How to Love Your Authentic Self

Lori Deschene

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

In our personal development-focused, life coach-dependent world, it’s all too easy to think you need to change. Not just the things you do, but who you are.

It’s one thing to invite transformation for the sake of growth, improvement, and new possibilities. It’s another thing to feel so dissatisfied with yourself that no amount of change could possibly convince you that you’re worthy and lovable.

This type of intrinsic self-loathing formed the basis of my adolescence and some of my twenties. It was like I was constantly trying to gut myself so I could replace myself with someone better.

Ironically, I won a karaoke contest in the early nineties for singing The Greatest Love of All—yet I hadn’t learned to love myself. I didn’t know the greatest love of all, or any love, really, being about as closed off as a scab.

On most days, I kept a running mental tally of all the ways I messed up—all the dumb things I said, the stupid ideas I suggested, and the inevitably unsuccessful attempts I made to make people like me. How could they when I wasn’t willing to lead the way?

I tell you this not as an after picture who can’t even remember that girl from before, but as someone who has lived this past decade taking two steps forward and one step back. For my willingness to give you this honesty, I am proud.

People are more apt to share their struggles once they feel like they’re on the other side. It’s a lot less scary so say “This is who I used to be” than “This is what I struggle with sometimes.”

But this is my truth, and I give it to you, wholeheartedly and uncensored. On a primal level, I really want to be loved and accepted, but I learn a little more every day that my own self-respect is the foundation of lasting joy.

I know that I am not so different from most people. Who doesn’t want to feel that people understand them, get them, and at the end of it all love them anyway? I think we all want to believe it’s perfectly okay, and maybe even wonderful, to be exactly who we are.

Of course, that has to start with us. People can only love us if we believe we’re lovable. You may not fully believe it if you:

  • Constantly compensate for who you are with apologies, hedging words, or clarifications for your actions, like you always owe other people explanations.
  • Beat yourself up when you make even the slightest mistake.
  • Think about your flaws and feel overwhelming disgust or anger.
  • Cling to people who see the best in you and find it hard to maintain those positive feelings when they walk away.
  • Tell yourself that you’re being selfish whenever you consider meeting your own needs.
  • Repeatedly do self-destructive things, or make choices that show you don’t respect or value yourself.
  • Don’t consider your needs a priority.
  • Always find a reason to talk yourself out of your dreams as if perhaps you don’t deserve to have them.

I have done every last one of these things at some point. I suspect we all have. Sometimes it’s challenging to love ourselves, particularly in a world where change generates a substantial amount of revenue.

There are always going to be products and ideas for us to get better; and it’s a beautiful thing to embrace life-long growth. Life is transformation; staying static is a kind of death. But it’s important that we all realize we are beautiful and wonderful just as we are—light and dark, in our complete authentic selves.

1. Know that you are not your worst mistakes.

Our past actions shaped today, but we are not what we’ve been. We don’t need to carry around labels or mistakes from yesterday as if they define us. Whatever you’ve done, it’s over. It doesn’t have to brand you, particularly not if you’re making the conscious choice to do things differently now.

We can judge ourselves by the weakest moments or the strongest—that’s our choice. Choose to focus on the strongest, and then leverage that pride for more of those moments. Every time you feel good about what you do, it’s one more reminder to love who you are.

2. Know that you have nothing to prove.

I don’t care how esteemed or successful someone is; there are things they’re proud of and things they’re ashamed of, and inside they wish people would see more of the former and less of the latter.

We all want validation. It’s an intrinsic human need to feel connected to other people; and oftentimes, when we feel alone, it’s because we believe we haven’t proven how good we are or can be.

You don’t have to show the world you’re good. You don’t have to try to hide the things you’ve done that might not seem flattering. You just need to forgive and accept yourself and trust that other people will, as well.

Being authentic means being vulnerable—letting people see all your different facets, trusting they won’t judge you, and knowing that if they do, that’s completely on them.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be real with people, and know the ones who accept me accept me fully, than pretend and then have to maintain the illusion that I am something I’m not.

3. Know the dark is valuable.

So you’ve made mistakes—who hasn’t? The beauty of having faltered is that you can help the world with your experiences.

Because we err and hurt, we can empathize when other people are hurting. We can reach out of ourselves, forget our own pains, and hold other people up when they need it.

Having strengths and weaknesses is intrinsically human. If I didn’t have less flattering traits and stories, this site would likely not exist.

When you realize your flaws can help the world and bring us closer together, suddenly they seem less like liabilities and more like assets.

4. Know that you matter.

When I was a child, an authority figure in my life told me, “If I was your age, I wouldn’t be your friend.”

I held onto this for years—that given the choice, most people wouldn’t like me. As I got older, a lot of people appeared to feel uncomfortable around me, and for good reason. I was like a leech on them, desperately hoping they’d un-say that one horribly undermining comment someone else spoke years ago.

I couldn’t believe I mattered until someone said it to me. Well, now I know differently—I know I do matter, and that how my life matters is dependent on what I do from day to day.

Know that you touch countless people’s lives every day, even if someone isn’t blogging or tweeting about it. Just like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, you do kind things that have a ripple effect you can’t possibly measure.

Even if not everyone has recognized it, you make a positive difference in the world. Your positive self regard may feel stronger at some times than others, but even the smallest seed of love is valuable because it can grow.

5. Know that positive feelings and actions breed more.

All these warm fuzzy feelings mean very little if you sit alone, wishing you could experience the world differently. Once we accept that we’re worthy of love and our dreams, the natural next step is to actually create those things—not what we think we should do; what we really want to do.

Get out into the world. Do that thing that scares and excites you. Recognize you’re awesome for doing it, even if in just one small step. Give yourself permission to not be perfect, and instead focus on progress.

