8 Rules of Love – Jay Shetty: Book Review by Asha Seth

Author: Jay Shetty | Genre: Self-help | Pages: 320

Instead of presenting love as an ethereal concept or a collection of cliches, Jay Shetty lays out specific, actionable steps to help you develop the skills to practice and nurture love better than ever before. He shares insights on how to win or lose together, how to define love, and why you don’t break in a break-up. Inspired by Vedic wisdom and modern science, he tackles the entire relationship cycle, from first dates to moving in together to breaking up and starting over. And he shows us how to avoid falling for false promises and unfulfilling partners.

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We are meant to be learning at every stage of life. Think about life as a series of classrooms or ashrams in which we learn various lessons.” With this, Jay Shetty sets the tone of his book – 8 Rules of Love – How to Find it, Keep it, and Let it go. This is the first Jay Shetty book I read and I don’t know what to say. I was expecting a lot because I do follow his podcasts and find his talks quite inspiring, enlightening, and generally helpful. With his book, I was only expecting more.

“Alone, we learn to love ourselves, to understand ourselves, to heal our own pain, and to care for ourselves.”

8 Rules of Love is divided into 8 chapters talking about love in different forms. Each chapter is designed in a way to take the reader through different stages of love – when you find it, how you recognize it, how you value it, how you keep it, and eventually how you let it go. The author has tried to draw parallels between the four ashrams of Hindu Vedic literature and the four stages of love.

This comparison however is inappropriate and misleading at several levels. The Vedic ashrams are much more than mere trivial scenarios of love. They are a way of living to ascertain elevation spiritually and psychologically, in the human life. Mr Shetty however, would have readers believe that ashrams are all but focused on love; love for oneself, for your partner, for others, and society on the whole. This definitely doused off any chances this book had of impressing me.

As someone who has formerly embraced monkhood, Mr Shetty talks at great length of his monk-ish experiences in his videos and also this book. The chapters are loaded with his witty quotes and takes on how one should pursue and persist in keep a relationship healthy and hearty. This he explains with his own experiences of life, his chemistry with his wife, his own pleasures and perils of being in a relationship and trying to keep it. These anecdotes I found interesting and so would other readers. While there isn’t anything magnificent there, the beauty lies in the simplicity of things that we, as humans, tend to disregard and overlook.

“Love is not about staging the perfect proposal or creating a perfect relationship. It’s about learning to navigate the imperfections that are intrinsic to ourselves, our partners, and life itself.”

Next I wish to talk about the language, style, and content, in general. I’ve heard Shetty’s book are quite engaging and that I’d like to attribute to the conversational style of narration. The language is daily lingo and thus, easy to grasp and retain. Themes such as relationships, heartbreak, healing, self-love, solitude, etc. remain rampant throughout. Literature on such subjects has the tendency to go viral as they are highly relatable by the masses and in a way, shows readers the mirror to their own flaws, fallacies, and foibles that make or break a relationship, and persuade them to consider doing things differently. Even though the prose lacks freshness, it is written in a way that would inspire many who come to the page. The self-help exercises at the end of each chapter might keep you more engaged although I found them quite mundane.

“We have a choice: we can either change our mindset or change what we don’t like. We need to get in the habit of assessing ourselves and making efforts to improve our own lives.”

‘8 Rules of Love’ won’t enchant you but get you to introspect and analyze your view and vision for the relationships you choose to give everything to. This book is meant for the masses and even if you don’t read this book but follow the author’s talks you wont miss a thing. Having said that, I’d urge the reader to not sell yourself completely into the author’s views of the ashrams but do your own research a little and you’ll emerge a lot enlightened than this book is capable of.

Have you read ‘8 Rules of Love’? Do share your thoughts below.