Read Stop Being Mean to Yourself: A Story About Finding the True Meaning of Self-Love Online

Authors: Melody Beattie

Tags: #Self-Help, #North, #Beattie, #Melody - Journeys - Africa, #Self-acceptance, #Personal Growth, #Self-esteem

Stop Being Mean to Yourself: A Story About Finding the True Meaning of Self-Love

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stop being mean to yourself

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also by Melody Beattie

Codependent No More

Beyond Codependency

The Language of Letting Go

Guide to the 12 Steps

The Lessons of Love

Journey to the Heart

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stop being mean to yourself

A Story About Finding The True

Meaning Of SelfLove

Melody Lynn Beattie


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Center City, Minnesota 550120176

18003280094 (Tollfree U.S., Canada, and the Virgin Islands)

16512571331 (Fax)

©1997 by Melody Beattie

All rights reserved. Originally published by HarperSanFrancisco

First published by Hazelden 1998

Printed in the United States of America

No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher
Library of Congress Cataloging
Publication Data

Beattie, Melody.

Stop being mean to yourself: a story about finding the true meaning of selflove / Melody Lynn Beattie.

p. cm.

Originally published: San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco. c1997.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 1568382863 (pbk.)

1. Selfesteem. 2. Selfacceptance. 3. Beattie, Melody—Journeys

Africa, North. I. Title.

[BF697.5.S46B44 1998]

158—dc21 9837947


0201009998 65432

Cover design by David Spohn

Typesetting by Universal Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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For my readers

Thank you for staying with me while I
ve grown in my

craft and in my life
As the Virginia Slims commercial

ve come a long way

For Nelle
who passed during the writing of this book

you were a fortress of courage
You fought and won

many a hard battle
Thanks for letting me travel for you

while your illness confined you to your bed
Thanks for

your time in my life

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My heart has become astir with a goodly matter
I am saying
My works are concerning a king
May my tongue be the stylus of a skilled copyist
You are indeed more handsome
than the sons of men
Charm has been poured out upon your lips
That is why God has blessed you to time indefinite
Gird your sword upon your thigh
O mighty one
with your
dignity and your splendor
And in your splendor go on to success
ride in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness
and your right hand will instruct you in fear

Psalm 45


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A Note to the Reader


1. The Interrogation


2. The Crescent Moon and Star


3. Gunfire


4. Conversations with a Warrior


5. Blackout


6. Shisha


7. The Sandlot


8. Locked in the Box


9. Finding the Key


10. Pyramid Power


11. The Pounding Continues


12. Graduation


Credits and Sources


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This has been the most challenging book I've written in my ninebook career. I could not have done it alone. Thank God, I didn't have to—which is what I'm about to do.

I give special thanks to God, the Supreme Authority in our universe, whom I have also come to know, through the writing of this book, as Allah.

Nichole and Will, thank you both so much. Nichole, your vibrant personality and wit brought this book to life and continue to make my heart smile. Will, I am so pleased

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that you're becoming a part of our family. I have loved you from the first time you sat in my living room glowing with your gentle spirit and loving ways. Welcome aboard. Thank you both for staying with me through the trip and this book. You are the loves of my life. I am so proud of and pleased with both of you. A mother couldn't ask for more.

Dr. Steve Sherwin, thank you for your patience and skills and your undeviating belief in this book and me. Many of the concepts that appear in this book came from, and through, you. Thanks for everything.

Wendylee, there are not enough words to acknowledge what a trooper and copilot you've been throughout this amazingly intense, grueling, and magnificent process that began when I first (in retrospect naively) conceived the idea for this book. Thank you for your unwavering support and presence while I wandered through the Middle East. Thank you for the quality of your intuitive counsel. Thanks for the laughs. Thanks for being you and being there. I am a lucky woman to have you in my life. Who was it that said, "Everyone should have a Wendylee"? They were right. We should all be so lucky. Thanks for being my assistant, my friend, an editor, a consultant, and a spiritual and an emotional touchstone.