Love in action every day. Do something kind for you. Do something kind for others. Do something kind for the world.

Acknowledge your weaknesses, work to improve them, but say loud and proud that they will not define you. If you start worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, remember you deserve to enjoy the present, but only you can make it happen.

I haven’t always done this. I’ve let a lot of moments slip away while I curled up in my head, wishing I was someone better. But those moments have passed, and in this moment, I am happy with me. I may not know you, but I know I want that love for you too. I know you deserve it.

This has been a little uncomfortable for me, to be honest. I’ve yet again split myself open. But this time I’m not trying to change what’s inside. I’m just here telling you that I am flawed, like we all are, and that’s not only okay, but beautiful.

Much love and light to you from someone ever learning what love really means.

That’s a picture of me, feeling happy with who I am. I invite you to share a photo of yourself on your own site— because you are beautiful! I also invite you to subscribe to Tiny Buddha, either for the daily emails or the weekly digest. I am forever grateful for this community, and I thank you for being part of it!

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Great post. Authenticity can be quite a challenge. We often want to change from one way we thought we should be to another way we think we should become. The motivation behind the change is pleasing others. If we are not being authentic to ourselves, being who we are, we are not pleasing ourselves. We need to help ourselves first and then we will be better able to help others. If some people don’t like our true selves, others will.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for another great post Lori – I have spent most of my life in ‘self-loathing’ – which manifested itself in addiction. In recovering from that those that helped me said “let us love you until you can learn to love yourself” – how powerful is that!! And in that space of love I did learn to love myself. I was also able to recognise that some of my worst experiences were my greatest assets – in terms of experiences that I could use to help others. Today, I know that I matter, that I have something to give. I also know that being authentic and true to myself is the key to this – too many years were spent people-pleasing and being chameleon like, just so you would ‘like’ me. Today I am what I am – and I accept that. Great start to a Monday – thanks 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for another great post Lori – I have spent most of my life in ‘self-loathing’ – which manifested itself in addiction. In recovering from that those that helped me said “let us love you until you can learn to love yourself” – how powerful is that!! And in that space of love I did learn to love myself. I was also able to recognise that some of my worst experiences were my greatest assets – in terms of experiences that I could use to help others. Today, I know that I matter, that I have something to give. I also know that being authentic and true to myself is the key to this – too many years were spent people-pleasing and being chameleon like, just so you would ‘like’ me. Today I am what I am – and I accept that. Great start to a Monday – thanks 🙂

  • Lori, this is possibly the best post from you. Evah! It’s certainly the most resonant to me. For what is a seeker of wisdom if not a person driven by a desire to undo his foolishness? What is a student if not a person who feels bereft of knowledge? Who would read a personal development blog but someone who feels discontented with her Self. We feed our essential sense of inadequacy with encouragement, inspiration, lessons from others. We look outside ourselves for models of the kind of human we want to be, but the irony is that we can only perceive that which we already are. So our quest is less about improving than simply revealing. To own what is true about ourselves despite our worst judgment of what we know and to love ourselves unconditionally is grace beyond measure. Thank you for your honesty. Beautiful! And so are you. Happy Holidays.
    Pam Picard

  • Love this post Lori! Reminds me of this quote from Virginia Woolf: “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”

  • Love this post Lori! Reminds me of this quote from Virginia Woolf: “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”

  • Jtreadwa

    Amen! Thank you for such a wonderful message. You are such an Inspiration 🙂 Love.

  • A beautiful post, thank you for sharing! As a teacher of mine would say, ‘I love your spirit!’x

  • lindsey

    #4 hit home with me…i had something similar said to me when i was a teenager…still effects me to this very moment. i really needed this post today, so im very thankful it showed up on my facebook. thank you so much!

  • Plush Mary

    This came at just the right time, after a night of weeping and contemplating what I have done wrong for so many years and missing the last six of my daughters life. Thank you for giving me the opportunity/excuse to reset my brain and continue working towards the positive instead of dwelling on the hardships and negative aspects of my past.

  • Terry Sanders

    Excellent article! I see so much of my own experiences in what you have shared. Thank you!

  • Terry Sanders

    Excellent article! I see so much of my own experiences in what you have shared. Thank you!

  • Karen

    Lori, I just love the authenticity of this post – I can certainly relate!
    To see the beauty that we are is the best gift of this season – perfect in every way.

  • Love this post. I read recently that the average person spends a minimum of 500 hours per year on negative self-talk, many people spend as much as 2,000 hours. Imagine what kind of impact that has on one’s self esteem. This posting gives easy to implement basic suggestions for countering that, well emphasized with “Knowing Positive Feelings and Actions Breed More.” The first person we need to be compassionate with is ourselves.

  • Jessica

    sThat picture of you makes me want to jump offa cliff because I don’t look like that. Just sayin.

  • Sarah

    Once again Lori, you have hit the nail on the head … You are young and have already found the key to happiness in being yourself! I am not old … well, according to the chronological calendar, perhaps 🙂 Once I realized that “being myself” (who else could I be? 🙂 was a big key in being happy, my life took a wonderful turn. Now I am going back into the work force, after many years of working for myself, caring for my father and then my mother as well as friends parents, for 16 years. It is not an easy task. At near retirement age, I find my energy less than when I was 35 … it may be that I need to find a new dream to follow. And I am working towards that end! Thank you for your encouragement to all of us out here struggling to realize our dreams!

  • Sharon

    I’m with the majority. I loved this post! I think that finding these things out at any age is why we are here. How lucky that you did it so soon! I’m an older person who is only now beginning to realize what an enemy, or at the very least an impediment, I have been to myself. Every day gets better!

