Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heartby John Welwood
While most of us have moments of loving freely and openly, it is often hard to sustain this where it matters most-in our personal relationships. Why, if love is so great and powerful, are human relationships so challenging and difficult? Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships begins by showing how all our relationship 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 award-winning book takes the reader on a powerful journey of healing that involves learning to embrace our humanness and appreciate the imperfections of our relationships as trail markers along the path to great love. Written with penetrating realism and a fresh, lyrical style, this revolutionary book offers profound and practical guidance for healing our lives as well as our embattled world.
“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
- Shambhala Publications, Inc.
- Publication date:
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Read an Excerpt
All the most intractable problems in human relationships can be traced back to what I call the mood of unlove —a deep insecurity that most people harbor within themselves about being loved or lovable just for who they are. This doubt about our connection to love makes it hard to trust in ourselves, other people, life, or love itself.
The mood of unlove often shows up in the form of instant emotional reactivity to any perception of being slighted or treated badly. It's as though a huge reservoir of distrust and resentment is ready and waiting to be released—which the tiniest incident can trigger. For some couples, these emotional eruptions happen early on, blowing a budding relationship apart in their first few encounters. For others, the mood of unlove might not wreak its havoc until well into a seemingly happy marriage, when one or both partners suddenly wake up one day and realize they don't feel truly loved.
Fortunately, just as the sun is never permanently obscured by clouds, so our native capacity for love, for genuine warmth and openness, cannot be destroyed. To say that our heart is wounded means that we are lost in clouds that temporarily block our access to the sun that is always shining. Healing the love-wound, then, involves something like opening up spaces in the clouds and inviting the sun to do what it naturally wants to do: shine upon us.
Meet the Author
As a psychotherapist, teacher, and author, John Welwood has been a pioneer in integrating psychological and spiritual work. Welwood has published six books, including the best-selling Journey of the Heart (HarperCollins, 1990), as well as Challenge of the Heart (Shambhala, 1985), and Love and Awakening (HarperCollins, 1996). He is an associate editor of the Journal for Transpersonal Psychology. He leads workshops and trainings in psychospiritual work and conscious relationship throughout the world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This little book shows us how to use our relationships as a tool to heal and open our hearts toward a greater capacity for love and acceptance in our lives. Many times I have been grateful for its teachings and it's been close at hand since it crossed my path.