John Welwood: Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships (2006)

Ein Buch über Beziehungen. Ein gutes.

Gelesen: August – September 2020

The mother of all relationship issues = the mood of unlove

  • „a deep-seated suspicion most of us harbour within ourselves that we cannot be loved, or that we are truly lovable, just for who we are.” (S. 4)
  • „Not knowing, in our blood and bones, that we are truly loved or lovable undermines our capacity to give and receive love freely.” (S. 4)

The love that is there

  • „Somehow the love that’s available always seems to fall short – it’s not sufficient, not good enough, or not the right kind. Somehow it fails to convince us that we are truly loved or lovable.” (S. 6)

All the beauties and the horrors of this world

  • „Thus all the beauties and the horrors of this world arise from the same root: the presence or absence of love.” (S. 11)

Love is the recognition of beauty

  • „Love is the recognition of beauty. […] Especially as children, we need someone else to see the beauty of our soul and to reflect this beauty back to us […].” (S. 17)

A secret about human love

  • „There is a secret about human love that is commonly overlooked: Receiving it is much more scary and threatening than giving it.” (S. 20)
  • „Receiving love is more threatening than giving it because receptivity requires opening, which feels vulnerable. So even though we may cry out for love, […] when love is actually available, we often sabotage the relationship, shut down in fear, or provoke a conflict that will justify our grievance.” (S. 72)

„We cannot help wanting our own nature.” (S. 34)

  • Deswegen ist es für uns so attraktiv, uns zu unserem „wahren Ich” zu entwickeln. Deswegen ist diese Sehnsucht so groß.
  • Deswegen sagt Philipp Maderthaner: „Menschen kaufen Überzeugungen, Menschen kaufen Gefühle, Menschen kaufen Verwirklichung – immer und überall!“

Close partners feeling utterly alone

  • „It’s inevitable to fall out of synch with your beloved, since you both invariably want different things – from each other and from life – at different times. As a result, harmony inevitably turns into dissonance, and understanding into misunderstanding, creating hurt and separation. Thus even the closest of marriage partners wind up at times feeling misunderstood, disconnected, or utterly alone.” (S. 40)

It’s hard enough for us to know what we want

  • „It’s hard enough for us to know what we want and what’s going on inside from moment to moment, and besides, it’s always changing. If that is so, how can we expect anyone else to be consistently attuned to us […]?” (S. 40)

Everything on this earth is imperfect

  • „Relative human love is imperfect and impermanent, just like everything else on this earth. And human experience is always raw, unfinished, messy. Nothing lasts. Nothing stays the same. […] Everything is subject to revision.” (S. 43)

The capacity for selfless caring

  • „[…] this capacity for selfless caring is surely the greatest and most sacred of all human potentials.” (S. 53)

Masculine power and strength

  • „This power stems from standing in our truth – what is deeply true for us. Standing in this power frees us from regarding others as a threat.” (S. 82)

Consider your parents

  • „If you consider your parents not from the perspective of the aggrieved child but from that of an understanding adult, what you see are people who are hurt and wounded just like you. They also had their own share of burdens. They were struggling to make ends meet, keep their marriage together, and find themselves and their own way. All of these constraints and stresses made it hard for them to be there more fully for you. In a tribal culture, others in the tribe – aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, neighbors – would have been there to take up the slack when your parents wer not up to the task. But in our culture, the nuclear family is on its own.” (S. 87)

Shame is painful

  • „Shame is undoubtedly the most painful of all feelings. That’s because it denies the vital truth – that our basic nature is intrinsically beautiful and good.” (S. 98)
  • vgl. Brené Brown

The inner critic

  • „The critic is the voice that tells us that nothing we do is ever good enough.” (S. 99)

 Trying to be good

  • „Trying to be good can never result in a secure sense of inner value because this very effort presupposes that we are not good enough and thus only reinforces our self-hatred.” (S. 100)

Deadly sins

  • „[…] the so-called deadly sins are all symptoms of not knowing that they’re loved.” (S. 102)

A tiger’s snarl

  • „Look behind the tiger’s snarl and you find a sad, lonely, desperate child who feels disconnected from love.” (S. 104)

The key

  • „The key is always to start right here where you are, wherever that is.” (S. 107)

The being that you are

  • „The most loving thing you can do for yourself is to let yourself be. Be what? The being that you are, of course. This is the definition of self-love that I propose: letting yourself be the being that you are.” (S. 109)
  • „Are you aware of this being that you are, this being that wants to live in you, through you, as you?” (S. 109)
  • „This being that you are can only be found right here in the core of your living experience, in this very moment. Everything else is but a memory or mental projection.” (S. 109f)
  • „The being that you are is not something you can wrap your head around. It is beyond anything you can think.” (S. 110)
  • „Who you were yesterday, last year, or in childhood, adolescence, young adulthood – none of these is who you are; they are only memories.” (S. 110)

One of the most loving things

  • „One of the most loving things you can do is to let others be different from you and to free them from your demands and expectations. When you kindly understand that others have their own laws and must follow their own way, just as you do, the need to control them or make yourself more important than them starts to fall away.” (S. 119)

We often pretend

  • „We often pretend to ourselves or others that we don’t really want what we want. […] Perhaps if you could make friends with it, we might find that our wanting itself is holy.” (S. 121)

The most frustrating thing about relationships

  • „The most frustrating thing about relationships is that we always seem to want more from them than they offer.” (S. 132)

Needing other people

  • „This whole question of needing other people is a confusing and tricky one. Although having access to the source of love can reduce emotional neediness, it is not exactly a substitute for human warmth and connectedness. […] A helping relationship like psychotherapy, a devotional bond with a spiritual master, or a deep soul connection with a friend or lover can provide an important corrective experience that opens our capacity to let love move through us.” (S. 149f)

Receiving and giving

  • „[…] receiving and giving are both equally essential, for they are the inhalation and exhalation of the breath of love.” (S. 154)
  • „Boundless love cannot flow into us unless it also has an outlet that allows it to keep circulating. If opening to absolute love unclogs the in-channel, expressing tenderness and kindness unclogs the out-channel […].” (S. 157)

Trying to win love though our work

  • „When we no longer secretly try to win love through our work, we become much better artists, businesspeople, […], or teachers. We are freed to do what we do as a form of creative play rather than as a form of self-validation.” (S. 158)
  • „Trying to win approval or acceptance is always a joyless task.” (S. 158)

Good-enough lover

  • „My relationship is far from ideal, but I’d say it’s good enough. Maybe that’s what knowing I am loved has given me – the ability to be satisfied with a good-enough lover.” (S. 168)