  • This is a beautiful post, Lori!! 🙂

  • This is a beautiful post, Lori!! 🙂

  • Jennifer

    First of all, I love your dress in that photo. Second of all, thank you so much for this post. It was exactly what I wanted to read at exactly the point in time that I wanted to hear it. For me, right now, posting this comment is extremely uncomfortable and scary – and so often I beat myself up for stuff like that because I know it’s not a big deal. But reading your post, I realize that it’s okay for me to be however I am. Again, thank you.

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  • Sagewhiteowl

    I am 58 and I have loathe myself way too long. Thank you for this particular post.

  • Thanks Amanda. That’s a beautiful quote!

  • Hi Pamela,

    I love what you wrote about not improving, but revealing. What a fantastic way to look at it. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate that you’re a part of Tiny Buddha. =)


  • You are most welcome. I think a lot of people can relate to this, even if they wouldn’t all admit it. We are not so different, and we are not alone. Happy holidays =)

  • Thank you! I love that dress, as well. I’m so glad this post could help remind you that it’s OK to be whoever you are. I need those reminders, too, from time to time. I love that this running this site and reading other people’s posts helps tremendously with that. Happy holidays =)

  • Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it!

  • That’s beautiful Sharon–about every day getting better! It’s all too easy for us to get down on ourselves in our heads and not realize it. Putting this out there feels liberating, so thank you for reading and being part of the conversation!

  • Hi Sarah,

    How exciting that you’re in a place to find a new dream, and armed with such empowering awareness. You’re most welcome for the encouragement–thank you for being here and for being part of this conversation. I appreciate you. =)


  • Hi Jessica,

    I’m sorry to hear that my picture elicited that type of response. I hope the words themselves were more comforting. I don’t know you, but I know I want to help, not cause you more pain.

    If I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’d like to be a friend.


  • Hi Allen,

    Those numbers sound about right to me. I recently read that the average person thinks 80% negative thoughts but pretends it’s more like 5% because we want to appear mostly together, and yet still human.

    I think we need to acknowledge what goes on in our own heads because only then we can challenge it. You’re absolutely right–we need to be compassionate with ourselves.

    Thank you for commenting. =)

  • Thanks Karen. It always feels really liberating to put it out there, uncensored. Thank you for being part of Tiny Buddha =)


  • You are most welcome! I’m so glad that this was helpful to you.

  • pepper360

    thank you.

  • Knowing that my post helped in that way is the best gift I could ask for this holiday season. I need reminders to word toward the positive sometimes, and I think it’s helpful to remember we’re not all that different, and we’re all in this together.

  • You are most welcome! I think of those words often, too; but then I remember that just because someone else was hurtful, that doesn’t mean I need to be a victim.

  • You are most welcome! I think of those words often, too; but then I remember that just because someone else was hurtful, that doesn’t mean I need to be a victim.

  • You’re most welcome–thank you for reading!

  • You’re most welcome–thank you for reading!

  • Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. This whole experience is all the more satisfying when I get to engage with people. =)

  • Hi Steve,

    I know addiction well. What beautiful words your loved ones said to you. Your whole comment was so inspiring–thank you for sharing your insights!

    When I was hurting the most, someone once said to me, “You amaze me, even at your weakest. I can’t wait to see what happens when you get strong.” Later when I was struggling, I used that as my mantra, “Get strong. Get strong.”

    To this day it helps me. I don’t have to cower in fear. I can stand strong whenever I choose to.

    Happy Monday =)


  • Well said, David! There’s little more empowering than realizing we don’t have to be liked by everyone. When I remember that, I am far happier. Thank you for reading and being part of the conversation!

  • Ksilay1

    Just what I needed to hear! I loved this Lori! Thank you for posting. You have no idea how much this post meant to me 🙂 Great work & thanks again!

  • Thank you so much for this post. I really needed to hear these things. I’m going through a rough time in my life and keep making excuses for loving myself. I keep saying that when I do certain things then I can love myself again but these things may not happen. The best time to love ourselves is now.

  • My pleasure. I am so inspired by you and Tiny Buddha. I riffed on your post on my blog. Have a look.

  • t.d.

    I think you are so brave for being able to write about yourself, your thoughts, your experiences so openly and honestly. I really admire that and I hope one day I can feel just as comfortable with myself to do the same. This post really hit home and I’m going to keep re-reading it and practicing what it says until I can get to the point of unconditional love for myself.
    Thank you,
    – T.

  • Pushkin

    I really, really, REALLY needed to read this. Thank you, deeply, from a random person in the Universe.

  • Tony Applebaum

    A beautiful post, and a beautiful photo Lori.

  • Colette K.

    Had a holistic massage this evening and spent the time talking about this very topic with my masseuse. So to come home and read this was amazing timing. This article is very apt for me right now. Having spent many years struggling to change things about myself with limited success I am now realising that I need to stop being so hard on myself and give myself some love. I hope I can do it and hope to get ongoing motivation from tinybuddha. Keep up the good work and many thanks for your wise words here.

  • Just today I found out that something I did really hurt my closest friend, and I felt terrible. Of course we discussed it and came to a resolution, but I have felt so horrible about it all day. I kept telling myself to move on, start over and know that I won’t make the same mistake in the future, but then this post came along. I can definitely take it to heart and apply it to how I’m feeling now (in addition to things I’ve done/been through in the past). It’s so tough to remember to be gentle with yourself, especially when you feel like you really deserve some kind of punishment.

    I have take to printing out the posts from this site that resonate the most with me, and this is one that I will definitely print out and refer back to. Thanks once again for the very timely, thoughtful and sincere piece.

