A Book Review
Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved, a book written by Robert Holden, reads like a flowing meditation on the subject of Love. Each chapter of this two hundred page gem presents a message of love from the perspectives of: Who You Really Are, Destiny, Fearlessness, and Unconditional Love.
“Love is a way of being; it is not a thing to give away.”—Robert Holden
In Part I, the author attempts to answer the question of what is real in our world. He hypothesizes that we have all feared being unlovable at different junctures in our lives. This fear is what he calls “the basic fear [that] gives rise to every other fear.”
Because we’ve judged ourselves as unlovable—be it consciously or unconsciously—we tend to make others our source for love, which of course sets us up for painful letdowns.
“Expectations are fear based. They are an effort to grab what you want instead of letting it come to you.”—Robert Holden
One of many “Ah-ha!” moments for me while reading this book came by way of a passage in which the author described becoming friends with the most popular boy in his school. As an 11 year old he couldn’t believe his luck at having “won the jackpot,” so to speak. On the downside, the friend’s fluctuating moods often served as a mirror for how he saw himself. When the friend was in a good place, so was he. Whenever the friend ignored him, he immediately assumed something was wrong with him, not the friend. He saw that by placing his friend on a pedestal, he’d made himself less-than.
In time, an abiding truth about self-love would emerge for the author: “Whenever you make a person into a source of love…that person also becomes a source of fear, unhappiness, and suffering.”
Loveability is definitely not a preachy manifesto admonishing humans about the ills of the world and why we’re doomed, and so on and so forth. Instead the reader is taken on a journey back to the source of where Love is and has always been. Along the way, the author provides fun, do-able exercises like the Self-Love Monologue. This consists of a timer, a voice recorder, and an optional second party to act as the silent witness in case the recorder isn’t an option. Once the timer is set, spend ten minutes sharing your personal reflections on self-love by completing the sentence, “To me self-love is…”
Another good exercise is the one the author conducts in his Loveability workshops called, The God Meditation. There are two simple questions plus an invitation, and the results are heart opening.
This book contained so many nuggets of wisdom, inspiration and truth that it was hard to choose a favorite. For instance in one chapter the author delves into the issue of our childhood programming and the messages we receive about love. He also details nine of the most common role-types we assume during childhood in order to win more love from the adults in our lives.
As I continued on in my reading, I couldn’t help but notice a powerful presence settling over me. I guess it’s impossible to read a book about the energy of Love and not become immersed in, and surrounded by feelings of love and peace.
I also loved how the author ended with a story about one “ordinary” man who wanted to do something about the threat of war between his country and another. It brought me to tears and reminded me of the limitless possibilities that Love presents.
“I forgive myself for believing I am unloveable.”—Robert Holden