Top positive review
86 people found this helpful
on September 23, 2007
A very interesting and insightful book. Here are some representative excerpts.
God can be more easily found in human love than in the human mind - from the Brothers Karamazov
Ongoing interaction with a long-term partner can be an agent of transformation more powerful than any other. We have come to believe that it is the clearest way for transformation to occur.
Sooner or later in every relationship the initial attraction turns into a power struggle as couples find themselves facing in their spouse the same behavior and attitudes that drove them crazy in their parents. (Or it could be they project issues they had in the past with other people onto their spouse).
It turns out that loving your partner is the best way to facilitate your own personal and spiritual growth.
The impulse to step away from positive input is an indication that you have problems receiving love.
The most important commitment we (the authors) made were to end negativity and move toward amplifying the positive, even though we said many times we didn't know how to do that.
Separate Knowing = what is real and true exists independently of who is doing the observing.
Connected Knowing = Let me suspend my critical judgments for a minute and see if I can enter your world and try to feel the truth of what you are saying.
We are formed from every important relationship we have ever had.
No one comes to a relationship empty handed. There are all kinds of information, prejudice, wishful thinking, and expectations interjected between people before they really get to know each other.
Self-rejection and self-hatred are directly related to the problems people have in receiving love; i.e., "I'm not good enough".
What do butterflies and good relationships have in common? Both are colorful, but they also go thru 4 stages: For good relationships they are: attraction, romance, power struggle, and mature love (the full blown butterfly). For humans, volition is required for their transformation. Romantic partners have to become conscious (not act unconsciously), set goals, exercise patience and make good choices if their relationship is to progress to the next level.
We assign our partners characteristics we don't allow ourselves to have. We attribute a quality, fault, skill, motive, thought or feeling that originates from us. In a way we project onto them what we don't or won't know about ourselves.
One clue that it's a projection rather than an objective assessment is if it's veracity is asserted repeatedly, with intense emotion.
Being quick to anger or excessively self-absorbed are more often a symptom of unhealed wounds rather than a character defect. When people are mistreated as children, they don't know they have sustained a hit that strongly shapes the way they will connect to friends and other intimates in the future.
Kindness is an appropriate way of life when everyone is carrying the burden of previous psychological injuries.
Self rejection often masquerades as something else. It can be disguised as hypercriticalism of others or dissatisfaction and negativity about life in general. It can also look like perfectionism or shyness or a reluctance to extend oneself by trying new things.
A person who is having trouble receiving love will show it by consistently deflecting the positives and/or absorbing the negatives.
No matter how disconnected we feel, we are still part of the universal, interwoven tapestry of life. We cannot live in isolation, and we cannot heal alone.
We know that the reason people can't receive love is because they can't accept positive input for traits, talents, and qualities they've disowned, and they can't receive gifts their parents didn't approve of their having. In other words, self-rejection and self-hatred block their ability to take in what would be healing.
You cannot even heal your disconnection by loving other people or by loving God. You may compensate for your self-hatred by loving others, but you do not heal the breach within yourself. You must start loving in your partner those traits, habits, attitudes, and behaviors that give you the most trouble, in fact the very things he or she does that drives you crazy. It could be anything.
What you don't like or have rejected in yourself, you tend to project onto others, with the most on-target projections aimed at your partner. In order to relate to the parts of yourself that are missing, you project them onto your partner and relate to them in that form. You can experience the disapproval and dislike you have for yourself by disapproving and disliking those same things in your mate. This sounds far-fetched only because most projections are created in the unconscious. You don't know you're doing it.
The key is to understand, accept and `love' in your partner the things you hate, because then, in effect, you will be loving them in yourself. This works because the brain doesn't make a distinction between loving yourself and loving the Other. So when you approach the faults or your partner; i.e. your own projections of your partner's faults, with understanding, tolerance and acceptance, you get a double bonus. You experience understanding, tolerance, and acceptance for yourself as well as for your partner. Through repeated acts of loving acceptance, you gather to yourself all your neglected, abused, and frightening parts. Gradually you are restored to wholeness through the hard work of practicing acceptance.
What you need to do:
1. Make a list of the traits you would eliminate or exaggerate in you could in your partner.
2. Examine your list and know that these same traits are in some way connected to you. They are a mirror of the things you have rejected in yourself.
What you make up about your partner (or anyone else) and invest with energy is also true of you. The more you're trying to protect yourself from yourself, the more your projections will seem to you to bear no resemblance to yourself, and the more you will tell yourself that you are not like that in any way. Only when you stop projecting will you know that you've started to become whole.
Fear can make people deaf. It can limit people to talking, without truly communicating.
The inability to listen is always related to how deeply the person is wounded, and therefore, self-absorbed and closed-in.