  • Klino72

    Lori, thank you for all you do on this site. This has been an incredible resource for me as I struggle to live and lead a more authentic life. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences so candidly on a regular basis. Blessings to you!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for this post, Lori! I’ve spent most of my life disliking myself and who I was-but at 51, it’s long enough! I’m learning all over again, how to be my authentic self like I was when I was a teen and young adult. My problem has been relationships; I seem to always pick poor matches-tired of that. So I’m confronting my uncomfortable feelings about being alone for the time being, and re-learning my true self. This post truly resonates. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  • Jodi

    Great article! Perfect timing!

  • Paulo

    I’d like to thank you so much for all these marvelous words that have the power to make me feel better whenever I read them. Thanks for sharing you experience, wisdom and kindness!
    All the best!

  • Perryjaialai

    Very Nice!

  • You are amazing, Lori. Thank you for sharing your light with us. 🙂

  • Hi Lori, Wonderful, inspiring post. This is an article we should all come back to now and again to remind us who we really are, and put to the rest of the world into perspective. I have added it to my web site at and my blog at . Best wishes, Colin

  • Jamesg

    An amazing article! So similar to myself and the way I feel. I am going to take your advice into the new year!

  • Trish

    Much love right back to someone courageous enough to be a light in the world for others……

  • Trish

    Much love right back to someone courageous enough to be a light in the world for others……

  • Wow what a post! So informative, insightful, and helpful. Thank you for sharing this with me.

  • You are most welcome. =)

  • Thank you Trish. That was really nice to read =)

  • That’s fantastic! I’m so glad to be helpful.

  • Thank you for the link Colin. What a wonderful website! I look forward to exploring it.

  • Thank you so much, and thank you for being a part of this site. =)

  • You’re most welcome! Congrats on the positive changes you’re making–and Merry Christmas to you, too!

  • Thank you for this. It really touches me to know that Tiny Buddha makes a difference. Blessings to you, too!

  • Hi Alannah,

    I’m actually dealing with something similar today. This part of your comment really resonates with me: “It’s so tough to remember to be gentle with yourself, especially when you feel like you really deserve some kind of punishment.” I know that feeling well and I reminding myself I don’t deserve punishment! I’m glad this post was helpful to you, and I thank you for your helpful comment. =)


  • You are most welcome. Congrats on a powerful realization, and happy holidays =)

  • Thank you Tony!

  • It’s one part bravery and one part catharsis. It just feels good to be honest–makes it easier to accept myself when I don’t deny myself. Thank you for reading. I’m so glad you found this post helpful!

  • I know that feeling well! I’m glad you’ve chosen now, and I hope you’re having a beautiful day =)

  • You are most welcome!

  • You’re welcome, and thank you for reading!

  • Erin Lanahan

    Thank you Lori…how beautifully honest and vulnerable. I love that the most, when writers write from this place. I too lived a lot of my life the same way as you, and every day I learn more and more how to love myself and what that actually looks like with respect to the choices I make, people I involve myself with, and actions I take. Feeling loved really does start with us…it’s such an inside job! 🙂 BIG HUG!!!!!

  • Thanks Lori. You are very welcome. I will continue to support your wonderful web site. I would love to be able to write with the passion you express in your articles. I am slowly breaking out of my science-speak and exploring the real world, and you are an inspiration. Best wishes, Colin

  • Thanks Lori. You are very welcome. I will continue to support your wonderful web site. I would love to be able to write with the passion you express in your articles. I am slowly breaking out of my science-speak and exploring the real world, and you are an inspiration. Best wishes, Colin

  • An excellent post and full of wisdom. It’s amazing how honesty can draw people like a magnet.

  • Indeed. I think ultimately we all want to be honest; we’re just scared of the repercussions. It’s certainly freeing to do it, though.

  • marek

    Great post – I wish you a merry Christmas and much joy for the new year

  • Thank you Marek and same to you. =)

  • Laura

    Wow, incredible post, Lori… Pulling myself out of self-loathing and embracing my true self has been a big focus for me this year and your article resonated on many levels. Thank you so much for your honesty. Certainly a contender for best TinyBuddha post… I will keep it and read it often. Thank you.

  • Mkmiller1999

    Truly beautiful and vulnerable truth! I applaud you for speaking your authentic self. So sad to hear what that authority figure in your life had said years ago, but each day you are making a difference to many others, as you say– especially with this site. Bravo! Thanks for touching my heart today. So much of your posting resonates with me.

  • Hi Laura,

    It was my pleasure to write this post because this has been a life-long struggle for me. I think it’s quite common, and taking away the stigma/self-judgment can help us all love ourselves for the beautiful people we are.

    I’m so glad you found this helpful and I appreciate that you’re a part of this community. =)


  • Thanks Erin! It’s so nice to know we are not alone in these challenges and feelings. I also love when writers reveal themselves in this way. I find it so much more helpful than writing that comes from a place of removed authority. (Although of course that can be helpful at times, as well). Thank you for the big hug, and big hug right back!!

  • christine

    This is possibly the most beautiful article I’ve ever come across. Thank you for your words of wisdom.
    Happy holidays and best wishes in the new year!

  • Thank you for reading Christine, and also for the kind words. Happy holidays to you, as well!

