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120+ Jeff Foster Quotes to Encourage You on Your Healing Journey

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

“All feelings are deeply intelligent. Get out of their way. Let them do their sacred, universal work.” - Jeff Foster



What’s in this blog post


Jeff Foster’s words have helped so many of my mother wound clients heal over the years, and now I’m super excited for this opportunity to be sharing them with you.


In this blog post I’ve gathered up for you more than 120 of Jeff’s greatest quotes that I’ve been personally collecting over the years. Some of these I found myself, and then some of these were sent to me by clients who found them so helpful they wanted me to be able to share them with other clients.


I’ve sorted the quotes out into categories for easy finding & reading. And yes, the quotes are also in alphabetical order because I’m like that. If you’re looking for even more of Jeff’s quotes click here.



Acceptance Quotes


“Accept your inability to accept a single damn thing.” - Jeff Foster


“Deep acceptance always destroys our false stories.” - Jeff Foster


“Divorce the dream and marry reality.” - Jeff Foster


“First, accept that this moment is exactly the way it is right now. And the past was the way it was. Accept your non-acceptance in the present.” - Jeff Foster


“Here’s an invitation to begin to accept your pain, as it is. Now, let’s be clear about this: acceptance does not mean necessarily liking your pain, just aligning with the fact that it is here today. It doesn’t mean giving up on the possibility that the pain will lessen or even disappear tomorrow, or next week, or next year. It doesn’t mean that you won’t find a “cure” for the pain, eventually. It just means that your peace is no longer dependent on whether or not this happens. You are reclaiming your happiness, today, no matter what the future brings.” - Jeff Foster


“If you cannot accept yourself completely as you are, then can you completely accept your complete inability to accept? And if you can’t accept that, can you see that even your inability to accept is part of life, part of this moment, part of the movement of the universe? Remember, in truth you don’t have to accept yourself, or accept this moment, for it is already accepted. It is already here, already alive, already the way it is.” - Jeff Foster


“Perhaps you are being called now to let go of an old reality and meet your loved one in the new reality of the here and now—not as you wanted them to be, but as they actually are.” - Jeff Foster


“Remember, acceptance doesn’t mean that the pain or the hurt goes away. I think that’s a huge mistake that people make. They expect that once they discover this deepest acceptance, all the hurt and pain and strange urges will magically disappear. When these things don’t disappear, they feel more hurt and confused and more of a failure than ever. The deepest acceptance has failed, which makes them the deepest failure! But the idea that any wave should go away is just the seeker talking. And that’s okay too, if it happens. The feeling of being a failure at getting rid of the waves is allowed to arise here too!” - Jeff Foster


“There is a pain greater than pain; the pain of running away from our pain…” - Jeff Foster



Addiction Quotes


“Alcohol + seeking = addiction.” - Jeff Foster


“In a way, the cigarette, the glass of wine, the ear-bleedingly loud music become a lover, a mother, a guru, providing the release I crave. It takes me back to the womb. It releases my burdens. It removes discomfort. It brings me home— temporarily.” - Jeff Foster


“People we call addicts are basically no different from the rest of us. In a sense, a seeker is always an addict—addicted to the future, addicted to moving away from this moment, addicted to finding release in any way he or she can.” - Jeff Foster


“There are many theories about addiction, but not much understanding of its root causes.” - Jeff Foster


“The root of addiction, then, is this longing for love.” - Jeff Foster


“The seeker is addicted to release. It’s the wave seeking the ocean again. What a relief it is, for a moment, to think you’ve found what you’re looking for! What a relief to be the ocean, if only for a few perfect moments! And what hell it is to lose that relief and be dragged back into the world of human problems so quickly!” - Jeff Foster


“Until we ask addicts, “Who are you, beyond all your ideas about yourself?” we are not really getting to the root of the problem, and all our solutions will be built on faulty, secondhand assumptions and dualistic thinking.” - Jeff Foster


“We human beings seem to be able to become addicted to pretty much anything.” - Jeff Foster



Anger & Disappointment Quotes


“Anger can come and go in what you are, but there is no angry person.” - Jeff Foster


“Anger heals you from anger.” - Jeff Foster


“Anger is the roar of a lion, the cry of a universe longing to be born. It reminds you, when you have forgotten, that the power of life moves through you. That you matter. That your voice will not be silenced. That you have self-respect, and deserve to be treated with dignity.” - Jeff Foster


“Be gentle with anger. Bow before it.” - Jeff Foster


“Disappointment can be your greatest teacher and friend.” - Jeff Foster


“When anger is not deeply accepted here and now, we move into the story of “I am an angry person,” forgetting who we really are. And then the angry person, seeking release from the discomfort of unaccepted anger, gets angry at another person.” - Jeff Foster



