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Love for Imperfect Things: The Sunday Times Bestseller: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection by [Haemin Sunim]
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Love for Imperfect Things: The Sunday Times Bestseller: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 744 ratings

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“The struggle for self-compassion can be difficult for even the most enlightened among us. . . . As Haemin Sunim explains throughout his book, self-compassion does not mean being selfish. It’s only when we take care of ourselves, he explains, that we can care for others.” —The New York Times

“A real treasure. It teaches us that compassion is at the heart of healing . . . starting with ourselves. I highly recommend this book.” —Christiane Northrup, MD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“A treasure! I don’t have to be perfect? What incredible news. This book hit me like a ton of bricks and made many anxieties melt away.” —Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation

“You can be the most amazing human being in the world and everyone sees rays of light, love, and genius when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that external admiration doesn’t matter one bit. Haemin Sunim teaches you ways to love yourself first, instead of loving the idea of other people loving you. It makes a world of difference.” —Marc and Angel Chernoff, New York Times bestselling authors of Getting Back to Happy

“Haemin Sunim is the real deal. The simplicity and beauty of his teachings go straight to the heart. Keep this book close by—it will awaken wisdom and deepen your love of life.” —Tara Brach, bestselling author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

“A wonderful book to accompany The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down. Zen teacher Haemin Sunim describes with great clarity the suffocating effect of perfectionism—how damaging it is to think your worth as a person is solely dependent on how you perform. Then, page by page, he shows you how to reclaim your freedom and your life.” —Mark Williams, co-author of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World

“Heartwarming, calming and . . . filled with wisdom and powerful truths.” —Héctor García, co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

“The Buddha, somewhat rebelliously, declared that, instead of a god or guru, the starting point of our path to awakening is our very own imperfections. I’m so happy to see Haemin Sunim giving fresh voice to practices that help us befriend ourselves, so that we can become our own best caregivers.” —Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, author of Emotional Rescue and Rebel Buddha

“Beyond all barriers of culture and religions, Love for Imperfect Things speaks to every human heart, because Haemin Sunim speaks from the innermost heart—the heart of compassion.” —Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB, author of Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer

“An invaluable gift for all of us . . . Haemin Sunim has hit it out of the park again by offering sound pragmatic advice in an insightful, accessible manner. . . . This book needs to be at every bedside so that we can all go to sleep with a smile.” —Allan Lokos, founder and guiding teacher, Community Meditation Center, NYC; author of Through the Flames, Patience, and Pocket Peace

“Beautifully wise insights into how we’re all perfectly imperfect. A masterclass in letting go. As soothing to my whirring ‘must do better!’ mind as slipping into a hot bath when I’m cold.” —Catherine Gray, author of The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

“Haemin Sunim writes beautifully and simply so these vital life lessons resonate easily and deeply.” —Miranda Hart, author of Is It Just Me?

“Relatable and valuable . . . Zen Buddhist teacher Sunim looks tantalizingly at essential yet everyday aspects of the human experience in this lively book of reflections. . . . In addition to stories from Sunim’s own life, the book contains thought-provoking aphorisms. . . . A breezy book with generally helpful reminders, wise advice, and pithy sayings to soothe the challenges of hectic life.” —Publishers Weekly

“Wisdom to apply to everyday life . . . Quick, easy lessons for developing and increasing our practice of empathy toward ourselves and others.” —Library Journal

“Sunim . . . writes with an inviting and gentle voice that is akin to a warm embrace. . . . Although many self-help books preach triumphal purpose-seeking, Sunim astonishes by saying, ‘I don’t think life has something grand in store for me.’ . . .  The book is worth repeated readings on a commuter train, at bedtime, or as part of a morning routine.” —Booklist

“A treasure . . . A beautiful guide to being kinder, more polite and along the way even unlocking higher thoughts . . . This is one [book] that you want to linger over, hold onto, keep on the nightstand. It can, and should, be opened regularly.” —NJ Advance Media

“[A] gentle, kindhearted guide to inner peace.” —BookPage

“In these snark-saturated times, it’s cheering that a voice as quietly friendly as Haemin’s can make you a mega-celebrity. . . . Haemin is especially eloquent on life’s smaller dissatisfactions, and how they can sometimes be trickier to deal with than the bigger, more dramatic ones.” —The Guardian

“Brimming with brilliant spiritual advice, maxims, and wisdom. Laden with life lessons about how to embrace the imperfect—because our flaws are what make us unique—this book is ideal for those who are too tough on themselves.” —Bustle

“Bite-size Buddhism—mindfulness for the modern age.” —The Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


When we become kinder to ourselves,

we can become kinder to the world.