  • Thanks for reading and commenting! It was a painful part of my past, for sure, but in a way I am grateful for it. I am really proud of who I have become and what I do here. Running this site helps me accept myself as I am while continually improving where I can. It means the world to me to know Tiny Buddha does the same for other people. I appreciate that you are a part of this community. =)

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  • marie27

    thank you Lori for inspiring me with your post. this post really rings a bell with me. i’m in a constant struggle of accepting myself and being accepted in the society. i’ve always seen myself as genetically defective. i look normal at first glance but beneath the layers people always magnify countless imperfections of me. i’ve been called harsh names and being treated differently from others. as a result, i live my life pleasing others to feel accepted; losing my sense of identity and self-respect in the end. your uplifting words has slowly changed my view on myself. starting today i will give myself a chance to get to know the stranger in the mirror. there may be many things that i hate about myself but i’m hoping that as time goes by, i can accept the real me without hesitation. only then i can start to love myself for the first time!!!!

  • Hi Marie,

    Your comment brought tears to my eyes, both because I can relate and because it’s so wonderful to hear that you’re on a similar path toward fully loving and accepting yourself. I know what it’s like to magnify imperfections. I’ve decided that I will always have them–getting rid of imperfections isn’t the problem. It’s learning to let go of the need to be perfect.

    Thank you for commenting and sharing a little of yourself. It’s so nice to know that none of us are alone and if we’re open, we can remind each other to keep giving ourselves the kindness and love we need. =)


  • Thanks for putting yourself out there like that – it’s a beautiful article. One thing I’d add (and am working on) is always trying to help others… focussing attention on helping others rather than focussing that attention on myself first.

    Self-love all the way

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  • Thank you for reading Shane. I’m with you on helping others. I find that it can be challenging to find a balance between helping others and helping myself. It takes times and effort, and I am working on it. I’m glad that you are, too. =)

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  • Admlinskey

    Dear Lori, ThankYou For This Fantastic WebSite. I Just Wish A WebSite Like This Was Around When I Was In HighSchool And Most Days Feeling Very Low. Again ThankYou. And Keep Up The Great Work. Adam

  • Thanks Adam–and I’m with you there! I wasn’t the most positive, happy, or empowered person in high school. But thank goodness there’s always a new day and a new chance. =)

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  • Pauly

    One of the things I appreciate about you and this website is that you don’t come across as some perfect being shelling out advice to the rest of us. You’re real and human and flawed. It helps me because I relate to what you’re going through more closely (so many of the things you’ve thought about yourself I have as well) and taken in what you say more easily. Thank you.

    Also your photo above is stunning. Where was it taken, looks lush and beautiful. We don’t get plants like that where I am. 🙂

  • Hi Pauly,

    Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you find my posts helpful. I am far from perfect, and I know it wouldn’t feel honest to me to write from that perspective. One thing I really love about running this site is that I don’t need to pretend I have all the answers. I share what I’ve learned but also get to learn from the readers and the other writers. Pretending to know it all can be a very lonely stance. It’s much more rewarding to be part of the community.

    Thanks for the kind words about my photo. That was in Santa Cruz and a really fun day for me =)


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  • Arfah

    One of the most inspiring pieces of work iv read in a while! Iv been going through a very rough time recently and now feel i need to eat my sorrows away and change! Its easier said then done to be honest. But it has to start at some point and after reading this post i feel im ready for the change! i guess im not the only one whos comne across this post during the rough times.. i hope everyone finds a way out of their sorrows through ur work! Keep it up! And i look forward to reading more inspirational blogs from you 🙂

  • Hi Arfah,

    I’m so glad my post inspired you to make that change! I think that if you looked at a sampling at people at any given time, a majority of them would have a change they want to make, whether it’s something minor of something major. If we can work to accept and love ourselves while letting ourselves grow and evolve, I think we’re in great shape.

    Thanks so much for being a part of Tiny Buddha =)

  • Arfah

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks for the reply! How is one suppose to start loving oneself when they are not loved by the only person they really care about. I mean does unconditional love really exist in todays world? Where you can just go on loving someone hopelessly and them just not appreciating or loving you back. Ofcourse, you can’t expect a person to love you back.. but honestly, its the worst feeling in the world to be in such a situation. Where that person knows you are crazy about them and yet they treat you like you are not important for them.

    How do i get over this??? Life has become very tough!


  • Hi Arfah,

    I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. It’s always easier to give advice about love than it is to follow it because it’s very difficult for anyone to love without getting attached. It’s part of being human; we form deep bonds and feel strongly for people.

    I’m guessing if this person is treating you like you’re not important, the attachment is stronger than the love. I can’t say that for certain and I by no means intend to be condescending. I’m guessing solely from my own experience.

    I’ve held on to a lot of people in my life who rejected me because that made it even more imperative that I get their approval. If they didn’t love me, why should I? What I’ve been learning is that it actually works the other way around. Prior to meeting my current boyfriend (who I’ve been with for over one-and-a-half years now) I always held onto the wrong people–people who didn’t want to be with me and people who weren’t good for me.

    I dragged out a lot of painful situations thinking I need to earn people’s love. Usually these people eventually pushed me out of their lives because I wasn’t strong enough to decide for myself to let go of the ones who weren’t right for me.

    I met my current boyfriend 2 weeks after walking away from someone who clearly didn’t care. It was almost as though I needed to learn that lesson: that sometimes we need to stop looking for approval from people who aren’t giving it to us and instead stand strong and alone until the right person comes along.

    So that’s my advice in a nutshell: if this person is treating you like they don’t care, ask yourself why you need them to. What is it in you that is making it so hard to let go of the wrong person and wait for the right one? Do you believe you deserve to be treated better? And if so, why are you giving this person permission to hurt you?

    I hope this helps!

