cover image Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself

Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself

Anneli Rufus. Penguin/Tarcher, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-16421-7

Rufus (Stuck) provides a practical, if heartbreaking, roadmap for those who loathe themselves, offering advice on how to break the cycle while explaining the myriad reasons why the cycle begins in the first place. The book is especially gripping in that Rufus lays her own soul bare throughout, revealing herself as a charter member of the hating-yourself-club and sharing her dysfunctional relationship with her mother. With an empathetic voice, she leads her fellow travelers down the path to recovery; reframing personality flaws as coping mechanisms and past suffering as lessons. Rufus examines common self-esteem traps%E2%80%94including undeserved loyalty and regret%E2%80%94and shows how to mentally disable these bombs. She offers healing strategies%E2%80%94such as considering what makes you happy and realizing that the cruel dictator in your head is wrong%E2%80%94and is realistic in underlining that said healing will take time and effort. Rufus also takes a look at potential upsides of having spent years with low self-esteem, and closes with a moving "benediction": Always With You,/ All Forgiven,/ All Days New Days,/ Safe With Me. This book should be required reading for anyone suffering from low self-esteem, and while it will likely cause readers to tear up repeatedly, the empathy and grounded advice is sure to help inspire healing. (May)