Were you one of those children who were praised for being “good”? Did youthen try hard to be good by obeying parents, teachers, or older relatives? Even if sometimes it was hard, you learned not to complain and bore it quietly? And now that you're an adult, do you still feel a responsibility to do your best with whatever you're entrusted with? Are you constantly making an effort not to disturb or be a burden on others? But when there's someone who makes things difficult for you, you try just to ignore it or put up with it, because it is not in your nature to do or say something that can potentially hurt someone or make someone feel uncomfortable?

I have met many good people who suffer from depression, panic attacks, and other emotional disorders due to difficult human relationships. Such people tend to be gentle, well-mannered, and solicitous of others. They are the kind of self-sacrificing person who will habitually put other people's wishes before their own. Why, I wondered, do such good people often fall victim to mental and emotional suffering?

I, too, was introverted and meek as a child, and so was often praised for being “good.” A good son who wouldn't give his parents any trouble, a good student who listened to his teachers--all this taught me was that it was good to be good. But when I went to graduate school, I began to feel that there might be a problem with only being good. In group work with students who were smart and had strong personalities, I found that the tasks everyone wanted to avoid somehow always fell to me. I kept on telling myself that it was good to do good, but as time went by it started causing me quite a bit of stress. When I opened my heart and spoke honestly to an older friend who was in the same program, he gave me the following advice:
“Be good to yourself first, then to others.”
It was like being struck by lightning. Up until then, I had only ever worried about what other people thought of me. I had never once thought properly about caring for myself, or loving myself.

When we say that someone is “good,” we often mean that the person complies with the will of others isn’t self-assertivene. In other words, people who are good at suppressing their own desires in deference to another's are the ones who frequently get called “good.” If someone always listens to me and follows my advice, naturally I like that person and think of him or her as a good person. It seems that “good” sometimes refers to a person who thinks too much of others to be able to express his or her own will.

While it is not always the case, there is a particular pattern that can be seen in our relationship with whoever raised us as a child. Many who are self-effacing in this way grew up with  a dominant father or strong-willed mother. Or as a middle sibling, who received relatively little attention from their parents, giving rise to a strong desire to win their parents' recognition by obeying them in all things. In certain cases, when the parents' own relationship is not good, or the family dynamic is awkward in some way, there are also those who take it upon themselves to make their parents happy by being good.

But the problem is that, by living in accordance with the demands of others, we unwittingly neglect our own desires and needs. If as a child you were indifferent to your own feelings, minimizing them or not considering them important, as an adult you will not be able to tell what it is you yourself want to do, or who you ares as a person. And then when you encounter someone who treats you unfairly or makes things difficult for you, since you do not know how to properly express your own feelings, the anger that ought to be directed toward its instigator is trapped inside you and ends up attacking you instead. ”Why am I such an idiot, that I can't express my feelings properly, can't even speak properly?”

Above all, please remember this: What you are feeling is not something that should just be ignored, but something very significant. The feelings inside you will not easily disappear just because you decide to suppress or ignore them. Many psychological problems come about when repression becomes a habit, and the energy of those suppressed emotions is unable to find a healthy outlet. Just as stagnant water becomes fetid and toxic, so it is with our emotions.

But it's not too late. From now on, before going along with what others wish you to do, please listen to the voice inside you, telling you what you truly want. Even when you feel yourself buffeted by constant demands, if you really do not want to do something, don't try to push through with it, exhausting yourself to the point that you are no longer able to cope. Instead, try to make others understand what you are feeling by expressing it in words. Don't worry that if you express yourself, the other person will dislike you and the relationship will become strained. If the other person knew how you really felt, she probably wouldn’t have made such demands of you.