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  • Arfah

    Hey Lori,

    I’m so sorry im bothering you again! Its just that sometimes its such a relief to just open your heart to someone you dont know, coz they would be able to advice you better! The thing is that this guy is actually someone i dont really know that well. I know its sound strange.. me being in love with someone i dont even know well. Actually its a bit complicated, i’v seen this person on tv quite a lot and have fancied his looks always. I once bumped into him and got a chance to say hello.. one thing let to another.. we exchanged emails.. and just said hello once in a blue moon. Obviously i didnt really expect much.. aws i always thought he can get whoever he wants and im nothing for him. So we lost touch in between as he was in a relationship.. he would only get in touch whenever he would come to London, that too after his break ups… so i was like a rebound for him or lets just say someone he just had a good time with even for just one night. I was even ok with that.. as long as i got to see him and be with him.. i didnt really care about anything else. Over time.. just last year he got in touch after 3 years.. after his break up and we finally met. Ever since that night iv just fallen for him so badly. He knows im crazy about him.. and i really dont know why.. we are 2 different people from completely different walks of life.. Not even the same country.. religion (not that these things matter to me) but i think they do to him. Obviously hes attracted to me and enjoyed being around me which is why hed bother seeing me.. but i dont understand why he always kept himself away from me. He has told me we could never be together which is why he keeps his distance as he doesnt want to give me any expectations. Iv told im even im aware of that fact and just want to enjoy whatever we have till he finds someone. I will back off. But i just dont get it.. he treats me like hes my dad sometimes.. he sends messages like ‘ i wish you well hun.’ it really bothers me now. Hes met my friends, and everytime hes given them more attention infront of me.. i think to basically tell me hes not interested in me and that i need to get over this. But then there are times when he is so sweet and flirtatious … i just dont understand what he wants and what hes trying to do. For all i know.. iv lost my mind! and i think itll be impossible to get over him. Iv made many wrong decisions coz of him.. left some people thinking maybe.. maybe someday ill get him.

    Anyways, i guess i know the reality.. its right infront of me.. just in denial.

  • No worries Arfah. I know what you mean! You said it yourself–you know the reality. I suspect it’s like when we ask for advice: most of us keep asking different people until we hear what we want to hear. Sometimes it’s just really hard to let go of something we envisioned. If there’s anything I can do to help you, feel free to email. (Everyone who has commented on this post gets these in their inbox!)

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  • Arfah

    email address?

  • My email is email(AT)

  • My email is email(AT)

  • cris

    hi lori 🙂 this was such an uplifting read. I was just chatting with a friend a while ago and I told her that I felt that I had this drive to achieve but this has always been translated into self recriminating comments about how i’m not able to do the things i know i can do. so, i totally relate to what you wrote. i know that good things start with loving myself more and being more accepting of myself. this post has been a reminder to resume work on “feeling giddy” about myself.

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  • That’s great Cris! I’m so glad you’re working on “feeling giddy” about yourself. What a nice way to put it. =)

  • Lori, thank you for sharing your authentic self in this post. It changed my world today.
    Being authentic what forms the human connection, but as you said it comes with vulnerability. All we can do is say what we know, and keep on going.
    Blessings to you.

  • Hi Kitzie,

    Thank you for reading. I think the more we talk about being authentic, the easier it becomes to do that. It somewhat shines a spotlight on what’s true. Blessings back to you =)


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  • DJ

    Well said, ive been in therapy for a while, and im starting to accept that i wasnt really loved at all. I have to let that go and do it for myself; it will take courage and stepping into an adult self, but its possible. Very helpful.

  • Hi DJ,

    I’m glad this was helpful to you. I spent my fair share of time in therapy, and it really helped me learn to give myself what I was hoping to get from other people. I find that in learning to do that, I actually receive more love from the world outside me.

    Happy Monday =)

  • Daviz Pham

    Wow, Lori, I’m speechless. Many kudos for having the personal courage to bare your soul like this. I was drawn to tinybuddha by your A to Zen of Letting Go post, reading it on a near daily basis, and will be staying because of this one. There’s so much here that I can relate to, and it brings me great spiritual comfort to understand that I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  • Hi Daviz,

    That’s my greatest hope for my writing–that we can all know that we are not alone. I’m so glad you found your way here and that you’ve taken some comfort in my writing. It’s a pleasure to be connected. =)


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  • Phranque

    I have kept this post around to re-read. I have so much trouble letting go of things in the past. The quote that “I wouldn’t be your friend” brought me to remember something I’ve said before: “if someone else talked to me the way I talk to me, I’d never speak to them again.” I would NEVER put up with the treatment I give myself.
    I need to remind myself that it’s okay to be nice to people: even myself.

  • Yes! It’s so true. I think most people are way harder on themselves than anyone else. I know I’ve been. I’m so glad my post has been helpful to you. =)

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  • Elizabeth

    I can’t tell you how much your writing resonates with me. “I couldnt believe I mattered until someone said it to me,” is me in a nutshell. My whole existence was geared around making people like me and that voice in the back of my head that was constantly planning the future to try to manipulate the world to get the outcome I wanted, and then critiquing the past when I inevitably fell short. The irony is, of course, is that you can’t ever make authentic friends if you aren’t being authentic.

    I’m still a work in progress 🙂

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    I know that irony well! I always wondered why I couldn’t seem to find friends who accepted the real me, when in retrospect it seems so obvious that I couldn’t possibly do that when I wasn’t willing to show the real me. I’m also a work in progress, and I suspect I always will be. From one to another, it’s nice to know you. =)


  • Alexia

    I have spent the last few hours reading the articles on this site. I cried and laughed and for the last hour I have just been nodding my head. I really wish that I would have found this website along time ago, but I am happy that I found it now. I have spent a large portion of my life trying to figure out what happiness is and beating myself up everytime I felt it alittle. It was kind of like I thought that I didn’t deserve to be happy, or to feel love. I have had two boyfriends and each of them told me that I “wont let them in or let them love me.” I think that all of the writers on here have finally given me the tools to start working on a happier me and to learn to love myself again. I just wanted to say thank you for that.

