Book Review: Love Your Enemies by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman


Before I start on the third book in my self-help books series, what do you think of my new blog design? Isn’t it pretty? It’s all thanks to Rashi Birla of Bucket of Squash! Go to her website and check out her awesome blog and her portfolio – she’s a designer extraordinaire!

We’re still in the midst of working out some of the kinks so the site’s not completely ready yet – but the main design is up and I can’t stop checking out how elegant and beautiful everything looks!

Now to book three of the self-improvement books series, which is:

Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman – Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit and Be A Whole Lot Happier.

First of all, I have to say that I’m a bit of a ‘Jo’ from Little Women and have always had trouble with my temper, and I’ve grown up watching my dad, who has a major temper as well and has never learned to control it. When I was younger, it wasn’t really a problem but as I reached my 20s and my temper started to show itself a lot more, I realised two things: I didn’t want to have a temper that controlled me, nor did I want to be like my father whose temper has pretty much controlled his entire life and prevented him from being truly happy. So I started taking steps to prevent this from happening, including scheduling a few appointments with an amazing psychologist who was instrumental in helping me cure this problem as well as other insecurity issues.

However, this book isn’t just for people with an anger problem. It’s also an incredibly helpful instrument for dealing with everyday annoyances, especially with difficult co-workers or family members, people who have turned being passive-aggressive into a fine art, bullies whom we can’t avoid, or just niggling little annoyances like traffic jams or that person talking really loudly on the subway. It’s also a guide for dealing with those life’s not fair situations and is a subtle reminder to us to let go of our egos and to realise that the people who are hurting us or hurting others don’t intentionally want to hurt us, that the act of hurting others is, more often than not, born out of an inner fear and unhappiness that these bullies themselves have to live with every day of their lives.

The lesson of loving your enemies can be a hard pill to swallow, as I myself can attest to that, but taking the higher road really is the better option, not just for others but for yourself as well. Taking the high road isn’t easy, but in this book, Salzberg and Thurman give you the tools and guidance to navigate this rough track.

Fun fact! Did you know that Robert Thurman is in fact the father of actress Uma Thurman and that Uma might almost have never existed if he had continued to be a practising Tibetan Buddhist monk? I actually found this out when I referenced his work in a paper I wrote in my uni days about Tibet!



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