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This is, like, a very important and beautiful book to me. Tara Brach takes clear aim at the voices in our heads that tell us that we don't deserve happiness, that keep us stuck in our wounds, and try and keep us disconnected from our true feelings because we worry that if we open ourselves up to them they might drown us, like one more passenger on a lifeboat that's barely above water.
Writing about self-help is vulnerable to me because it's like shouting Hi! I have all these problems. And they are also easy to make fun of, and not even in a mean-spirited way. There is something a little goofy about looking to Buddhism for answers (as an American, given the cultural history of “looking to the East” for enlightenment) or taking in meditations with exercises like saying hello to your pain. There's a real and sad truth to texts like these: I turn to them when I need to hear them. I allow them in when trying to muddle through endless grey days without compassion for myself is worse than trying to do something about it.
Self-help/growth books are one of those things where some work for some folks and others work for other folks, so I wouldn't just blanket recommend it to everyone. The most I can say is that if it seems like it might contain something you're trying to find, you owe it to yourself to open it up and see if it is.
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