Garry Hamilton was a young man at the height of his powers when he received tragic news that immediately changed his life. A phone call from his father, his familiar Jamaican accent made stronger by grief, brought the author to his knees as he learned that his younger brother had been shot and killed. “I felt as though something had exploded deep inside me, and in the blink of an eye I had been reduced to a powerless and broken creature,” he writes. Hamilton’s The Influence of Love and Forgiveness is the story of a relentless succession of traumatic events, beginning with his brother’s murder, which could have destroyed him, but instead taught him the power of the mind both to harm and to heal.
After his brother’s death, Hamilton experienced despair, anger, and a desire for revenge that formed what he called an “acidic” mindset. He believes that this mental and emotional state, together with an acidic diet and the wrong type of exercise, led to the dramatic onset of multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease which turned the once healthy, athletic, and independent young man into an invalid needing a long hospitalization. Hamilton’s book explores how a mental state strong enough to incapacitate him was transformed into unconditional love and forgiveness capable of bringing his body back into balance and, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs and medications, healing itself of what many consider to be an incurable disease.
While standing firm in his declaration that his story is true, Hamilton clearly states that the exercises, dietary changes, and supplements he used to dramatically improve his health and well-being are not offered as a substitute for the advice of a qualified medical practitioner, nor does he call them a “cure.” His goal, which he fulfills admirably, is to offer encouragement to others facing life’s inevitable challenges, and he does this with passion, clarity, and brevity, affirming that unconditional love and forgiveness can “make space for true healing of the mind, body, and soul.”
Careful proofreading would correct the few errors present (on page 40, where quotations marks are missing after the words “adversely affected,” and the third paragraph on page 46, where “has” should be “have,” for example). The cover design is good, though a lighter color for the words “love” and “forgiveness” would highlight them better than the dark red that was used.
Hamilton’s conversational, engaging prose carries the intensity of his emotions very well. His story of hope and renewal, with its encouragement to embrace forgiveness as a means of releasing the “heavy, toxic load” that doubt, fear, and the mad desire for revenge create, is especially timely.
Garry Hamilton was born in Bristol, England, to Jamaican immigrant parents. He has worked in the community and social support field for over twenty-five years, and is a Reiki master, Chi Kung practitioner, and personal trainer.
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