Boundary Quotes


“Brutal honesty is never a threat to love—it is love. If love can be threatened by this kind of authentic, loving honesty, it isn’t the kind of love you truly long for.” - Jeff Foster


“By saying, “I love you, and I cannot accept you right now,” the woman would not be trying to win her husband’s acceptance, his approval, his love. She would not be holding back or attacking out of fear of losing his love or acceptance. She wouldn’t be pretending that everything was okay in order to hold up an image of herself as enlightened or spiritual. She would simply be stating, honestly and authentically, everything that is appearing presently in the space that she was. She would be real—as real as a human being can be in the moment.” - Jeff Foster


“Honesty is connection.” - Jeff Foster



Conflict Quotes


“Conflict ends when you can listen to someone from a nondefensive place of deep acceptance and love, a place beyond “I am right and you are wrong,” a place where you fully honor and allow their present experience of life, however absurd or unkind other views may sound and feel to you. Conflict ends when you can stay open to being perceived as wrong, even if you are quite certain that you are the one who is right. Conflict ends when you stop pretending to have all the answers, and instead you listen, really listen.” - Jeff Foster


“Here’s where much conflict in relationship begins: you share something with me, and it hurts me on some level. You share how you feel, how you see me; you share your viewpoint, your perspective, your belief. And it hurts me. It scares me or angers me or simply makes me feel uncomfortable or like some kind of failure. I immediately feel like I have to make you wrong, to stop you from thinking and feeling the way you do, to correct your experience, to change and control you.” - Jeff Foster


“The heat of the moment is where the rubber hits the road in spiritual awakening.” - Jeff Foster


“The truth is, whether you like it or not, whether you agree with them or not, the other person does think and feel the way they do right now, in this moment. You may not like it, but that is their present-moment experience. They may not feel that way tomorrow; they may not feel that way in a week’s time. But they do now.” - Jeff Foster


“Yes, here is the key to breaking through all relationship conflict: if I want to stay connected with you in this moment, I must deeply allow any hurt that appears.” - Jeff Foster



Feelings Quotes


“All feelings are deeply intelligent. Get out of their way. Let them do their sacred, universal work.” - Jeff Foster


“An invitation to be vast, vast enough to hold joy as well as pain, heartache as well as bliss, the boredom as well as the excitement of life.” - Jeff Foster


“It’s okay not to feel okay right now.” - Jeff Foster


“Make room for your own thoughts and feelings! Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, guilty, doubtful.” - Jeff Foster


“Learn to hold your own feelings like beloved children, however intensely they burn and scream for attention. Celebrate the aliveness in your hurt, the vibrancy of your disappointment, the electricity of your sadness. Kneel before the power in your anger; honor its fiery creativity.” - Jeff Foster


“Let [your feelings] hang out, play, stay if they want, and leave if they want. Take delight in their freedom.” - Jeff Foster


“To think your thoughts, and feel your feelings. That takes great courage.” - Jeff Foster



Grief & Sadness Quotes


“Conventional wisdom would have you turn away from melancholy rather than face it. Well-meaning friends and family and self-help gurus may want to fix you, to get you ‘back to normal’ (what the hell is normal, anyway?), to make you more ‘positive’, to cheer you up.” - Jeff Foster


“Don’t heal yourself from sadness; let sadness heal you. Let it show you the way when you have forgotten.” - Jeff Foster


“If we can touch our own sorrows, we can touch the sorrows of all humanity. This is not wallowing in our pain, this is waking up, the opening of eyes, the birth of true compassion.” - Jeff Foster


“It’s okay to feel sad, without trying to not feel sad, without judging yourself at all.” - Jeff Foster


“Sadness does not arise to be healed. It arises to be heard. It arises to be held, here, Now, in the loving arms of awareness.” - Jeff Foster


“Sadness is not the opposite of joy, but her gateway.” - Jeff Foster


“The more intensely you feel the joy of life, the more intensely you will feel the sorrow. That is the deal.” - Jeff Foster


“Your heart is broken. You no longer feel at home. The world as you know it is crumbling. You feel you have lost something very precious to you, something that defined you, something that made you “you.” It feels like a part of you is missing.” - Jeff Foster


“Your sadness doesn’t say, “Please fix me, heal me, or release me.” - Jeff Foster



Healing Quotes


“Don’t believe the biggest lie of all: that you’re supposed to be “over” something or someone “by now”; that “by now” you should be better, immune, healed, or at least “more enlightened.” - Jeff Foster


