A Return to Love: Summary & Review in PDF

a return to love book cover

A Return to Love teaches readers to connect with infinite love -God-, and finding strength and inner peace.

Bullet Summary

  • You don’t need to follow a specific religion to experience God and infinite love
  • We are all bound by God and infinite love
  • We can experience God when we allow ourselves to let go

Full Summary

Marianne Williamson says that to experience more happiness,  satisfaction and fulfillment we need to allow all-powerful love in our life.
All-powerful love means embracing God, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a Christian, Muslim or Buddhist God. Love encompasses any religion.

Unhappiness Stems From Fear

The author says that we are raised in a culture based on fear and competition. We fear not to get good enough grades, not to get enough jobs, and not to be able to provide for us and our families.

But fear is a vicious circle, and fear begets more fear.
To embrace love we need to break fear’s negative circle.

The problem is even bigger in the West, where our culture is extremely competitive and individualistic.

Ego is The Enemy

Our ego makes us act selfishly and make us chase status and power.
Following our ego might lead to material success, but it will rarely lead to happiness.

We Need to Overcome the Notion That Love Is Naive

Worst still, our western culture has a core belief that too much love is naive.
And the idea that being too loving will set us up for failure and pain prevents from enjoying pure, unadulterated love. Both in romantic and non-romantic relationships.

We’re All Bound in Love

The author embraces Carl Jung’s idea of collective unconscious.

In the collective unconscious, we are all bound spiritually. It’s only our physical bodies that keep us from realizing that we are all connected.

You Don’t Have to Put a Name on It

Williamson says that some people can refrain from embracing love because they are skittish of the word “God”.
But you don’t have to put a label on it, and you don’t need to call it God.

God Enters Us When We Can Let Go

Some people convert to God when they are a very low point in their life.

And the usual cynics then say that they converted to religion because they are at their weakest and they need something to hold on to.

But people sometimes convert to God during their most difficult moments not because they are weak, but because they are finally able to let go.

It’s that uncluttered mind, free of fear and resistance, that God is finally able to touch.

Those who can give themselves to God join a much greater power, bigger than themselves and bigger than any other single human being.
That’s what happened to George Foreman:

Let Love in Your Heart for Better Relationships

Looking at people through God’s eyes means looking at others looking for the best in them.

Embracing God and love for God in your life will also make you less dependent on others. You won’t be as needy, and that can make for better relationships.

Williamson also says that when you’re hurt or angry the best course of action is often to let go of the pain and hatred. Hatred only breeds more hatred.

Welcoming God in Your Life

There are three steps to allow God and infinite love in your life:

  1. Empty your mind to receive from the universe
  2. Pray to God and ask for guidance
  3. Surrender your thoughts and let God take over

The author makes that case that helping and focusing on the now will help you connect with God and welcome love in your life.
For more on meditation also read:

a return to love book cover

Real Life Applications

Let Go, Focus on Inner Light
I think the message of letting go and focusing on your inner spirituality is quite powerful and can do a lot of good for many people.
Even highly driven people can slightly adapt it and let go of all things they can’t control to focus on what they want to achieve.
Powerful.

CONS

Love Can Conquer All?
I found some parts of A Return to Love to be a bit simplistic and, yes, naive.
Empathizing with prisoners will work wonders with some of them. With the most inveterate it won’t do a thing instead.
Actually, it will only allow them to take advantage of you.
Also read good and evil, The Sociopath Next Door.

Prayer Cure AIDS?
At times the author makes claims that unverifiable and pitches her opinion as facts when, well, they are not really facts.
If you can manage to go beyond those incongruousness though, you’ll be able to enjoy the deeper wisdom of A Return to Love.

PROS

Powerful Philosophy
I believe that following a part of Williamson’s advice can do a lot to help people improve their lives..

Review

I had to let go of my anti new-age blinders to get the most out of A Return to Love, but i’m grateful I managed.

I don’t fully agree with all of the book and I won’t necessarily apply most of it right away.
But reading it with an open mind was a powerful experience in open-mindedness and acceptance.

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