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To Love or Not to Love?

By Casey Froehlich, intern

Many magazines and self-help books will claim that they can give you a guaranteed, step-by-step plan to make any man fall in love with you. They want you to believe that love is simple, and that you are the only one who doesn’t know embarrassingly obvious secret to romantic bliss. You might even begin to believe them as you hear friends and family talking about big plans for Valentine’s Day while you are on your own, or maybe in a relationship that has lost a little of its heat. But don’t.

The truth is, sometimes love doesn’t make sense.

Paradox_cvrPittmann McGehee, author of The Paradox of Love, would probably argue that love is nonsensical more often than not. There is no formula, plan, book, or magazine that can make you an expert on love, not even this one. However, sometimes the first step to learning is understanding and accepting what you don’t know, and maybe never will know, about the subject.

Have you ever stopped to consider that while the English language only has one word for love, others such as Greek and Sanskrit have anywhere from 3-78 that denote different kinds of love? The fast-paced life of the average American does not allow for this many flavors of love; it’s just not economical. Surely, one is enough. But when we try to boil down love to its simplest element, completely disregarding its many branches, the result is Diet Love. Maybe fewer calories, but we are left feeling empty and unsatisfied.

In this book J. McGehee uses his knowledge of noted psychologist Carl Jung and the scriptures to unravel what he can of the mystery that is love. This includes the types of love present in relationships between friends, family members, and romantic partners alike. Most importantly, and most difficult of all, it discusses the significance of loving ourselves and practicing what McGehee calls “self-compassion.”

If the idea of love as an incomprehensible paradox has unsettled you, I encourage you to find comfort in the words of Carl Jung:

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”

Bright Sky Press, where Texas meets books love.