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553 of 565 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2000
Reading this concise book I had the feeling that I was glimpsing real wisdom, not psychobable or "self-help".
Don Miguel Ruiz takes his interpretation of Toltec wisdom explained beautifully in his previous work "The Four Agreements" and applies these concepts to the realm of human relationships. Ruiz has an easy writing style that is very accessible and a joy to read numerous times.
This is a book you can finish in an afternoon sitting, yet it's simple truths have the potential to alter profoundly how you view loving relationships as well as your relationship with yourself. There's a lot here. I've read this twice and it's spoken directly to me in ways beyond what I can explain in this review.
Don Miguel teaches through parable and direct suggestion the transforming power of self-love. He says that all relationships start with you, and how you feel about yourself. You will allow just as much abuse and what he calls "emotional poison" as you inflict upon yourself. A truly loving relationship requires self love - which is so lacking in most of us. Ruiz compares the ideal relationship to the one we have with out pet - say our dog. The relationship with our dog is perfect because we get exactly what we expect from our dog. We never wish that our dog would be better at being a dog, and we love it freely just as it is. Yet with our mate we tend not to accept them as they are, we expect them to be different, to act in ways they would not naturally act. Then we are unhappy with them. We think we are in love with them, but really we're in love with how we want them to be. He says that we do not truly accept this person we say we love because we don't accept ourselves.
Ruiz tell us that humans hunt for love because we don't have it. We don't have it within ourselves. We hunt for love from other humans who also don't love themselves and are also on the love hunt. Then we are surprised and upset that we don't get the love we want from them, and they feel the same. So true! Other people don't have the love we need, only we do.
Don Miguel ends the book with a guide to healing our "emotional body" and also prayers for ourselves.
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163 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2004
I have read both this book and The Four Agreements several times now and each time I learn something new. After reading this book, you feel that you are completely in control of your life, and of the consequences of the choices you make. This book not only teaches you how to improve the relationships of people in your life, but, more importantly, it teaches you how to improve the relationship you have with yourself. It is well written and read very easily in a few days time. Each time I start to read this book, I don't want to put it down.

