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Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships by John Welwood
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Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships

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Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships by John Welwood
Paperback $16.95
Mar 27, 2007 | ISBN 9781590303863

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    Mar 27, 2007 | ISBN 9781590303863

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  • Dec 27, 2005 | ISBN 9780834822757

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<p style=”line-height: 150%;”> “With clear instructions and an even tone, Welwood shows us how to heal our psychic scars by opening up to the ‘real love’ available to us all at the core of our nature.”—Tricycle

 “Welwood challenges us to move from self-hatred to self-love and to do the inner work to embrace the love that sets us free.”—Spirituality & Health

"Drawing equally from spiritual and psychological traditions, Perfect Love reads like a book of philosophy: the ideas seem sound enough, though there’s no way to prove them. Welwood is most compelling when he gets practical. . . . His approach is also noteworthy for its emphasis on learning how to receive love as well as give it. . . . Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships offers both grand theories and useful practices for incorporating these lessons into your life."—Body & Soul

"Welwood skillfully identifies the fundamental obstacle in relationships and offers a clear, attainable, and transformative solution. Everyone should read this wonderful book."—Harville Hendrix, coauthor of Receiving Love and Getting the Love You Want

"This book skillfully and eloquently describes how our deepest longing for love is in fact the key to healing our personal wounds and the woundedness of the world at large. John Welwood’s message echoes the Buddha’s, showing us how we have direct access to the love and happiness we most long for, as our very essence."—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

"This book takes us on a healing and transformative journey to address the real, underlying cause of our relationship problems. John Welwood is one of the most brilliant and important teacher of our time."—Debbie Ford, author of The Best Year of Your Life and Spiritual Divorce

"Full of practical wisdom and divinely inspired insight. A marvelous guide for any seeker choosing to walk on love’s path."—bell hooks, author of All About Love: New Visions

"A profound guide to healing our hearts and our world. No larger social transformation is possible unless it is simultaneously accompanied by this kind of personal healing, one individual at a time. Every social change movement should encourage its participants to take time to follow the steps outlined in this extremely valuable and important guide to psychic health."—Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun and author of The Left Hand of God

Author Q&A

Q&A with John Welwood

Q: There are many books available on relationships. How is your new book different from all the others?

This book goes to the heart of all relationship problems, in a way that no other book has. It explores “the mother of all relationship issues”: a core woundedness around love that is fairly common but rarely addressed. This book helps readers to understand this fundamental wound and to see how it affects all their relationships–not just with their partners, but also with family members, coworkers, friends. The book also guides readers through a powerful process for healing this core wound. Ultimately, this is much more than a relationships book–it’s a book about our connection to love and life itself.

Q: What is “the wound of the heart”?

Deep down most of us do not know, in our blood and bones, that we are lovable just as we are. We suffer from a “mood of unlove,” which causes us to shut down our hearts. This shutting down, and our core sense of unworthiness, becomes a lifelong wound–one that sabotages all our relationships. The wound of the heart makes it impossible for us to let love all the way in. On the one hand, we’re starving for love, and, at the same time, we tend to ward it off, even when it’s staring us in the face, because we just don’t trust it.

This wound is the source of most human tragedy and discontent. Not feeling loved
or lovable, people imagine that they are insignificant, unattractive, deficient, lacking in some essential way. And all human greed, jealousy, aggression, and violence arise from there.

Q: You’ve been a couples therapist for more than two decades. In your experience, what is the most common problem in relationships?

Blaming the other person. Every relationship problem is co-created by both parties, and as long as each side insists on blaming the other, acrimony can only escalate. This is not only true between two people, but between groups of people. We see this same dynamic at work on the world stage, for instance in the problems of the Middle East. A sub-theme of my new book is how the wound of unlove operates in the world at large, in the wars and conflicts that are engulfing our planet.

Q: What inspired you to write this book now?

This book grew out of my response to the terrorist attacks of 2001 when the world felt especially fragile to me, and perilously close to collapsing into hatred and violence. After America’s political leaders embarked on a “war without end,” I felt it imperative to take a fresh look at why it’s so hard for what’s best in the human being–the warmth and goodness of the heart–to take hold in this world. My book is ultimately about strengthening our connection to love, for oneself and for the world as a whole, which seems especially important in these troubled times.

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