Book Review: The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

One of the things we need the most is often the most misunderstood. And what is that thing? 

LOVE

We go around hearing it every single day. It could be from love songs on the radio, Youtube music videos, and even our Spotify account. We watch it unfold in hilarious rom coms, telenovelas, and Korean style series. We see it advertised in products and services, telling us that what they’re selling is the answer to the age-old need in love. 

But you know what? 

Most of the time, we misunderstand love and loving. We’re so caught up with what the world tells us that we are convinced by its blatant lies. 

That to love, we have to look good, feel good, and be good. 

Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Indeed, in the course of loving, we experience ways that make us look good, feel good, and genuinely be good. 

But to subscribe only to this viewpoint takes away one very important facet of love – and this is something we ignore. And in doing so, we have a twisted view of how to love and receive love. Like the author says…

“We were born in this society, we grew up in this society. And we learn to be like everyone else, playing nonsense all the time.” 

So what is this aspect of love that we ignore? 

SELF-LOVE

All of us grew with a worldview that we are undeserving of self-love. And that has made us pitiful beings. 

That’s why Don Miguel Ruiz wrote his book “The Mastery of Love”. 

And what he says here is a way to understand, practice, and master self-love. After all, he also says in the book these profound lines.

“What you are is a force–a force that makes it possible for your body to live, a force that makes it possible for your whole mind to dream…You are life.”

In the book, having a loving relationship with other people is held at high importance. But more than that is the need to have a loving relationship with ourselves. 

What does this mean? 

From the moment we are born, our environments influence us when it comes to love. This environment includes our situations and the people around us. And what it does is give us our prevailing views of love and relationships. 

Our environment tells us what is good or bad. It defines our standards of beauty and ugliness. It shows us what is right or wrong. 

And as intelligent children growing up, we are easily influenced by all these views. It shapes the way we think and live. It creates the actions we make when it comes to love. 

Although our environment convinces us with the best intentions, it still leaves us thinking we aren’t good enough. 

When that happens, it leaves a trail of broken relationships, heartaches, and struggles to connect. And no matter how different our situations are, we experience this all the same. 

Because as much as our environment wants us to learn how to protect ourselves, it leaves us with the scar of self-judgment. And this turns us into people who are nearly incapable of actually loving. It leaves us paralyzed and unable to reach out to connect and give love. 

And perhaps one of the most important things we have to realize is said so poignantly in the book through these words… 

“It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, you are never going to be what that person wants you to be.”

So how does one truly, deeply love? 

It starts with wholehearted acceptance of who we really are. As the author Don Miguel Ruiz says in the book, 

“The real mission you have in life is to make yourself happy, and in order to be happy, you have to look at what you believe, the way you judge yourself, the way you victimize yourself”

Don Miguel Ruiz defines true love as “unconditional acceptance”. And it starts with unconditionally accepting oneself. 

We focus on creating a wonderful relationship with ourselves first. Because to do so, we fill ourselves to love others. 

After all, one cannot pour from an empty cup. And to give love, you need to have love within yourself first. 

While it is true that we get our first experiences of love from those we interact with as children – like parents, relatives, friends, and more. It is by understanding that we have to love ourselves. And it is by practicing it in our lives that the amount of love we share is amplified. 

Indeed, love and to love is the greatest expression of living. And Don Miguel Ruiz says that … 

Shouldn’t we start it within ourselves first? 

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