It's okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are our teachers -- they help us to learn.

— John Bradshaw

The most useful John Bradshaw quotes that will add value to your life

Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment.


Guilt says I've done something wrong;

... shame says there is something wrong with me. Guilt says I've made a mistake; ... shame says I am a mistake. Guilt says what did was not good; ... shame says I am no good.


Hell, in my opinion, is never finding your true self and never living your own life or knowing who you are.


I have never met an aggressive person who wasn’t a fearful person.


Our sadness is an energy we discharge in order to heal.

…Sadness is painful. We try to avoid it. Actually discharging sadness releases the energy involved in our emotional pain. To hold it in is to freeze the pain within us. The therapeutic slogan is that grieving is the ‘healing feeling.’


To truly be committed to a life of honesty, love and discipline, we must be willing to commit ourselves to reality.


Recovery begins with embracing our pain and taking the risk to share it with others. We do this by joining a group and talking about our pain.


True love heals and affects spiritual growth.

If we do not grow because of someone else’s love, it’s generally because it is a counterfeit form of love.


It is a mark of soulfulness to be present in the here and now.

When we are present, we are not fabricating inner movies. We are seeing what is before us.


The more we know about how we lost our spontaneous wonder and creativity, the more we can find ways to get them back.


I believe that this neglected, wounded, inner child of the past is the major source of human misery.


The spiritual quest is not some added benefit to our life, something you embark on if you have the time and inclination. We are spiritual beings on an earthly journey. Our spirituality makes up our beingness.


About John Bradshaw

Quotes 45 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Arrogance is a way for a person to cover up shame.

After years of arrogance, the arrogant person is so out of touch, she truly doesn't know who she is. This is one of the greatest tragedies of shame cover-ups: not only does the person hide from others, she also hides from herself.


I know from my own clinical work that when people are beaten and hurt, they numb out so that they cant feel anymore.


Our beliefs create the kind of world we believe in.

We project our feelings, thoughts and attitudes onto the world. I can create a different world by changing my belief about the world. Our inner state creates the outer and not vice versa.


Most people who have survived abuse have great strength.


Evil is a source of moral intelligence in the sense that we need to learn from our shadow, from our dark side, in order to be good.


The foundation for our self-image is grounded in the first three years of life.

It comes from our major caretaker's mirroring.


Children are curious and are risk takers.

They have lots of courage. They venture out into a world that is immense and dangerous. A child initially trusts life and the processes of life.


The most paradoxical aspect of neurotic shame is that it is the core motivator of the superachieved and the underachieved, the star and the scapegoat, the righteous and the wretched, the powerful and the pathetic.


Condemning others as bad or sinful is a way to feel righteous.

Such a feeling is a powerful mood alteration and can become highly addictive.


Growing up means leaving home and becoming a self supporting adult.

I think this the hardest task any human being hast to face.


Healthy shame is an emotion that teaches us about our limits.

Like all emotions, shame moves us to get our basic needs met.


It's essential to tell the truth at all times.

This will reduce life's pain. Lying distorts reality. All forms of distorted thinking must be corrected.


All these feelings need to be felt. We need to stomp and storm; to sob and cry; to perspire and tremble.


Chronically dysfunctioning families are also delusional. Delusion is sincere denial.


Shame is the root of all addictions.


The feeling of righteousness is the core mood alteration among religious addicts. Religious addiction is a massive problem in our society. It may be the most pernicious of all addictions because it’s so hard for a person to break his delusion and denial. How can anything be wrong with loving God and giving your life for good works and service to mankind?


That's the trouble with the conventional doctors.

They always say, 'How does it work?' but often there isn't any neat little answer...Something simply works...We don't really know how it works. We say we do. We know one or two things we can see and measure.


To be shame-bound means that whenever you feel any feeling, need or drive, you immediately feel ashamed. The dynamic core of your human life is grounded in your feelings, needs and drives. When these are bound by shame, you are shamed to the core.


Since the earliest period of our life was preverbal, everything depended on emotional interaction. Without someone to reflect our emotions, we had no way of knowing who we were.


Virtue is an inner strength. It expands your nature.


We need to learn from our shadow, from our dark side, in order to be good.


Science has so far been unable to tell us how self-aware dogs are, much less whether they have anything like our conscious thoughts. This is not surprising, since neither scientists nor philosophers can agree about what the consciousness of humans consists of, let alone that of animals.


The capacity for love that makes dogs such rewarding companions has a flip-side: They find it difficult to cope without us. Since we humans programmed this vulnerability, it's our responsibility to ensure that our dogs do not suffer as a result.


We cannot heal what we cannot feel.


There are plenty of quacks in the field.

Fewer than you'd expect, though still plenty (in alternative medicine).


The drivenness in any addiction is about the ruptured self, the belief that one is flawed as a person. The content of the addiction, whether it is alcoholism or work, is an attempt at an intimate relationship. The workaholic with her work or the alcoholic with his booze are having a love affair. Each alters mood to avoid the feeling of loneliness and hurt in the underbelly of shame.


I define a good person as somebody who is fully conscious of their own limitations. They know their strengths, but they also know their shadow - they know their weaknesses. In other words, they understand that there is no good without bad. Good and evil are really one, but we have broken them up in our consciousness. We polarize them.


Children aren't fooled. They know we give time to the things we love.


You can't heal what you can't feel!


You can find more traditional Shakespeare than we do.

But what we want to bring to these works is energy, passion, freshness.


Children need parents who model self-discipline rather than preach it.

They learn from what their parents are actually willing to do; not from what they say they do.


We move from the illusion of certainty, to the certainty of illusion