“Healing begins when you come out of your thought-story that “the pain should have gone by now” (you cannot know that) or “the pain will never go away” (you cannot know that).” - Jeff Foster


“Instead of trying to “heal” or “get rid of” her pain (she had tried so hard over the years!), she finally was able to meet it instead, make a home for it, allow it, without even the subtle expectation that it would “go away.” - Jeff Foster


“One of the most unhelpful myths we have inherited from our culture is that healing is supposed to “feel good.” - Jeff Foster


“Please understand this: healing doesn’t necessarily involve the disappearance of pain. No, healing may involve the pain staying, today. Perhaps even intensifying. For healing is not a final destination, but an ever-present invitation to remember who you truly are. It is a call to love, in every moment of our lives. And in love, your pain is not attacked, or denied, or pushed away, but given a home.” - Jeff Foster


“Sometimes you have to commit to feeling worse in order to feel better.” - Jeff Foster


“Sometimes when you are trying to heal your pain, or forgive it, or release it, or even “accept” it, what you are secretly trying to do is get rid of it. There is resistance there to your present experience.” - Jeff Foster


“This is how healing happens— through love, through presence, through the courage to come closer.” - Jeff Foster


“True healing nearly always involves the reopening of old wounds, the death of illusion, and a courageous confrontation with our pain.” - Jeff Foster


“Your pain just may be what healing actually feels like. Your pain may be here to remind you of your courage. Perhaps it’s not supposed to have disappeared yet. Perhaps it still has work to do, medicine to offer.” - Jeff Foster


“Be that “special someone,” the one you have always sought.” - Jeff Foster


“Child, know that I will love you if you succeed. And know that I will love you equally if you fail.” - Jeff Foster


“Others tried to convince you that you were not good enough, because they too felt not good enough.” - Jeff Foster


“Shut up baby, stop crying! Cry, baby, why won’t you cry? Why do you want so much? Don’t touch that. Stand, don’t stand. Walk, sit still. Behave! Why are you just sitting there? Bad child. Good child. Bad child. Don’t be such a child! Do something! Stop it! I love you. I’ll only love you if you… I love you. I hate you. Speak up! Shut up! You just ate. Go to your room. Eat! Why are you still in your room? How dare you say that! Shh, baby. Baby? Why are you so quiet? I’m here for you. I’m not here for you. I might be here for you. You’re bad. You’re sick. You’re good. You’re nice. You’re evil. You’re perfect. You don’t need me. You need me. I need you to need me. You are so needy! Grow up! Get over it. Get over here! Leave me alone! Come back!” It made no sense. How to navigate it all without getting hurt? How to please Mummy or Daddy?” - Jeff Foster


“They taught you that you were small. They told you that you were incomplete, limited. That there was something missing. Some deficiency. Something “wrong” with you. That you were “less then.” And others were “more than.” They were mistaken, always.” - Jeff Foster


“They will teach you what they think is true.” - Jeff Foster


“You say you love me. You say you care. You say a lot of things, but words are cheap, and I am worthy of the kind of love that builds galaxies.” - Jeff Foster


“You were lovable exactly as you were. In your original form. From the beginning, you were whole. And complete. And worthy. Worthy of love.” - Jeff Foster


“You will be taught your family’s beliefs, values, codes of conduct. (Don’t take these as absolute truth; it’s just their version of truth.)” - Jeff Foster



Love & Compassion Quotes


“And so, in the name of true love, I drop all ideas of what love is.” - Jeff Foster


“But true love is not just about feeling the good stuff. It’s not just about the warm, fluffy, pleasurable, romantic feelings. That’s a horribly limited idea of love. Love is vast enough to hold anything.” - Jeff Foster


“Is there a love so huge, so timeless, so present, so free from worldly conditions?” - Jeff Foster


“It was only ever about the connection.” - Jeff Foster


“Love is not something you do; it’s what you are.” - Jeff Foster


“To find compassion for others, you need not leave yourself. To connect with others, simply know yourself more deeply. The journey in is the journey out; what you love in yourself, you can love in others.” - Jeff Foster


“We never stay still. We are alive. Is there a love that survives all these changes, even celebrates them? A love that embraces, yet does not cling?” - Jeff Foster


“When you’re not seeking someone’s love, acceptance, or approval, you can afford to tell the truth of this moment, which is the truth of who you are.” - Jeff Foster



Relationship Quotes


“If you are searching for a partner—or staying with a partner—because you feel “half” of a whole, afraid of being alone, unhappy with your delicious solitude, avoidant of the void, you will be bringing your partner into the field of your unhappiness, and anxiety will rumble underneath your days together.” - Jeff Foster


