Monday, January 17, 2011

The Seven Levels of Intimacy

     Matthew Kelly’s done it again. He’s provided readers with an honest, open, and attainable process for improving all of our relationships. In The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved, he talks about the purpose of life being to become the best version of ourselves and encourage others to become the best version of themselves.
     After having read his book A Call to Joy and listening to the Lighthouse CD by the same name as well as the CD entitled Becoming the Best Version of Yourself, I’d heard many of his basic principles of personal growth already.      As the title suggests, this book focuses on the varying levels of intimacy we have in relationships. Kelly includes a number of questions he invites readers to journal on as part of envisioning and creating concrete goals to improve our relationships, particularly with those most vital in our lives.
     I am hoping my husband will read the book as well. The two of us have sat down and discussed dreams and goals in the past, but it’s been inspiring to have such a wonderful reminder of how important it is to continue making goals, sharing our dreams as individuals and as a married couple seeking to glorify the Lord through our covenant.
     Much of what Kelly has written I’ve read or heard elsewhere, but the lessons are such fundamental ones for bringing about personal growth and strengthening relationships that we often glaze over them for more complex ideas and techniques.
     This book serves as a good reminder of why we need to simplify our lives, reevaluate our purpose in life, and the priority we give to our relationships.
     From a literary point of view, this isn’t a lyrical prose masterpiece. The language is plain, simple, and frequently repetitive. At times, it made me think of the Gospel of John or Gertrude Stein. From an English major/copy editor perspective, there’s much more that could be done to make this book grammatically and typographically the best version of itself.
     I’d recommend reading this book. It’s a good refresher of the basics and invites the reader to take time to learn about and from past and present relationships, then dream and consider for a bit what your ideal would be. Put that ideal on paper along with the small, attainable, measurable goals you will discipline yourself to do in order to improve your relationships and become the best version of yourself.
     You can purchase this book here.
     I wrote this review of The Seven Levels of Intimacy for the Tiber River Blogger Review program.  Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.  I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.
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