The Life of Love: An Invitation: Fifty-two Reflections on Emotional and Spiritual Healing
Paperback, 600 Pages
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Is love the place where psychological observation and spiritual wisdom about healing meet? If love is associated with healing of all sorts, how do I more consciously set about to grow in love, seeking healing for myself and for my neighbours, community and world? How do I encourage others in their journeys into love? Drawing on a broad Christian heritage, a deep respect for the insights of other religious and spiritual traditions and two decades of work in welfare and clinical settings, psychologist Sharon Southwell encourages spiritual seekers of all backgrounds to consider these questions for themselves. Structured in 52 Reflections, each followed by ‘Invitations’, The Life of Love invites you to grow in love by embracing life-giving connection to yourself, to others, your community, to art, nature and to your ultimate context, whether you experience this as God or as some other immanent or transcendent spiritual connection.
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Feb 4, 2016Writing a review for Sharon Southwell’s book “The Life of Love : An Invitation” was always going to be a challenge, given the range of topics that Sharon covers in her fifty two reflections . It would be difficult to encapsulate in a few words. I therefore chose to focus on her link between psychotherapy and spiritualty as I believe there is a deep connection. I applaud her definition of “sin,” a religious concept many deeply committed Christians struggle with as there often seems to be no recognition of intention. It is so easy to hurt others through immaturity, ignorance or thoughtlessness. Then there is what many would call sin - something done with malicious or evil intent, to deliberately cause harm to others. In the world of psychotherapy, it is often said of past mistakes or wrong choices “ I did what I did with the knowledge I had then. I can chose my actions with the knowledge I have now.”This allows people to forgive themselves and move on with new skills, rather than wallow... More > in a quagmire of self doubt and guilt, which can leave them paralysed or “stuck. ” If one learns to be compassionate to oneself, we will inevitably show more compassion and less judgement of others. This is in keeping with Christian values as per the ten commandments “ Love your neighbour as yourself. ” In place of “sin” Sharon offers “all that is not life giving” and that by chosing that which is “life giving “ we are led away from temptation and towards joy and delight. I am sure this would resonate with her readers. Sharon’s sincerity, thought provoking questions and invitations to explore healing for ourselves and our communities shine through in this book, which takes time to read and should not be rushed, but savoured and dipped into over time.< Less
Jan 31, 2016Get hold of this text if you want a gentle, educated, practical way to deepen your understanding and challenge your misunderstandings of the human minefield that can be love. Its pithy, well-researched chapters offer well-paced approaches to the big questions we all ask ourselves about our modern lives. The author's synopsis asks ' How do I more consciously set about to grow in love,..?'. This book doesn't give all the answers but comes very close with a comprehensive balance of the more familiar works of psychology, literature and philosophy underscored by a Christian framework that does not proselytise. The discerningly-worded questions after each reflection literally 'invite' the reader to change habits, make decisions and become more aware of behaviours and truths. The other reason to use this text is to know you have a ready, properly authorised and researched, qualified reference to help others. I am proud to share reflections from this work, being aware I am not a psychologist... More > or counsellor, but a person who can apply this work to herself and explore it with friends. For myself and my friends, I am confident we will all be able to take counsel from its suggestions in a way that flatters our intellegence and dosen't judge or compare. It's for this reason I am hosting a reading group to meet several times in 2016 to focus only on this book, and to encouarge each other as we share its teachings.< Less
Jan 31, 2016‘The Life of Love’ skilfully crosses the divide between psychology and spirituality, literature that is rarely seen or accessible to a lay audience and most welcome to those in the helping professions also. Not a book to be rushed through but appreciated thoughtfully, especially the reflections at the end of each chapter. Southwell’s broad Christian background, appreciation of other faiths as well as spirituality that is not confined to a faith system gives this book wide appeal - including to those in the earliest stages of spiritual awareness. Written with humility and without being judgemental about the human condition, this is a book that will engage many in improving their own lives with love as well as the lives of those around them.
Jan 30, 2016Sharon's insights in her book are well researched and grounded. I sense that The Life of Love has bridged two powerful fields of psychology and Christianity. It has offered readers the tools of seeing where they are and engage in reflections to counter balance transactions of life. I haven't quite finished reading the book yet. At the moment Reflections on Self-love is what I am struggling with. I heard myself asking "where does Jesus modelled that he loved himself?" I would encourage and highly recommend this book to anyone seeking healing and wellbeing.
Jan 29, 2016Whether you read it in large chunks, or digest it bit by bit, The Life of Love will take a hold of you. A thorough and considered weaving of wisdom from psychology and religious tradition, it has encouraged me to slow down and be more intentional about what I know matters most: to love and be loved. As someone with my identity rooted both in my vocation as a social worker and a spiritual heritage born out of religious tradition, the integration of secular and sacred insights on healing and love offers much possibility for growth and transformation.
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- Sharon Southwell (Standard Copyright License)
- April 8, 2015
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 2.15 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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