How to accept yourself (Haemin Sunim book review)

Self-improvement helps you to become a better version of yourself, but it requires constant practice. It also helps to improve your mental health and mindset. Reading is the most straight-forward way to absorb the wisdom needed to maneuver through life mindfully.

In my earlier post, I shared my takeaways from Haemin Sunim's book called The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down.

This post has his takeaways from his book called Love for Imperfect Things. I hope these pointers would help someone in seeking peace within their minds.

In Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim shows us how to cultivate more love, compassion and wisdom. Also, to find beauty in the most imperfect of things-including your very own self.

This is a book of spiritual wisdom about learning to love ourselves (even with our glaring imperfections). It is refreshing to hear that being yourself is enough. Accepting oneself means we will be at peace with ourselves. In turn, allowing us to be at peace with the world around us.

When you care for yourself first, the world begins to find you worthy of care.

Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection

Self Care

  • Be good to yourself first, then to others - learn how to express your feelings without agonizing over it
  • Look at your flaws with love - choose a life that improves through failure and pain
  • True winner is one who is happy with his life - compare yourself with the old you, not to others
  • Don't be a victim of the past - don't let the past define you
  • Like yourself - your self esteem will improve
  • Listen to your heart more than the opinion of others - your heart is far wiser than your head
  • Develop a habit of looking what is good - write down 3 things that you are grateful for today


  • Listening is an act of love - the way to show your support


  • Maintain your inner peace - don't waste time on pointless anguish (over a task) etc
  • What distresses us is less the circumstances we find ourselves in and more the energy we expend by resisting them - in resisting, we become preoccupied by the cycle of negative thoughts
  • Attain inner peace by not feeding and producing negative thoughts and learning to accept circumstances - suspend your inner monologue if there is nothing you can change
  • Fight the impulse to have the last word and make irrevocable break
  • When you don't try to possess someone & enjoy the time spent together, connection endures
  • If you want a harmonious relationship, stop monitoring who owes what


  • If you are courageous, you can create your own destiny - it is entirely up to you to decide what kind of life you would like to have
  • Don't get swept away by the storm - follow the wisdom emanating from the storm's peaceful eye
  • With a new heart, focus on the present and not the past
  • If you don't let go, you let new opportunities and experience pass you buy
  • Thinking too much can make it difficult to act
  • Have confidence in yourself - your unconscious contain an ocean of wisdom
  • The way to be free of worry and anxiety is to focus your attention on the present moment
  • Distinguish between the things you are in control and those you are not
  • Don't be afraid of making mistakes - be afraid of not learning from mistakes
  • Each time you fail, learn from your mistakes and become wiser & prudent - it is an opportunity to rethink about your life, growing mentally & spiritually
  • No one can tell the sum of life until it has come to an end
  • When you have a negative experience, be wary of the thoughts that make it seem worse than it is
  • Don't try to climb higher than you can go before you are ready - you will get there step by step
  • When the waves of an ordeal roll in, don't act out of desperation - go to a peaceful place and dwell on the silence within yourself. When your mind touches its deep silence, realise that you have enough inner strength and wisdom to get through this.
  • Important to enjoy the journey, not prize the destination.
  • Ask what values guide your life? What do you want to achieve in life? - Know your values, strengths, limitations and interests
  • Excessive thought won't solve a problem - rather than trying to fix by thinking, set your mind at ease. Wisdom comes from stillness.
  • Don't worry as it won't solve anything - you will miss out on the present
  • Worry about the problems that you are facing right now will do. For the rest, you will cross the bridge when you come to it
  • When something hasn't turn out well, don't give up. Keep going - Try different ways to make it work. You will find the best approach through trial & error
  • After experiencing a great trial, you will come to see clearly what is important in your life
  • Looking at lives as a whole, our current difficulty is like a cloud. Although large, it will soon pass.
  • Be like a rock, which isn't easily moved by others' praise or criticism - if you allow yourself to be shaken, the world will shake you even harder
  • Choose your hard - know that there are always trials to get through before something bears fruits
  • Put your heart, mind & soul into the smallest acts - it's the secret to success
  • Say so what to the part of yourself that feels inferior and nervous - once you acknowledge your insecurities, you can find the courage from within to overcome them
  • If you try to conceal the interior part of yourself while feeling ashamed of it, it will be a problem
  • Stillness of the mind is nourishing and restorative - be alone in a peaceful place
  • Lives need to have breathing room to enjoy the things we have
  • The types of thoughts you have affect your emotional life
  • To release your mind from negative thoughts - focus on the present moment through your breathing


  • Healing starts when we attend to ourselves
  • When life feels empty, learn something new, hang out with friends, volunteer, meditate on the truth of impermanence in this world and accept that things change
  • There is always a goal between what you know and how you act
  • Only when you put your new knowledge into action, slowly with a lot of effort, will change come


  • The mind must be fully present here and now - including while we walk and eat
  • Be mindful of your breathing - anchor your mind to the present
  • Peace & contentment in your mind is more precious than anything you can buy - when the mind is empty of thoughts, we can feel its true nature
  • Thoughts are passing clouds. Clinging to a particular negative thought can lead to depression - be careful not to get caught in your thoughts
  • True freedom is freedom from the unknown
  • True freedom is being without anxiety about imperfection
  • When thought or emotion arise, don't attach the word "my" to them, and assuming that they are "your thoughts" or "your emotions" - They usually linger briefly. If you keep claiming them as yours, you will obstruct their natural flow and mistakenly identify with them
  • It's hard to put what you know into practice and make sure your action don't contradict your words
  • Enlightened mind - acceptance, love, silence, present moment, feeling alive, open awareness, complete surrender and mind with no thoughts
  • Be careful not to succumb to inertia when you don't feel like doing anything

Letting go

  • The reason we have difficulties is because we are unable to accept the things that cannot be changed - let them be and see what happens
  • Let it go = Move on = Accept it fully/ your struggling self/ yourself just as you are
  • Distinguish between memories and emotions surrounding it such as regret, disappointment
  • Emotions are like uninvited guests. They come whenever they want to and leave once you acknowledge their presence. Don't struggle with the bad emotions, trying to control them make it worse.
  • Love's true face is acceptance & freedom, not restriction & control
  • Don't be upset by the small things you should despise and forget
  • Don't give up. Persevere. Be patient for a little while longer
  • In many things in life, the good is mixed with the bad. If you throw away the whole thing because you dislike the bad part, you will also throw away much that is good.
  • The secret to a happy life is not chasing after a better job, but learning to enjoy the job you have
  • Instead of postponing your happiness until you have achieved your goal, live a little and enjoy the moment.
  • You won't be happy if you are always striving for more & better
  • Happiness comes when your heart is peaceful and contented and when you learn to appreciate what you have
  • Take a broader view. The bumpy road is part of a longer road - Learn to take the rough with the smooth
  • Even when we endure criticism or experience loss, we should be mindful and accept with as much humility and grace as we can muster
  • We suffer when we put off the things we ought to finish today. Don't make excuses or get distracted. Just do it.
  • Worry about the bad things when they happen, not before
  • Trust the wisdom that exists in silence, and rest your hardworking mind for a while

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