The mistake 99 percent of humanity made, as far as Fats could see, was being ashamed of what they were; lying about it, trying to be somebody else.

J.K. Rowling, The Casual Vacancy

Why had he done it? Why couldn’t it just not have happened? Why didn’t they have time travel, why couldn’t he go back and stop it happening? Ships that could circumnavigate the galaxy in a few years, and count every cell in your body from light-years off, but he wasn’t able to go back one miserable day and alter one tiny, stupid, idiotic, shameful decision.

Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games

I am careful not to look anyone in the face because I don’t want them to see the shame in my eyes, and I also don’t want to see the laughter in theirs.

NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

We, each of us, need so much to be affirmed. For each of us has — gnawing away at the center of our being — a sense of insecurity, some more than others. And frequently, the more insecure, the more aggressive we become. The more we throw our weight about and say people should recognize us.

Desmond Tutu

Incontestably, alas, most people are not, in action, worth very much; and yet, every human being is an unprecedented miracle. One tries to treat them as the miracles they are, while trying to protect oneself against the disasters they’ve become.

James Baldwin

The parts that embarrass you the most are usually the most interesting poetically, are usually the most naked of all, the rawest and goofiest and strangest and most eccentric, and, at the same time, most representative, most universal.

Allen Ginsberg

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before — more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.

Jack Kornfield

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

Thich Nhat Hanh

One of the things that baffles me . . . is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of duty in Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.

They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medications.

Carrie Fisher

There is no shame in feeling broken. . . . Sometimes it is the breaking that leads us to the source of our own becoming. But we need not suffer alone. When you feel trauma or shame, if you feel depressed or alone — speak your truth, ask for help, insist without ceasing on the support that you need.

Jeanette LeBlanc

Empathy is the antidote to shame. . . . The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.

Brené Brown

Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.

Megan Devine

He was awed at her touch and what the human heart is capable of feeling — such sadness, such shame, but such acceptance, such joy, all at the same time.

Jamie Ford, Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame, and self-loathing — they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter, and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.

Stephen Fry

Don’t be ashamed to be a human being, be proud! / Inside you one vault after another opens endlessly. / You’ll never be complete, and that’s as it should be.

Tomas Tranströmer