When I review a book, I usually like to say at least one thing that could be improved about the book. However, with this book, I can only say good things. It's well worth the money, and well worth the time to read. I have recommended it to several of my friends, telling them if it doesn't change their life, I will reimburse them for the cost of the book. So far, I haven't had to reimburse a single person!
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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 1999
Ruiz and the wisdom of the Toltecs are wonderful! I have given copies of the book to my daughter, my friends and am buying copies for my brothers and their wives. My love and I read the book to each other one Sunday afternoon and this perspective has helped us both heal from past relationships and understand the dynamics that cause us to hurt each other with emotional poison. The book also shows how to stop hurting ourselves and the ones we love. This book (and The Four Agreements) have helped me grow beyond my past and into a loving future. Thank you, don Miguel.
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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2004
My favorite chapter was "the magical kitchen". It truly showed me in retrospect that once you TRULY love yourself you will only do what is in the best interst for your heart and soul. I was in a very dark relationship with a cruel man at the beginning of this book, and by the end I was single and also figured out how I would never allow such disrespect if I loved myself. Since this book has come into my life I love being in my own skin. I have re-read this book several times and my dating life as well as my alone time is so much more pleasureable. I have learned to love myself entirely. Don wrote this book in such a way that regardless what your situation is while reading it by the time you are finished you just feel different. You are finally seeing things with open eyes as things truly are. I reccomend this book to anyone who would like to work on themselves because this book is not how to change your man/woman it is what needs to be improved in you.
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483 of 534 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2000
I particularly like what the the aurhor says about unconditional love. I think we have to understand the God loves us unconditionally before we can practice this concept. I learned about God unconditional love in the book and the Book An Encounter With a Prophet which removed all of the support for the negative concepts I had about God. I highly recommend both books.
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114 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2001
How can anything new about love and relationship be written - hasn't it all been said? Mr. Ruiz manages to approach love and relationship with a perspective that is so fresh that it opened my eyes to new possibilities. The author reveals the differences between relationships based on love and those based on fear and gently guides the reader to recognize the symptoms when fear is shutting out the warmth and joy that is our birthright. Reading this book is invigorating - I came away excited to practice the author's principles - and I find myself less judgmental and more relaxed about my relationship with my husband. Buy this book - it is an insightful guide to a more satisfying relationships.
Another book that contains amazing insights into life is Working on Yourself Doesn't Work - by Ariel & Shya Kane. In this book, the Kanes describe three principles of transformation - they are simple but very potent and contain profound and original insights. Unconscious destructive behaviors and attitudes dissolve in an instant through awareness - a non-judgmental observing of what is. Reading this book resulted in some profound changes in my perceptions of who I was, and, as a result, my life circumstances began to shift - as if by magic. I don't know HOW it worked - only THAT it worked. I highly recommend this book.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2002
I love this little book! There have only been two or three books in my entire life which have had as much practical and personal impact as this one.
It is written lucidly and directly. What is more important in this world than learning about love: love of yourself and love in all of our relationships? This isn't like most hokey-pokey "love" books out there. Mr. Ruiz cuts through the bull, the illusions, the old patterns, and really gets to the heart of what it means to have love as a powerful presence in your life. He gives analogies which are very helpful, and he doesn't just tell us what we want to hear. We are responsible for the state of our relationships. This book comes from a place of self-responsibility for the state/the dream of mature relationships.
I first read this book when I was going through a divorce. This book heals, and not just by hand-holding and patting you on the back. It comes from a place of love, so the book is kind, but like I said... it uncovers the truth. It's a quick, powerful read. When I feel like the clarity I have about my relationships is fuzzy, I return to his words. They help me to cut out the nonsense and get to the source. I feel clearer, lighter, stronger and wiser every time I pick up it up and start to consider his words. Ruiz is compassionate about his presentation. He understands where we are at and how we got here. He also has a vision for how relationships of love can be that inspires me completely and feels true.
This book is like a reverse infection. It spreads from person to person, but the infection is a healing one--medicine for our spiritual and emotional wounds. Not only did it help me let go of my divorce and heal from that pain, but when I was ready for a new relationship I noticed a marked difference in the way I related to my man, my love, after I read this book. I accepted him as he was-- beyond where I was ever able to before. I didn't take his "stuff" personally where I might have before. I also found a vast compassion for him and a greater capacity for intimacy. Yet, at the same time I became clearer and more confident about my own needs and desires. It decreased my need to control/manipulate aspects of my life or people, and opened up a world of choices. Miguel Ruiz's words changed my thinking, so I could choose my behavior in any given moment. It has improved my ability to relate and the quality of my relationships.
This is a gift: a direct result of reading this book. The Mastery of Love helped me to reshape old patterns of thinking and behavior. It didn't just fill me with information; it impacted and increased my level of consciousness. From there I was able to heal myself and act in less reactionary, more creative ways.
Get it. Read it. Pass it on. But don't try to take mine, because you could not wrestle it from me...
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this beautiful little book.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2000
Don Miguel Ruiz is a wonderful writer with a huge heart. Just reading his ideas about love is enough to start feeling it in your own life. What I came to realize in reading his book was that you will only find people who are willing to love you as much as you love yourself. The easy conversational style of this book and the impact of Ruiz's empathy opened my eyes to the love that exists in the world around me, my relationships and my own self in a completely new, compassionate way. It really hit home with me that when you have self-love, your happiness cannot be compromised by external forces. This book fits perfectly with one of my other favorites: "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work" by Ariel and Shya Kane. In the same way that reading Ruiz transmits the ideas of love on a deep level, reading the Kanes' book transmits awareness on a level where you really feel it and where it really impacts your life every day, every moment. These books are the medium by which powerful but abstract concepts are communicated beautifully. Like a modern day Buddha, Ruiz sheds illumination on some of the same truths I read about in "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work", but he does it from a different angle. He gives a refreshing perspective of love, what it means to love unconditionally, and how mastering love creates the exquisite life we all want to live. "The Mastery of Love" and "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work" are both essential if you want to increase the feeling of love in your life.
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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 1999
Once again, Miguel Ruiz works his beautiful magic in <The Mastery of Love>. In this book, he expands on the wisdom of <The Four Agreements> by applying the Toltec Wisdom to human relationships. Miguel explores the pitfalls of our assumptions and beliefs about love and the way in which they limit our ability to enjoy relationship. He also suggests tools and prayers so that we can move out of fear and into a more loving relationship--with ourselves first and then with others.
Ever the story-teller, Ruiz also shares several stories and myths which express his teaching as much through the tone of his words as through the content. The heart-felt way in which he imparts his simple wisdom makes this book a joy to read and easy to absorb. Do you want more fulfilling relationships with others--romantic and otherwise? Do you find it difficult to relate to potential friends and lovers without a cynical mindset? If so, I definitely recommend this book.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 13, 2004
"Every relationship can be wonderful, but it's going to begin with you. You need to have the courage to use the truth, to talk to yourself with the truth, to be completely honest with yourself."

I selected this quote from the chapter entitled "The Dream Master" because it conveys the power of self-love and self-truth, which nothing can ever conquer, unless we allow it to. Don Miguel Ruiz has such a gift in helping us all understand how to honor our own selves, and THEN we will be authentic enough to heal a relationship that has been damaged, or begin a new one stemming from truth.

This book is beautiful and profound. In looking at the state of many heartbroken relationships today, Ruiz's message is both needed and timeless. Buy this book for yourself, and buy a copy for someone you love. You will learn a lot that will bring you genuine peace. Highly Recommended!
Barbara Rose, author of "Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE" and 'If God Was Like Man'
Editor of inspire! magazine
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