I just finished reading this book, so I wanted to write a quick review here in my blog. This isn’t the first time I’ve read it, as I did a few years back when I borrowed it from Melanie Grace, I think it was when we were living together. This book has a lot of good information in it, and while I think it’s information that we all know deep down, sometimes you need someone to plainly say it (or write it) to remind you. At least that is how it was in my case.
When I read it the first time I remember loving it, it was brilliant and while I didn’t feel like I agreed with everything in it, a lot of what was taught in it shaped some of my views on love. At the time, I hadn’t had much experience in relationships, in fact I think it was pretty recent after the end of my very first relationship. However, a lot of what was in this book really stuck with me, so just before Yule this year I took the time to run to Barnes & Nobles and pick up two copies of it. One for [womanizer] (as a gift) and one for myself to read again. Really, I’m glad that I did.
Reading it this time, I feel like I agreed with a lot more of what he said, and that I soaked more of it in. It didn’t do much to change how I feel about relationships or love, because they were pretty similar to begin with. It did reaffirm them for me though, and put into words a lot of how I felt. Enough that when I finished reading it I had the urge to pass it along, so that a certain friend of mine could take the time and read it, in hopes that it would reaffirm things for him. Especially the most important things that deal with self love, self destruction, the “Parasite” inside of us all, and how the way others act should not affect us and vice versa. It really opened my eyes, and I feel like sharing the knowledge I feel I’ve gained from it. I’ll probably buy it again in a few months.
This book really speaks towards the way society can implant negative thoughts on us, and how we can be raised to believe them. We are all born innocent and full of love, and somewhere along the way we learn how to be distrustful, and how to be hurt, and to be hurtful in return. Our parents learned this while they grew, and they (along with the rest of society) then teach it to us as we grow up, and the cycle continues ever onward. Personally, I would hope that I have the strength to stop that cycle, and leave my children full of love and respect.
Another thing it tells us, is the story of “The Man Who Didn’t Believe in Love”, which is now one of my favorite legends. It tells of a man who went around giving lectures on the non-existence of love, because so many people use it to manipulate each other. He says “love is like a drug” because in each relationship you have the “dealer” of the “drug” and the person who is addicted and keeps coming back for more. The stronger partner deals out the love, and the weaker tries to soak up as much of it as they can, and they take any abuse the dealer gives out too, because they think they need it so badly and that they can’t get it anywhere else. He vows that he does not believe in love, because he has had many such experiences and refuses to let anyone manipulate him with this false emotion.
So this man is walking through the park one day and he comes across a woman who is sitting in the grass crying. He stops to console her, and asks her why she is crying, and she replies “I am crying because love does not exist.” The man is astounded, because he has finally found a woman who feels the same way he does. He talks to her, they develop a friendship, and soon they are spending all their time together. They never fight, and they never expect anything from each other, they have the perfect bond. One day when the man is away, he is contemplating his relationship with the woman. He realizes that what he feels for her must actually be love, and that he had been wrong all along. Love does exist, and it is much more pure and beautiful than anything he’d ever experienced. The man is so excited that he rushes home immediately to tell her how he feels about her. She, in turn, replies that she has felt this way for quite some time and has been afraid to tell him because of his disbelief in the emotion.
The legend then tells that the man is so happy, that he goes outside and sends his happiness into the universe. His happiness is so large that it pulls a star down into his hands and he hurries to give it to the woman. The happiness is so overwhelming, that for a moment the woman hesitates, and in that moment of doubt she drops it and it shatters. Now there is a man who is wandering the Universe, broken and lonely because he once again believes that love does not exist. There is also a woman who sits at home waiting for the man who once loved her, feeling remorse for that one moment of doubt that ruined their relationship.
So in asking yourself who was in the wrong, was it the woman who doubted for a moment? No, it was the man who decided to place his entire happiness in someones hands. If we place all of our happiness in the control of others, how can we ever expect to be happy? It is entirely up to us to be happy, and if we choose to be happy with someone else, we’re all the better. We cannot rely on them to make us happy.
The book delves into quite a bit more information regarding loving yourself and being a whole person. It also emphasizes my previous belief that you have to be happy on your own, if you can ever be happy with anyone else. You have to love yourself to fully love another, and you have to be an equal part to a relationship, and not rely on them. It is the same with friends, family, and anyone you encounter.
In any case, I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if you read it simply to remind yourself of what you knew before. He has at least 3 other books that go along with it, and I plan on reading them as well.
Remember, God = Love and God is inside of you.
So YOU = LOVE.