“Buck up.” “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” “Don’t ruin everything.” When you are anxious, sad, angry, or lonely, do you hear this self-critical voice? What would happen if, instead of fighting difficult emotions, we accepted them? Over his decades of experience as a therapist and mindfulness meditation practitioner, Dr. Christopher Germer has learned a paradoxical lesson: We all want to avoid pain, but letting it in–and responding compassionately to our own imperfections, without judgment or self-blame–are essential steps on the path to healing. This wise and eloquent book illuminates the power of self-compassion and offers creative, scientifically grounded strategies for putting it into action. You’ll master practical techniques for living more fully in the present moment — especially when hard-to-bear emotions arise — and for being kind to yourself when you need it the most. Free audio downloads of the meditation exercises are available at the author’s website: www.mindfulselfcompassion.org.