Harriet Lerner is an American psychologist and preeminent voice on the psychology of women, family, and relationships. She is the author of several books on these subjects, including the New York Times bestseller The Dance of Anger.
We cannot make another person change his or her steps to an old dance, but if we change our own steps, the dance no longer can continue in the same predictable pattern.
We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.
People’s sense of self-worth is pivotal to their ability to look clearly at the hurt they’ve caused. The more solid one’s sense of self regard, the more likely that that person can feel empathy and compassion for the hurt party, and apologize from an authentic center.
I learned again and again in my life, until you get your own act together, you’re not ready for Big Love. What you’re ready for is one of those codependent relationships where you desperately need a partner.
Our society doesn’t promote self-acceptance and it never will. First of all, self-acceptance doesn’t sell products. Capitalism would fall if we liked ourselves the way we are now. Also, people who feel shamed and inadequate themselves tend to pass it on.
Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
If you love deeply, you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.
We meet no ordinary people in our lives.
Empathetic listening is an awesome medication for the hurting heart.