary man living an ordinary life filled with ordinary obstacles. Nathan spent much of his life tending to outward appearances and jockeying for approval from the world around him in an unconscious reaction to the single negative message he unknowingly believed every day: I’m not good enough. Despite more than a decade of sobriety and a newfound willingness to look at himself with often gut-wrenching honesty, Nathan’s rigid pattern of image management keeps him mired in a disingenuous life he senses lacks the depth of love and joining he has only begun to glimpse.
Nathan’s tight hold on his careful existence begins to loosen when he unexpectedly falls in love, an experience that reveals a profound invulnerability. The emotional release that follows his love’s betrayal reveals a level of peaceful empowerment Nathan has never known. It touches Nathan deep enough for him to call forth the necessary willingness to make a courageous and life-altering choice. Rather than sink into the despair and self-abuse that devoured much of his life, he opts to move forward, launching a quest of self-discovery he hopes will enable him to heal and “experience the peace of God that remains when there is nothing left to obscure it.”
There is no miracle cure for Nathan. While he finds some relief in alternative medicine and practices, his progress is rooted in willingness, hard work, and deep introspection. We join Nathan as he takes a resolute look at himself and acknowledges his responsibility for his own suffering—a process which enables him to gradually remove the obstacles that have barred his life for so long. Who Would I Be Without is a thoughtful and sometimes shocking account of an ordinary man’s quest for peace and the healing powers of self-love that is certain to leave readers contemplating their own lives.