“Let us commit to the field of love, not the form. Let us acknowledge that form changes, ebbs and flows, as it must. We are lovers, we are friends. We are wedded, we are divorced. We are together, we are not. We are together again. We are partners, we are ex-partners. We live together, we do not. We are attracted to each other, the attraction wanes then surges unexpectedly.” - Jeff Foster


“Maybe you will call them your friend, your partner, your lover. Maybe you will marry, maybe you will live together, maybe you will start a family, maybe you will never see each other again. In the joy of deep connection, the labels will not matter so much, and the future will take care of itself.” - Jeff Foster


“Much of our suffering is due to our own dishonesty and inauthenticity in relationships—not saying what we mean to say, not saying what we really feel, not saying what we really want, crafting clever and intricate stories to win people over and prevent people from leaving. It’s all such a burden to carry, this split in our experience between public and private self, between who I really am and who I make myself out to be, in order to win your favor. It’s a constant performance, a role that I must put so much effort in to maintaining.” - Jeff Foster


“No one can ever be erased from your heart…” - Jeff Foster


“She was asking her husband for something he could never provide, and because he had not provided it, her frustration, anger, and disappointment with him had grown to unbearable levels.” - Jeff Foster


“So many people find themselves searching for a soul mate, their “other half.” They feel incomplete, lonely, “single,” without that “special someone” in their life. But you are not half of a whole, friend. You have never been half of a whole. That was the lie. You are whole.” - Jeff Foster


“The beauty of other people is that we cannot control them.” - Jeff Foster

“We can never really leave relationships, for we are always relating in one way or another, whether or not we tell the story that we are “in a relationship.” - Jeff Foster


“When deeply accepted, pain and hurt are not the end of relationship. Instead they become part of relationship.” - Jeff Foster



Rest Quotes


“Every great adventure is fueled by rest.” - Jeff Foster


“There is no shame in admitting that you cannot go on. Even the courageous need to rest.” - Jeff Foster


“There is no urgency. Summer does not rush toward autumn. One tiny blade of grass is not trying to grow faster than its neighbor. The planets spin lazily in their orbits. This ancient universe is in no hurry.” - Jeff Foster


“Your tiredness is noble, friend, and contains healing power...if you would only listen…” - Jeff Foster



Self-Actualization Quotes


“This is not a path you will find in books, not even this one. This is a path of courage and birdsong, of waking in the morning with a tender heart and knowing that everything is somehow profoundly okay in a way you cannot hope to understand.” - Jeff Foster


“To live is to die to all the images, pictures, dreams of who you thought you were, or who others thought you were, and to be what you are, here and now, without shame.” - Jeff Foster


“You always knew you were changing too fast to be pinned down.” - Jeff Foster


“You are awake now, and asking questions you never would have asked before, and coming closer to what really matters, and feeling things you spent a lifetime trying to avoid, and it’s not so bad after all.“ - Jeff Foster


“You are beautiful in your imperfection, outrageously perfect in your doubts, lovable even in your feelings of unloveability. All these parts have been given, all are parts of the whole, and you were never less than whole.” - Jeff Foster


“You are more alone than ever, yet your relationships are more intimate, deeper, more nourishing... and more courageous.” - Jeff Foster


“You have a right to exist, feel what you feel, think what you think, speak your truth even if your voice shakes. You have a right to your joy and a right to your sorrows.” - Jeff Foster



Spiritual Bypassing Quotes


“Don’t believe the biggest lie of all: that you’re supposed to be “over” something or someone “by now”; that “by now” you should be better, immune, healed, or at least “more enlightened.” - Jeff Foster


“Don’t feel sad, they say. Don’t feel angry. Don’t feel fear. Don’t doubt. Don’t talk back. Don’t have negative thoughts. Don’t be in a low vibration. Don’t wallow. Pretend to be something you are not. Conform. Be like us. Heal. Don’t question. Don’t trust yourself. Get enlightened. It goes on and on.” - Jeff Foster


“Don’t let your spirituality numb your humanity, your humility, and most importantly, your sense of humor.” - Jeff Foster


“If you want to “feel good” all the time, if you want pleasure without pain, joy without sorrow, light without night; if you want a “feel good” spirituality, please, I beg you: Turn back. Turn back, right now!” - Jeff Foster


“True happiness is the absence of trying to be happy, trying to live up to some outdated, secondhand image of happiness.” - Jeff Foster



Suffering Quotes


“At the heart of your suffering, know that you are not alone.” - Jeff Foster


“Consider the possibility that within your suffering, you are being given an invitation to let go, to wake up from the dream of normality, to embrace life in all its brokenness and wonder. To fall in love with where you are. To come out of the story of past and future and turn toward the present moment, the place where you stand.” - Jeff Foster