Even when everyone says “let's all have coffee,” if you want a chai latte, it's okay to speak up and say, ”I'd like a chai latte instead.” We consider it good to be good to others, but don’t forget that you have a responsibility to be good to yourself first. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07D922PXX
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin; 1st edition (24 January 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 76201 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 274 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0143132296
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 744 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
744 global ratings
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Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 8 August 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Its a Treasure to be cherished for a lifetime
By Richa on 8 August 2019
Oh My God,such an incredible book. What a treasure of wisdom. Each chapter begins with personal notes and incidents of Author's life followed by lots of words of wisdom. All necessary topics from Love to Relationships, Career to Stress are covered. The illustrations are so visually impacting that I was forced to buy both Kindle and Hardcover editions. This book has a very positive influence on my life...I feel more happy,peaceful and contented. Infact, I have applied so many practical things from the book on my life and relationships.
Please dear readers,do buy this book and enjoy each chapter slowly and subtly.
Thanks to Haemin Sunim and the translator of the book for giving me the opportunity to read.
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Reviewed in India on 3 October 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars happy reading - read it at your own pace!!
By priyanka on 3 October 2020
What intrigued me to look into the book was its title.

Honestly no one can teach you - how to love or accept yourself, nor does this book, what it does is - it gives us a constant reminder that no matter in which situation you are in you will always be imperfect so don’t be too hard on yourself nor give in to the situation.

The book talks about Self-Care; Family; Empathy; Relationships; Courage; Healing; Enlightenment and Acceptance. All of us juggle in these at some point of time in our lives. One or many at a time.

The book is a collection of anecdotes and quotes, i personally liked the anecdotes because they give an engaging view of the life of a buddhist monk, who isn’t perfect either. It is a quick read, simple and straight to the point.

You can flip a page and start reading, it can change your mood, keep you calm and can also bring smile on your face. It is a book that you can read of couple of times and come back to it for any references.

My thoughts about the book:

It is a self-help book with dash of spirituality.
Nothing out of the blue that you would discover, it is uncomplicated, yet profound.
3. I personally noted down couple of verses and kept them at my bed side table for references.
4. I absolutely loved the illustrations by Lisk Feng.

Read it at your own pace , you will enjoy it then. There are many lovely quotes that are remarkable but one of my favourite is “ Love needs no reason other than Love itself”

A must have book in your collection - do enjoy the little joys of life and embrace the imperfection in you. - Happy reading!!!
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Reviewed in India on 28 August 2019
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Reviewed in India on 12 June 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Art
By Sana(_sanablogs) on 12 June 2021
Love for imperfect things is a piece of art. This book makes me smile. This book makes me feel like beauty of life lies in small things. This calms me down during this situation when the world's anxiety is at an all time high. Not a self help book, not a fiction book but a book everyone should read at least once in their lives.
This is one of the best books on quotations and anecdotes that I have ever read. It talks about Self-Care, family, Empathy, Relationships, Acceptance, Healing, Courage and Enlightenment. Every illustration of this book is so heartwarming and serene, so beautifully created into a masterpiece of love and elegance.
Thank you Haemin Sunim for reminding me to appreciate the small things in life and why it's so important to embrace your flaws.

Gorgeous, insightful, wonderful and a work of art. I highly, highly recommend this one. You will never regret reading it.
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Reviewed in India on 29 August 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book
By Ushnita sarkar on 29 August 2020
I read another book of Haemin Sunim before. His writting is so easy to understand. The illustration of life is described so perfectly. But both of the books are closely similar.The book really help you to understand the purpose of life & makes some good change in habits.
Happy reading ☺️
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Reviewed in India on 3 August 2020
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Reviewed in India on 8 August 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 February 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, gentle, and wise
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 April 2019
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5 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought which makes you feel more positive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 February 2019
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5 people found this helpful
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H unique
5.0 out of 5 stars The illustrations and short paragraphs make it so easy and interesting to read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 February 2019
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Kips mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful compassionate read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 March 2019
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