Chuck DeGroat is an experienced Christian counselor, a pastor, and associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. This paperback maps the struggles he has faced in more than a decade "listening, praying, researching, practicing, and failing at wholeness. " He has some cogent insights into dividedness and wholeness, exhaustion and rest, shame and perfectionism.

The title of his book is taken from a conversation between David Whyte and Brother David Steindl-Rast about exhaustion. To Whyte's surprise, the monk did not suggest that he rest: "The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness."

There are many people today who feel pulled in a thousand different directions. DeGroat quotes Brigid Schulte: "This is how it feels to live my life: scattered, fragmented, and exhausting. I am always doing more than one thing at a time and feel I never do any one particularly well."

The author believes that narcissism, perfectionism, and addiction are three major roadblocks to wholeheartedness. In addition, "The incapacity to extend compassion to ourselves condemns us to a life of dividedness, fueling the Inner Critic's internal dictatorship and shame's perpetual self-condemnation."

DeGroat salutes the beautiful freedom of wholeness which he sees modeled in the works of poets, mystics and wise souls such as Mary Oliver, Thomas Kelly, and Derek Walcott.