GMH Book Club: A Return to Love (Discussion starters for Chapters 1-5)

 

A Return to Love

 

 For the month of October, the GMH book club announces A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Marianne Williamson is a New Age thinker and teacher who has written and lectured extensively on the principles of A Course In Miracles. A Return to Love is a great read for any student of metaphysics–whether well-informed or brand spanking new!

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Thanks for reading with me and joining in the conversation! Please jump in at any point, whether you’re reading along at present or have read this material long ago. All contributions are valuable and desired! I’ll offer up a few ideas to get us started, but minds expand when ideas are exchanged, so please take this discussion anywhere it needs to go towards growth and expansion. (Respectful exchanges only, please.)

Discussion Starters for Chapters 1-5:

Chapter 1- Emotional energy has got to go somewhere, and self-loathing is a powerful emotion. Turned inward, it becomes our personal hells: addiction, obsession, compulsion, depression, violent relationships, illness. Projected outward, it becomes our collective hells: violence, war, crime, oppression. But it’s all the same thing: hell has many mansions, too (p.7).

I always think back to third grade science and the Law of Conservation of Energy: “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It just changes forms.”

YES! Emotional energy is still energy…and it too is neither created nor destroyed, it just changes forms. When we fail to process our emotional energy, it has no other option but to manifest in another form. Those “other forms” often look like addiction, obsession, compulsion, depression, violence, etc.

But unprocessed emotional energy can also manifest into physical illness, which is the area where medical intuition comes in. From my perspective, I can read someone’s mental and emotional state and get a fairly accurate read of what their physical symptoms might be.

When in your life have you noticed a physical manifestation of emotional energy? In what way did it manifest? 

Chapter 2-Jesus says we can build our house on sand or we can build it on rock. Our house is our emotional stability. God is the rock (p. 18).

Although I’m not an overly religious person and the verbiage is uncomfortable at times, I completely understand what is meant by building my “house” on sand or rock.  I’ve struggled with maintaining my own emotional stability, feeling like the trials of life could easily rip me apart. It wasn’t until I made the connection between living in love versus living in fear, or otherwise stated, relying on God versus relying on myself, that my emotional stability became more reliable.

God is the rock, we are the sand. When we rely on ourselves only, our emotional stability crumbles. When we choose to believe that the universe is conspiring for us and not against us, our foundation becomes and remains stable from that point on.

What has your experience been with spiritual “surrender”? Do you feel it’s a requirement for long-term emotional stability? 

Chapter 3- The perfect you isn’t something you need to create, because God already created it. What you do or don’t do is not what determines your essential value–your growth perhaps, but not your value (p. 29).

We are human beings, not human doings. How hard we work, how much we produce, how much money we make, how much power we have…these are not the things that determine our worth. Our worth is inherent. We are valuable because we exist, not because of what we can do or can’t do.

Do you find yourself more of a human being or a human doing? Is this a mindset you have adopted and mastered, or do you struggle with it?

Chapter 4- When we surrender to God, we surrender to something bigger than ourselves–to a universe that knows what it’s doing. When we stop trying to control events, they fall into a natural order, an order that works. We’re at rest while a power much greater than our own takes over, and it does a much better job that we could have done (p. 56).

We are always in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time. But I’ve been in situations in which I’ve been truly uncomfortable. Whether it was a job, or my schedule, or living out of alignment with my values I’ve forced myself down paths that felt very wrong.

These paths led nowhere.

So although I do think we are always in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time, I’ve amended that to include: but there is no gold medal for suffering. Delaying gratification is one thing; but abusing ourselves in the present moment in the perpetual hope that “tomorrow will be better,” is contrary to this idea of surrender.

When we surrender to the idea that the universe is conspiring for us, what we are meant to be doing flows easily and freely to us. This is how miracles (and magic!) happens.

Have you experienced surrendering to universal guidance? How did your life change? Your mindset? 

Chapter 5- The purpose of our lives is to give birth to the best which is within us (p. 75). 

What is the meaning of life?

Why are we here?

What is the point?

This is the answer: to become the best version of ourselves.

Our souls are here to evolve and to learn and to grow, taking in all the lessons this life has to offer which lead us closer to God, closer to Love.

The meaning of life is Love.

We are here to feel love, to give love, to be love.

Our souls, our life force, our energy, is eternal. We will manifest into many, many lifetimes in order to learn these lessons about love.

We might as well get started now by working on becoming the best version of ourselves.

What do you think is the meaning of life? 

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Thanks so much for joining in the conversation. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Join us on Facebook to discuss!

Reading Schedule:

Friday, October 7, 2016– Announcement of “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. Begin chapters 1-5.

Friday, October 14, 2016– Discussion over on the GMH Facebook page covering chapters 1-5. Begin chapter 6 for next week!

Friday, October 17, 2016– Discussion of chapter 6 on Facebook, begin chapter 7 for next week.

Friday, October 21, 2016– Discussion of chapter 7 on Facebook, begin chapter 8 for next week.

Friday, October 28, 2016– Discussion of chapter 8 on Facebook, next month’s book will be announced!

 

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

Diana B
Find me at:

Diana B

Diana Baker, MSW, is a registered clinical social work intern, mental health counselor and wellness coach. With 20 years' experience working with children and families, she provides mental health counseling in St. John's, Florida. Offering individual and family counseling for children, teens, and adults; face to face, and via video chat and text. For more information, visit goodmentalhealth.info/about
Diana B
Find me at:

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