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What You Feel, You Can Heal
by John Gray
(1 November, 1995)
Publisher: HarperCollins (Australia); ISBN: 0694516139

Bon Journal

What you feel, you can heal

At Wanda's house in Texas, I noticed she had a book by John Gray called "What You Feel, You Can Heal." Famous for his bestseller "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus," John Gray was not famous for this earlier book.

Wanda bought me my own copy. I had promised to read it since February - but only just gotten around to opening the first few pages in June. Once opened - I could hardly put it down.

Each day, I paced myself and read a chapter only.

These were the lessons he learned from counselling relationships.

In a relationship, people are connected like liquid tanks. "What you express, I suppress" and vice versa. Sometimes being calm only aggravates the anger of the other. That's the seesaw effect.

Then he describes the four R's. First you resist, then you resent. If you don't express your feelings, you will eventually reject the other. Finally, you repress these feelings. This explains people who live comfortably in dead relationships. Bury your feelings and become repressed.

After analysing the problems, he gives solutions. The love letter technique is about writing a letter in a particular order. First blame and express your anger. Then express your hurt and sadness. Then show your fears and insecurity. By now, you would feel guilty, so apologise. And finally express love, forgiveness, understanding, and intention.

He said that the most important thing in a relationship is to tell the complete truth. Not part of the truth - such as going to the bathroom (but omitting the part about sneaking to the kitchen for a chocolate).

The book is illustrated with cartoons and easy to read. Now I must visit his site to see if there are more examples and advice.

17 June 2001

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Above all, love yourself before you can love others. It's the greatest love of all.