Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Swiss-born Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Author on Death and Dying, AIDS Advocate, Pioneer in Near-death studies

Author Quotes

There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally

The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen

We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind's greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.

There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.

It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.

It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive - to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.

You are what you are, not your disease, not what you do. Life is about being, not doing… But not until we discover who we truly are can we begin to celebrate our uniqueness.

You create your own destiny.

We eventually lose everything we have, yet what ultimately matters can never be lost. Our houses, cars, jobs, and money, our youth and even our loved ones, are just on loan to us… If life is a school, loss is a major part of the curriculum… Our reality here is not permanent; neither is our ownership of anything. Everything is temporary. Trying to find permanence is impossible, and we ultimately learn that there is no safety in trying to “keep” everything. And there is no safety in trying to prevent loss… Loss is often an initiation into adulthood… Loss is a right of passage.

There is no such thing as an insignificant or accidental relationship.

There is no part of you that is indefinable and changeless, that does not get lost or change with age, disease, or circumstances.

The key to patience is knowing that everything is going to be fine, developing the faith that there is a plan… The first step to becoming more patient is giving up the need to fix or change things.

The mind wants to believe that changing our circumstances will bring us peace. The mind thinks we’ve got to do something. But the reality is that we can relax in the circumstances as they are now, knowing that deep patience will bring deep peace and healing.

Sadly, most of the love we experience in this life is very conditional.

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.

Relationships offer us the biggest opportunities for learning lessons in life, for discovering who we are, what we fear, where our power comes from, and the meaning of true love.

Perhaps the only certainty about loss is that time heals all… You will heal, you will return to wholeness… We long for wholeness.

Playing is our inner joy, outwardly expressed. It can be laughing, singing, dancing, swimming, hiking, cooking, running, playing a game, or anything else we have fun doing. Playing makes all aspects of life more meaningful and enjoyable.

Our minds, our hearts, and our souls have been fully coded for happiness; all the wiring is built-in. Everyone is capable of finding happiness. All he or she has to do is look for it in the right places… In reality, happy people are the least self-absorbed and self-centered among us… True happiness is not the result of an event, it does not depend on circumstance. You, not what’s going on around you, determine your happiness.

Our power comes from knowing that everything is all right and everyone is unfolding exactly as they are supposed to.

One of the few places we do find unconditional love is from our children when they are very young. They don’t care about our day, our money, or our accomplishments. They just love us.

One of the greatest obstacles to giving unconditional love is our fear that the love may not be returned… When you feel unloved, it is not because you are not receiving love; it is because you are withholding love.

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Swiss-born Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Author on Death and Dying, AIDS Advocate, Pioneer in Near-death studies