For years, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was the lone conservative voice on "The View". But when the cameras stopped rolling, she stopped focusing on being right about the issues. She wanted to be right with her fellow co-hosts. Recently, CBN sat down with her to talk about her former co-workers, her family, and finding "the light".
"Ten years straight of being at The View table and holding one side of the table by yourself against four voices who are on the other side, you get really good at being right about things. And so now I kind of feel like a recovering 'right-a-holic' where 'Did I leave enough room in those discussions to be wrong enough to be right with the person?'" says Hasselbeck.
In her new book, Point of View, Elisabeth writes about the insights she gained during her time as the only conservative co-host on 'The View' – as well as her stints on the shows "Survivor" and "Fox and Friends."
"In the book of Colossians, we're reading, 'So that we can be unified in love.' So what does that look like? It looks like 'Dear God, make me wrong enough, not holding on to pride, and not forfeiting your truth, which is your Word, but wrong enough to hear the other person and be right with them.' Because I don't think He wants us wrong with one another. I'm pretty sure it breaks his heart," she says.
Elisabeth also shares with her readers about the strong faith and resiliency her parents instilled in her from a young age. "They just have kind hearts. They have generous hearts. They just loved people. They just loved well. They were forgiving. When we messed up, they forgave us," she says. "When we did something, they celebrated it, but not to a point that created a pride. And they just had this optimism and hope to them."
While on "The View," Elisabeth gained notoriety for her heated debates with co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell, Joy Behar, and Whoopi Goldberg, but says off the set, they got along well.
"Whoopi and I don't think a lot alike, but we love a lot alike," Hasselbeck says. "She has a generous heart. I've seen how she loves my family and I've seen her heart and I see how she welcomes people who are not like her, even me, who doesn't think like her. Our minds might not work the same and feel the same about certain things, but I do think what we share is a love for people and a love for friendship."
Another bright spot in her time at "The View" was working with the legendary Barbara Walters.
"She's like my broadcasting mom and professor in one. She had tough love for me at times at work, and I'm so thankful for that," she says. "If you have a mentor who's tough on you sometimes in a refining way, that's a blessing. When I think about Barbara, I really think about how loving she was, how naturally curious she was to hear their story."
Elisabeth was let go from "The View" in 2013. About that same time, she was diagnosed with celiac disease, prompting her to revamp her lifestyle completely, and write a gluten-free cookbook.
"I've also had some health scares that have come up during really stressful times, so I do believe that stress will push your body to an unhealthy place. So we try to just maintain an active lifestyle and a fun one; this is God's body. You know, we try to treat it as a temple, but we also have Oreos in our house, you know?"
After her stint as co-hosting of the morning show, Fox and Friends, Hasselbeck left after suffering bouts of exhaustion.
"I would wake up and needed the word of God, yet I was still trying to do it on my own because I wasn't sure that I was qualified enough to be there," she says. "Getting three hours of sleep for two years straight is unhealthy and brought me to my worst version of myself. I think my departure from Fox was me saying, 'I give up. I'm trying, I don't want to let this team down, but I don't have it.' I said it on my last day at Fox and when I announced it: 'It's time for my children and my family to get the best of me, not the rest of me.'"
Today, Elizabeth lives with her husband and three children in Nashville, Tennessee. Through all of the recent life changes and transitions, Elisabeth is often reminded of the 'paper bag lessons' she learned from an art teacher.
"I was trying to draw this old crinkly paper bag. I thought, 'How am I going to draw this bag with all these dents and cracks and shadows. And she said, 'I'm not asking you to draw the cracks and crinkles and cracks on the bag. I'm asking to see how the light hits it and draw that. Draw the light and you'll draw the bag.' And I did," Elisabeth recalls.
"So really that's kind of been how I think about all these situations, like, 'What's the light on it? Because that's God's word and truth and what He wants you to see. Are you looking at the awful first, or are you looking at the goodness first? Life is going to throw you some curves, like all the time. You might get fired. It happens. You might take a wrong turn. That might happen. God still sees you. And He says, 'Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial. When you're working so hard to try to get through, that you realize you can't do this on your own and there's the surrender."