Posted by: lornasass | February 4, 2012


Flowers emerging from my shadow. Photo by Lorna Sass

Dear Reader:  Do you find this question startling?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t ask myself this question very often–if ever.  I have spent most of my life trying harder and “improving” myself (whatever that means), rarely stopping to acknowledge how much of a new, improved version of me I’ve become.

This fact came through to me when I read an e-newsletter from Marci Shimoff, author of the fine books, Happy For No Reason and Love for No Reason.  Marci herself says that she was brought up short by this very question when it was asked of her by a colleague who heard her lamenting a perceived lack.

So, I’m thinking, even someone who has spent her very long, accomplished, professional life helping others find inner peace and wisdom continues to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right.  I admire Marci for her honesty, and you know what?  It’s not such a big secret that here’s clearly an epidemic of  “I’m not good enough,” going around–and it’s catching.  (When was the last time you heard someone say anything nice about themselves?  We were taught that was bad manners…)

What is this yucky habit of hating ourselves that we humans all have?  Would we ever dare talk to a friend the way we talk to ourselves?  (Actually, I’m not sure all humans speak meanly to themselves or if it’s just those of us who grew up in the “new world.”  When someone asked the Dalai Lama about self-hatred, the translator had a rough time finding a Tibetan word for that concept!)

Recently I received another e-mail announcement, this one from the deeply thoughtful and kind Buddhist teacher Tara Brach, announcing the videos of her newest dharma talk:  Trusting Your Basic Goodness.  I listened to it a few days ago and felt comforted, as if I’d been given permission to luxuriate in a love bath, relaxing into the warm water of knowing what’s right with me. 

I think I’ll go take that bath right now.  Even contemplating the prospect makes me take a very deep breath and brings peace, comfort, and a smile into my heart–peace, comfort, and a smile that I am happy to share with others.


  1. Beautiful, Lorna. Thank you for reminding us it’s okay to applaud ourselves.

  2. I love this post, Lorna. I have thought about this often — especially in terms of my work with Women have no problem listing their “faults” (as if their bodies were their “fault”) but a much harder time recognizing their assets. To move from self-criticism to full-body appreciation and acceptance is a huge step. To celebrate what makes you great…this is what makes my heart sing!

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