Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself – Kristen Neff, PhD
It’s hard to move forward when you tear yourself down constantly on the inside. This book helped me realize that I was the main person holding myself back because I was so hard on myself all the time. When my internal voice turned from anger to kindness old wounds finally started to heal. You can’t hate yourself into a better you.
The Inner Child Workbook – Cathryn L. Taylor
This workbook has lots of exercises and guided questions to help you navigate unresolved emotional pain from childhood. I loved it because I could go at my own pace (2-3 exercises each week) and it was much cheaper than therapy. I still went to a therapist, but doing this workbook first helped me understand what I really needed help with.
This book lists statements like “I don’t feel I have a right to ask others to meet my needs” and “I feel guilty when someone asks me to do something and I say no” and you score how much you relate. This is a very effective way to help you articulate feelings you’ve had for a long time, even if it’s hurt so long it now feels numb.
Emotions are far more complex than your car, and yet most of us go to a mechanic when our car has issues. Why not take your emotions to someone trained to help you with them? I think you should give it a shot, it’s helped me heal things I could have never healed on my own. Honestly I think everyone should get therapy. That includes you.
Radical Acceptance – Tara Brach
You are all you have. To can become anything you want, but accepting where you are now is the first step to getting somewhere else. This book taught me how freeing it was to accept where I was, and indeed how necessary that was for growth. All the denial and self-hate and coping mechanisms are what hold us back. And you deserve a higher quality life than what those can give you.
Awareness – Anthony de Mello
I heard about this book on the Tim Ferriss podcast, and it has changed several of my friends’ lives. Essentially most of our thoughts are on autopilot, and they often drive in the same painful loops over and over. This book is incredibly helpful to notice when we’re stuck in these kinds of loops and break out of them. This can really help us accept ourselves too because we can finally stop chasing the wrong things.
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
Mindfulness is a very important tool in healing. It helps us stay aware of what we’re feeling, understand where those feelings come from, and separate out the feelings that are useful from those that aren’t. This book helped me a ton to stop replaying some of the old narratives that was preventing me from healing. And if you really want to feel present, I also recommend visiting a graveyard.