“Sometimes our “normality” needs to break open into chaos and crisis; our pain, sorrow, frustration, exhaustion, and doubts need to be felt more fully than ever before; the heart needs to break open more completely.” - Jeff Foster


“Sometimes we fall apart, and sometimes in the midst of falling apart, we remember more clearly where our feet are rooted. Earth. Ground. Held by gravity; always falling, yet somehow always supported.” - Jeff Foster


“The heart breaking open, torn, ruptured, a bloody mess, only to reveal a thrilling courage you had forgotten in your search for comfort, and a kindness that only those who have suffered will understand.” - Jeff Foster


“The wound contains all the medicine.” - Jeff Foster


“You may realize that your pain was not a block to your path—it was your path, your greatest teacher.” - Jeff Foster


Thoughts Quotes


“Allow all your thoughts, mental pictures, dreams, fragments of history, to be here, too. Allow them to stay, allow them to leave. Let them be waves in the ocean of You.” - Jeff Foster


“Make room for your own thoughts and feelings! Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, guilty, doubtful.” - Jeff Foster


“Only thoughts would want to stop thoughts. Be the sky, in which thought-clouds can dance. Thoughts are not reality, not the truth, and not who you really are. They are sounds and pictures only.” - Jeff Foster


“Thoughts are not the truth. And ultimately, thoughts are not even yours; they are not personal, not who you truly are. They are only voices, sounds, suggestions, judgments, opinions of the mind, coming and going all the time, like a flock of birds singing, every bird singing a different tune; a different opinion, suggestion, perspective.” - Jeff Foster


“To think your thoughts, and feel your feelings. That takes great courage.” - Jeff Foster


Truth & Courage Quotes


“I can’t think of any situation where total honesty is not going to bring about a more authentic, more real relationship. Even if that honesty results in changes that are uncomfortable at first, even if it feels unkind, even if it breaks the status quo and disrupts old patterns, being honest in the way I’ve described cannot ever be wrong.” - Jeff Foster


“It’s one thing telling your truth—perhaps that’s the easy part! The harder part is to be able to hear someone else’s truth, to really hear their response, their perspective, or their viewpoint, especially if it’s about you, and to find the place where that viewpoint is okay—where it’s okay for them to think what they think and feel what they feel, in this moment, even if you strongly disagree with what they have to say, even if right now you do not understand how they could possibly feel the way they do.” - Jeff Foster


“Not a path for the faint of heart, no, but for those who cannot lie any longer.” - Jeff Foster


“We are interested only in truth, Now; pain demands truth, a living truth, the truth of today.” - Jeff Foster


“When we drop all ideas of what this moment should look or feel like, we are free to admit the truth. It is the truth that frees us from the burden of living as an image.” - Jeff Foster


“Your story is not yet complete. All great heroes fall and doubt themselves, and often stand on the verge of giving up. Courage is not brute strength nor the absence of fear but the willingness to feel like a little baby again, to doubt everything, and then to stand anyway, to give up and to stand anyway. Fail, fall, rest. Keep resting. And stand. And breathe.” - Jeff Foster



Quotes About Critics


“Everyone is doing their best, even when it seems like they are doing their worst. Everyone is dreaming or having a nightmare, battling with pain you may never understand. You don’t have to condone their actions. You may not be able to wake them up. You don’t have to like what happened. Simply let go of the illusion that it could have been any different.” - Jeff Foster


“It’s okay that they are upset. It really is. Give them space to be upset. It’s okay that they are disappointed in you. Give them space to be disappointed. It’s okay that they judge you. Make room for their judgments, too.” - Jeff Foster


“No, they won’t understand you; they will call you depressed, self-indulgent, mad, but you will smile, for you are like the daffodil, and you never wanted to be understood. Your being is too vast to be understood.” - Jeff Foster


“Stop trying to change others, and they change, or not, in their own way, in their own sweet time.” - Jeff Foster


“You could never be what they wanted you to be.” - Jeff Foster


“You have changed so much since they first met you. Simply understand that they cannot understand right now.” - Jeff Foster


“You wouldn’t fit in. You couldn’t conform. You could never squeeze yourself into their ideal of “perfection.” The perfect thoughts and feelings, the “right” way to be, the dance they told you to dance—your heart was always too big.” - Jeff Foster



More From Jeff Foster


Looking for more from Jeff Foster? Check out these resources:

The Mother Wound Recovery Course

I'm sharing the same proven tools I've used to help hundreds of clients heal the mother wound and take their life back. Now it's your turn!

You don't have to do this alone

Learn more about how the Mother Wound Project can help you heal with 1:1 support.

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