This is the one book that has been with me in a roller coaster of emotions throughout the year. I only ever read it when I felt a connection to someone and whenever the spark died, I dropped it with them. Only to pick it up when the spark was rekindled. The book is meant not just for people in relationships but to help one fall deeper in love with themselves, but I felt it right to read only when I could relate to a certain type of emotion that comes with caring deeply for someone else. That said, I cannot even trace when I first read it, beginning of the year, and well, here we are, finished it just in time.
It’s a lovely book. It has made me view love in a whole different perspective and quite frankly I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The author provides insights on making lasting love a reality while giving her own love and marriage experiences. It teaches selflessness, laying off selfish expectations, the purpose of love and focusing on the good which is where we thrive.
The highlight for me on was learning that the essence of love is not to use the other to make ourselves happy but to serve and affirm the one we love. That the most important purpose of a relationship is to learn how to become a more loving person and each new challenge offers you an opportunity to practice that and to help them be the very best version of themselves. This in turn gets you to the best version of yourself. It is not a barter trade where you give and expect something in return.
She goes on to explain that this is mostly not usually attained as we hold back due to fear. The fear of loving that causes us to protect ourselves, close our hearts and put ourselves first. The fear that creates anger and discord between the sexes – spreading our free floating anger to all members of the opposite sex and blaming them for our unhappiness.
Overcoming this fear means becoming aware of these tendencies that do not support a belief in self, and requiring us to become safely vulnerable in the knowledge that we can handle whatever happens. And in that we love, wholly and truly. This is the only thing we can trust. Ourselves. The ability to love with the confidence that we will be able to handle whatever happens. If you knew you could handle anything that came your way, what would you possibly have to fear? Nothing.
I especially enjoyed the last chapter that details on gender bashing. The ‘all men are dogs’ and ‘All women are the same’ narrative, the roles that the society has taught us to play in our relationships, the misery in these confined roles and the challenges of old expectations getting mixed up with new freedoms. Susan notes that in these cases, it is usually our fear that keeps us locked in many of our beliefs, actions and expectations. There is no question that letting go of our expectations is a difficult thing to do, yet it is our expectations that keep us locked in unhappiness.
If you don’t love, respect and admire the opposite sex, you won’t, by definition, love, respect and admire your mate. This part hit very close to home. It’s something very many people need to learn. This one note plays an important part in ending the destructive war of genders and establishing the link to forming of healthy relationships. I was surprised to learn that this war between sexes began with the women’s movement in the 1960s. The sad thing is that some radical feminists are still preaching the same ugly message that ‘The only good man is a dead one’. In the 21st century! In an unconscious mode, we may not even notice that this war is causing such unhappiness. Often we are not aware of the damage we are doing to others, including our own mates. It eats away at our self esteem.
I am a feminist. And I hate how the meaning has been deluded overtime. The women’s movement is not about hating men. It’s about women becoming the best that they could be, and certainly women hating men is not the best they can be. Furthermore, liberalization is about letting our light shine through. It has nothing to do with men. One should be proud to be a woman who loves men. And vice versa. Extending grace and love as one would to another person of their gender. Being human. Constant bashing and ridicule becomes exhausting. There are no winners in a war of putting hate into the world and there is not one reason not to end the war. The big take-away being, learn the value of the word ‘some’.
The conclusion, commit to pushing through the fear and learning how to bring forward the loving and powerful energy of your Higher self. Whatever it takes to get you to the place where happiness lies, feel the fear and do it anyway.
Such beautiful lessons and I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.
You can get an ebook copy of the book here.
Be sure to check out my poetry book and a free sample of the same here. Also check out my Goodreads to see some of the other book reviews not covered in my blog and get to see books I’ve read this year, currently reading and those on my shelf. Thanks for passing by my blog.