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Love in the Time of Impermanence

How to Continue to Love in the Face of Pain and Loss

Love in the Time of Impermanence

Category: Relationships

We live in a world where nothing lasts. Everything we love—the relationships,places, and things wemostcount on, even our own bodies—will change or be lost. But, as psychologist Matthew McKayshows, the certainty of change and loss can actually support rather than diminish love. For at the heartof pain and loss is love.

Collaborating with his late son, Jordan, McKay offers five ways to keep love alive in a world ofimpermanence. He explores how to see and know what we love, how to actively care for what welove, how to have compassion for the suffering of others, how to set the daily intention to act withlove, and how to turntowardrather than away from the pain of impermanence.

McKay sharespractices and meditations to help love endure in the face of loss, disappointment, change, or any of theways relationships and circumstances are altered by time. He examines what love is and is not,including how not to mistake yearning and neediness for love, sex for love, and attraction to beauty forlove. He shows how to cultivate gratitude for every expression of love we encounter, learnto care forthings we don’t like, and recognize the power of love after life—a love that reaches beyond death. Healso provides concrete exercises for communicating with and channeling messages from loved oneswho have crossed over.

Ultimately, McKay shows that, by running from pain, we run from love. By avoiding pain, we lose thepathway to connection. Yet, by recognizing love in the heart of pain and loss, by knowing that changeand impermanence are inevitable, we can navigate life with a compass pointing to love as true north,learning to love more deeply and making what we love more cherished.

Matthew McKay, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, professor ofpsychology at the Wright Institute, founder of the Berkeley CBT Clinic, andcofounderof the Bay Area Trauma Recovery Clinic, which serves low-income clients. He hasauthored and coauthored more than 40 books, includingThe Relaxations and StressReduction Workbook,Seeking Jordan, andThe Luminous Landscape of the Afterlife.Thepublisher of New Harbinger Publications, he lives in Berkeley, California

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