  • That’s fantastic Alexia! I’m so glad to learn this site has been helpful to you. That’s why I started Tiny Buddha, and it means the world to me to know it makes a difference. Thank you for introducing yourself. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. =)

  • “Know that you touch countless people’s lives every day, even if someone isn’t blogging or tweeting about it. Just like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, you do kind things that have a ripple effect you can’t possibly measure.”

    Wow, I’m so glad you used that example, Lori. That movie inspired me to keep going during rough times because little impacts on other persons can cause HUGE differences!
    Just know that you’ve made a difference to me because you showed me the greatness of blogging. You can share so much knowledge, especially with letting guest bloggers post on here.

    I think people are way too hard on themselves.

    I remember hearing from someone why the happiest countries are truly happy. And it came down to this one idea. “Failure is necessary. The true failure is when you don’t try all. Failure with TRYING = happiness!”


  • Hi Matt,

    It’s one of my all-time favorite movies! I think sometimes we forget that making a small difference can actually make a much larger difference than we realize. Every little act of kindness adds up.

    Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad to know that I have made a positive difference in your life.

    Have a wonderful weekend. =)

  • Janice

    I typed into google “I want to accept my authentic self” and here I am. I really appreciate you sharing your journey towards self-love and commend you for your bravery. It’s not easy to be so honest in a culture that promotes distorted realities and boxed ideas of how one should be. I am also taking the same journey towards self-love. There are days where I just want to lose myself in a fog of pain, and fantasies of being something that I think others will accept more, than who I am right now. I too had an authority figure, who told me “when you talk no one listens,” and in addition to other incidents along the way, I slowly began to silence my authentic self. I spent a really long time in self doubt and thinking that perhaps people had a better idea of who I was and ought to be. I thank you for illuminating a key point of why I continue to obsess over negative comments/actions that someone makes towards me. I guess I am wishing that the people I meet will somehow “unsay” or compensate for those hurtful comments made in the past. I want someone else to confirm for me that I am not what those other people in the past said I was, but the reality is that I can’t build my internal foundation upon others approvals/disapprovals. I must trust and love myself first.

    It really is those small victories and lessons along the way that make it so worthwhile to keep pushing forward towards happiness. We all have within us everything we need to deal with whatever is thrown at us, and I think that if we keep going, the more negativity will be shed, and in its place will be love. Someone once told me that obstacles are like roadblocks, they are only temporary. I want to send my deepest wishes and prayers for happiness to everyone, and please know that there is always someone out there that understands. Thank you Lori. = )

  • Melissa

    I have just quoted from – and included a link back to – this post in a blog post of mine 🙂

  • Phranque

    The I Ching (Book of Changes) gives an excellent advisory image about Obstructions: When water encounters obstruction, it steadily and quietly builds up behind the wall until it eventually overflows, washing the barrier away. Be like the water: build up your strength and force quietly, without undue anxiety or worry, knowing that you will eventually overflow and bypass the obstruction.

  • Wow what a wonderful analogy! Thanks for sharing it here. =)

  • Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for the link to your blog! That was one point I really wanted to emphasize because I’ve seen how much more gratifying it is to share struggles from a place of distance and strength than it is to share them when you’re knee deep in the messy emotions.

    I also write for ‘tween girls (Discovery Girls Magazine) and I found your advice for them spot on! It would have been wonderful advice to hear when I was at that age.


  • Hi Janice,

    In reading your comment, I felt I could easily have written it myself, and that reminded me why I started this site. It’s immensely comforting to realize we really aren’t all that different as people. A lot of us have dealt with the same things and we struggle with the same things. I suspect that one of the reasons I didn’t love myself was because I didn’t realize this truth–that I am not alone (none of us are) and that I have no reason to be ashamed.

    “We all have within us everything we need to deal with whatever is thrown at us.” <~ Thank you for this! Beautiful, empowering, and so true. We are all a lot stronger than we think.

    I'm so glad that my post was helpful to you. I know your comment was helpful to me, and I'm sure lots of other readers. =)

    Love and light,

  • Angie


  • Lmeiy

    This post is sooooo very inspiring & true. I must thank you really! It really helped me see things in a new perspective 🙂

  • You are most welcome. =)

  • You are most welcome. =)

  • I’m 20 and it’s been two years that I’m having a wonderful life.I was very, very  happy until I was 18 as well, but my happiness was always a function of external circumstances and people, of validations and praise. But these past two years, I am just overwhelmed from and extremely grateful about the cascade of events and people in my life that have helped me develop the awereness needed to realize that life is beautiful no matter what, that this world is amazing and marvellous, and love and service shape it and turn it around. I still have difficult times and insecurities, but thanks to communities like the tinybuddha, I can always find a place for inpiration and help. THANK YOU for helping me, and for loving me. I LOVE YOU, TOO.

  • Hi Blerta,

    I’m so happy to learn about your transformation. It’s very inspiring! I suspect we will always have insecurities and difficult times, but with a foundation of self-awareness and self-love, we’re in good shape to thrive in spite of then. Much love to you!


  • Sephnee49

    EXACTLY what you said! 🙂 good luck! xx

  • Sephnee49

    I love what you said about “The irony is, of course, is that you can’t ever make authentic friends if you aren’t being authentic” – it’s sooo true! I will bear that in mind, I’m a work in progress too but good luck and I hope you get to where you want to be someday soon 🙂 xxx

  • Sephnee49

    Hey Lori, I LOVE your posts and I have to say the way you word things is spot on! I feel like you’ve expressed a lot of things that I’ve felt but don’t know how to put into words. With regards to this particular reply you’ve given, I’ve just left an 18 month relationship where the other person didn’t seem to care as much as me and who was starting to control me and it IS really hard because of the attachment and bond that I made to let go but I just know that I can’t give in this time, that life’s too short to spend it with someone whose heart isn’t really in it when you could be a million times happier or your own or with someone who is better suited to you.

