While most of us have moments of loving freely and openly, it is often hard to sustain this where it matters most—in our intimate relationships. Why if love is so great and powerful are human relationships so challenging and difficult? If love is the source of happiness and joy, why is it so hard to open to it fully and let it govern our lives? In this book, John Welwood addresses these questions and shows us how to overcome the most fundamental obstacle that keeps us from experiencing love's full flowering in our lives.
Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships begins by showing how all our relational problems arise out of a universal, core wounding around love that affects not only our personal relationships but the quality of life in our world as a whole. This wounding shows up as a pervasive mood of unlove —a deep sense that we are not intrinsically lovable just as we are. And this shuts down our capacity to trust, so that even though we may hunger for love, we have difficulty opening to it and letting it circulate freely through us.
This book takes the reader on a powerful journey of healing and transformation that involves learning to embrace our humanness and appreciate the imperfections of our relationships as trail-markers along the path to great love. It sets forth a process for releasing deep-seated grievances we hold against others for not loving us better and against ourselves for not being better loved. And it shows how our longing to be loved can magnetize the great love that will free us from looking to others to find ourselves.
Written with penetrating realism and a fresh, lyrical style that honors the subtlety and richness of our relationship to love itself, this revolutionary book offers profound and practical guidance for healing our lives as well as our embattled world.
"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
"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
"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