Jhoni, thanks for being a loyal and good friend. Your welltimed telephone calls and creative inspiration guided me through some tough spots in this book. Thanks for Page xiii

being there for me. Thanks for bringing the spirit of L.A. into my life and this book. Thanks for your welltimed personal advice: ''Melody, stop that. It's not being nice to them, it's being mean to yourself.'' You're brilliant, and you have a beautiful soul.

Toni, true friends are so rare in this world. Thanks for bringing friendship, color, and an appreciation for beauty into my life. It was you who called me New Year's Day and said, "I've made a resolution. I'm not going to be mean to myself anymore." Thanks for giving me the title for this book. Thanks for introducing me to Jerry, in Pasadena. Thanks for giving me a role model of what a superior woman of fine character really is.

John Steven, from the beginning we have not had a traditional motherson relationship, but you have always been in my heart. You've fought your way through many obstacles, and you've won. I am so proud of you, and so pleased with your beautiful family—your wife, Jeannette, and my grandson, Brandon. The three of you have done an admirable job.

I must express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the people in Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt who opened their hearts and homes to me. Essam, you have a sweet, gentle spirit. Your devout love for Allah and your belief in the existence of the
special powers
continue to impress me. Thank you for all you've shown me about life. I send a

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special thankyou to the women of Egypt for opening your hearts to a foreigner. Fateh and Nazil, you are the heroes of Algiers. You made my time in your country memorable. "Thank you" doesn't seem adequate.

Finally, Shane Anthony, thank you so much. I wanted to leave you a great legacy. Instead, you left me one. One of the many gifts you gave me was your tremendous spirit of adventure. It was that spirit that gave me the courage to take the trip to the Middle East, to ride by the terrorist hills with little fear, and to ride that donkey down the streets of the village of Giza. Remember that night on the island, when you grabbed my hand and said, "Let's go." "Where?" I said. "For an adventure," you replied. That was six years ago. Well, you're still taking my hand and saying, ''Let's go." I can't think of a better guardian angel any mom could ever have.

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A Note to the Reader

I based this book in part on a trip I took through the Middle East in early 1996. It is about an initiation, a gateway I went through. It is about a gateway many of us are passing through as we approach and enter the millennium.

It could be labeled another selfhelp book, but it isn't a book of labels. We don't need any more. We've got too many of them. They're too convenient. They let us talk without thinking. They let us give advice without compassion. They make criticism

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and judgment too easy in a world where criticism and judgment come easily enough. It's not a book about pointing a finger at anyone and saying, "You're doing it wrong."

This is a book about learning to be kinder. It's about learning to be kinder to the world and people around us, as much as possible. Most importantly, it is a book about learning the art of being kinder to ourselves. It's a book about learning to love ourselves at the deepest levels, at levels perhaps deeper than anyone has trained or encouraged us to love ourselves before. It's about examining the different ways we torture, punish, abuse, and torment ourselves—and in the process of uncovering that, perhaps discovering some of the ways we torment those we love.
Stop Being Mean to Yourself
is a book about learning the art of living and loving, and the art of learning to live joyfully in a world where many of us wonder if that's possible.

I wrote it for people struggling and tired of it, people who have tried everything they know to heal themselves and their lives and who still wonder, in the wee hours of the night, if they should talk to their doctor about going on Prozac. It's for people already on antidepressants. It's for people who wonder if they can trust what they've learned, where they've been, or where they're going; people who have read all the books about the wonders of the upcoming millennium and still find themselves dealing with the reality of today; people who consistently quote the first paragraph

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from M. Scott Peck's book
The Road Less Traveled
he says "life is difficult" because that's what they remember most. It's for people tired of jargon; people tired of working so hard on themselves only to find themselves staying essentially the same except for minor changes in circumstance and occasional revelations they would have had anyway; people who no longer believe the grass is greener on the other side, but even that thought does not console them because the idea that many people are miserable is perhaps even more frightening than the idea that they've been singled out. It's for people who have studied past lives, been to psychics, attended all the workshops, regularly visited their therapists, and still don't get what it's all about; people who know how to deal with their feelings and wonder if that overwhelming process will ever end; people who have given control of part or all of their lives to others only to find themselves repeatedly disappointed when they discovered the people they turned to knew less than they did. It's for people who have glimpses that something revolutionary, spiritual, and transformational is going on, but aren't quite sure what that is.

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