- Paperback: 165 pages
- Publisher: She Writes Press (June 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781938314742
- ISBN-13: 978-1938314742
- ASIN: 1938314743
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,522,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuse Paperback – June 3, 2014
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“Letting Go into Perfect Love is an unflinchingly honest account of one woman's journey to spiritual and emotional redemption. In writing about her own lessons in learning the redemptive power of love through suffering, spiritual practice, and grace, Gwen Plano allows her readers to reconnect with the painful moments in their own lives and to use those moments to walk a path toward healing and life fulfillment. Plano teaches us that every experience is a lesson; every person, a teacher, that our goal here is not to accept suffering, but to transcend it.”
—Brenda Borron, Professor of English, Irvine Valley College
“Letting Go Into Perfect Love is an inspirational story of the quest for personal wholeness and love. Gwen was reminded by her spiritual counselor that “we are born to become love.” Such a message is difficult to understand when we are captive to expectations, habits, and behaviors that undermine our ability to authentically love ourselves. In Gwen’s case, the reminder motivated her to search for self-understanding and wholeness, which are the prerequisites of self-love. It is said that the difference between “try” and “triumph” is a lot of “umph.” Through Gwen’s many trials and challenges, she applied a lot of “umph” and charted a heroic path. When a person embarks on the journey of awakening, they begin to create a new future, and the quality of that future is the result of personal intention not driven by past experiences and fate. There is much to be learned from this beautifully written story.”
— Stanley Stefancic, Retired Teacher and Director, Hoffman Institute
“… a courageous account of the awakening of self, of personal growth, resiliency, and finding self-love and a healthy positive relationship based upon mutual love and respect.”
— Stanley Stefancic, Retired Teacher and Director, Hoffman Institute
"The mystical magnitude of her luminous love embraces the reader. This is a redemptive memoir with healing guidelines for those confined in or exposed to abusive relationships, for any who have endured family outrages, and for those wishing to accompany the writer on a journey towards self-realization." —San Francisco Book Review
From the Author
When I began writing my book, Letting Go into Perfect Love, I thought I would simply tell my story. But as the words found paper, I realized that we all traverse a familiar terrain of joys and sorrows. Perhaps we have passed each other on our journeys. Figuratively or literally, we travel long distances in search of happiness, meaning, or love. We climb the highest mountains, we trek across the deserts, and we explore the ocean's depths. We are restless until we find our heart's desire.
My book is about how we craft our way through triumphs and tragedies, achievements and mistakes. Over the years, I have learned that we are never alone. Sometimes kind strangers or healers or friends show us the way, and sometimes we are visited by angels.
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I was inspired by Ms. Plano's story. I admired her thoughtful consideration of what to do next. What she brings to the table, however, is a determined search of self and a desire to know God and herself in a deeper way. Her efforts do not go unrewarded, and should serve to inspire others in similar situations. She is truly a champion in this book. ILetting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuset lets us know that we can survive, even overcome anything, if we'll just let go.
That’s the takeaway I have after reading Gwen Plano’s extraordinarily candid memoir, “Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuse.” I did not suffer from abuse, so when I hear or read the stories of people who have, I have to put my personal reality on hold.
This is an honest and unsettling story of a woman’s arduous journey through two disastrous marriages—the second one, a 25-year-long ordeal of abuse. At a couple of points in the book I wanted to shout at Gwen—“Get out, dump this guy, save yourself!” However, as with many women who live with abusive men, Gwen was either afraid to do anything or deceived herself into thinking that the abuse she was suffering was somehow her fault.
This is a universal emotion among many abused women—and it’s one that I, as a man, just cannot fathom. After reading this book, I was left with the dispiriting conclusion that for many women it takes more courage to remain in an abusive relationship than it does to forsake it. I know I could not have endured a quarter-century of cruelty and violence.
At one point in the book, Gwen says: “We are creatures of habit, and often, unless we are roused by heartaches, we proceed routinely and sometimes blindly, doing the best we can.”
Finally, when the abuse began to be directed at her three sons and daughter, Gwen’s fierce maternal instincts kicked in and she summoned
up the resolve to leave her abusive husband. From that point on, she was a woman in search of the inner peace that the first half of her life had eluded her.
“When it is time, we walk the corridors of our heart, retrieving the shattered threads of once-believed dreams,” Gwen writes. “Perhaps, long after tears have dried and hope has faded, we find what was always there but not seen—and then our desolation gives rise to a new spring.”
She goes on to say: “I am left with only one conclusion: all of life has meaning, and through our tragedies and disappointments, as well as
our joys, we are lovingly guided to more profound realizations of that meaning.”
Gwen Plano is correct in her assessment. It is nevertheless disturbing that for so many women who suffer as she did, the journey to enlightenment is such a long and agonizing one.
Through heartbreaking details, we see not only the struggles but also the resilience of a woman who is trying to remain strong for her children. I will not judge her for staying for 25 years in a second marriage for the sake of her children for I have made the same mistake twice, too. Rather, I see her strength and fierce love as a mother and I trust she will find her way in time. I trust she is acting in good faith and doing the best she can. She is authentic and believable. When she shares her experience about angel interventions, I am with her. It is through this authenticity, her positive attitude and perseverance that I connect with her and her hard earned journey to freedom.
This riveting spiritual memoir conveys hope and redemption to anyone who has ever suffered in an abusive relationship. Her writing is fluid and eloquent and her story has universal appeal. I highly recommend this beautiful book and commend the author for sharing so openly.