A book called Let Yourself Be Loved: Transforming Fear Into Hope has gone down in history as the book I was reading when a red pen exploded in my hand on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta.
But whatever I underlined when the pen exploded was worth the trouble because this book — which is short and easy to read — rocked my world. It is written by Phillip Bennett, a clinical psychologist and Episcopal priest who dissects the fears that get in love’s way and reminds us: perfect love casts out fear.
Here are eight of my favorite quotes you need to read from the book (which, let’s face it, you also need to read):
“To the degree that we are unwilling to let go of our fixed view of ourselves and the world, we find the spaciousness of Unbounded Love threatening and unsettling.” -page 6
“The process of learning to be loved and to love is messy, unpredictable, spontaneous, and surprising.” -page 8
“Genuine love draws us into union where we can become more fully ourselves, delighting in each other’s individuality.” -page 27
“Opening our heart means that it will surely be broken; grief is the price we will pay for love.” -page 28
“While it is true that anger has the potential to form a wall, it can sometimes be a bridge. It can serve a healthy function when it shows us that something important needs to be addressed so that distance and resentment do not grow.” -page 33
“When we attack ourselves, we are attacking the image of God within us, an image we are called to treasure and nourish in ourselves and others.” -page 45
“It is a painful thing to surrender our loved ones to God’s care, knowing that we are not called to sacrifice our own growth in order to make them whole.” -page 51
“The daily Dance of Love cannot be learned ahead of time; the steps must be taken one at a time. We are tempted to skip over a step in order to get to the part where we think we will be more secure. However, the Dance cannot be rushed, nor can it be slowed down. It has its own pace. As we dance, we find ourselves surprised by love.” -page 73