    Your comments have really made me feel a lot more positive about myself and this whole break-up process, it’s something I have to do for myself and I have to start thinking more about me.

    I really hope you find peace and someone more deserving of you Arfah because you seem like a genuinely loving and nice person and you, like everyone else deserves to be happy 🙂

    Thanks again! xxx

  • Sephnee49

    I really hope you find peace and someone more deserving of you Arfah because you seem like a genuinely loving and nice person and you, like everyone else deserves to be happy 🙂

  • Sephnee49

    exactly how I feel! Good luck with the road to self-acceptance, I’m trying to do the same 🙂 xxx

  • I’m glad my posts/comments have been helpful to you! I suspect most of us have stayed with the wrong person longer than we should have at least once in our lives. When feelings and needs get strong, they can be blinding. Congrats on making the decision to leave this relationship behind. Your strength are awareness are really inspiring. =)

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  • “We all want validation. It’s an intrinsic human need to feel connected
    to other people; and oftentimes when we feel alone, it’s because we
    believe we haven’t proven how good we are or can be.”

    so true. reminds me of one of my favorite sex & the city quotes, “why are we always should-ing all over ourselves?”

    sometimes i catch myself “living a facade,” trying to live up to these standards/expectations that i think i “should” be living up to.

    but there isn’t going to be an angel with a clipboard outside of heaven’s gates at the end of my life. (at least i don’t think so…although my 12-year catholic education might say otherwise.)

    thank you for writing this. i need as many reminders as i can get to “let go, let flow, & live” just according to me.

    thanks for the validation. hah, just kidding 😉

  • You’re most welcome. I really appreciate how writing this post has created so many authentic connections with people who can relate. I think we all “should all over ourselves” sometimes, but it helps to remember that we’re never alone. Thanks for commenting. =)

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  • Nuke

    awwww ur too kind and i am really proud of you for opening up .

  • Thank you so much. =)

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  • Saved by grace.

    I am on a journey of self-improvement. Years ago I used to be kind, fun loving, outgoing, spontaneous, and trusting of others.  I have made a lot mistakes along the way, some of which I am not really proud of…
    I realize I was looking to others for my own happiness and joy and felt rejected most of the time.  Like you, I was given negative feedback about myself in the past.  I was told in my early years by an authority figure that I would not amount to anything. Even though I brushed it off then, I find myself going there now and again wondering if it has anything to do with  my poor choices.  I recently came face to face with  myself and did not like what I have become, a rude, selfish, suspicious woman with  no self confidence whatsoever.  I decided to make a change.  I am not so hard on myself anymore and have realized that if I love my self and strive to be kind and loving most things will fall into place. Even though i am still struggling to find my authentic self I believe I am on the right path and your post really helped.  Thank you.

  • You are most welcome. I think it’s amazing and inspiring that you’ve recognized things you want to change and have started to do that, especially considering the negativity you encountered growing up. I know how hard it can be to let those messages go when they were ingrained at a young age. I’m glad you’re not so hard on yourself these days. That was the biggest challenge for me, and it’s something I still work at. Sending you lots of love. ~Lori

  • I have been enjoying your website for over a year and now want to share my art and blogs with you. When my wife who had ckinical depression killed herself, she accidently gave me a brain injury. My art and life has been enriched by her love, which more than compensated for any so callen negativity.
    Love ,peace and soham to you from an older brother in England. 

  • Peter G Kimble

    Many thanks Lori for sharing and contributing love and healing to the universe.

  • Hi Peter,

    My heart broke a little when I read about your wife. I am so amazed and inspired by your strength, and I would love to see your art and blog. What is the link?

    Much love,

  • Kaylee

    What a wonderful post…Loving your authentic self is so important, but something that so many struggle with. For years, I beat myself up for being so quiet, shy, introspective, because that’s not what the job ads were looking for, and neither were my peers. Only now am I finally on my way to self-acceptance and love. Posts like yours help more than you know. Thank you for this, Lori!

  • You are most welcome, Kaylee. I’ve shape-shifted many times before to try to fit in or please people, and it’s exhausting. It’s nice to have the conversations and remember that we truly can be exactly who we are!

  • Brittany

    This is incredible.  I have been struggling with this recently, mostly because I am at a point in my life where I want to start doing things for myself and for the world.  I have dreams of people coming together under a common unconditional love for humanity and our planet, and sometimes it is very difficult to keep myself positive when so many people see no hope.  Living in a time of so much fear and worry only makes me want to try even harder to show the world that love is the only answer.  There are so many times that I doubt myself and believe that I am not intelligent enough, old enough, or strong enough but Tiny Buddha has always helped remind me that I am not alone and that there IS hope for me and my dreams, and for the world to come together.  So for that I want to thank you, and all the people who are willing to share their stories and bits of wisdom.  I post these on Facebook every day so my friends can read them and the responses have already been inspiring.  I hope that while I work toward reaching my goals and learning to love myself that one day I can contribute to Tiny Buddha as well.  Activism may be my newest love, but self-expression came first.

  • It sounds like you’re at a really exciting time in your life. =) I know what you mean about the influence of fear and worry around us. I suspect there will always be the potential for negative energy to affect us, because life will always entail a balance of darkness and light. I think it helps to come together in common positive intentions, and remember that we’re all really similar underneath it all–and we all want to help and be helped by each other. I will look forward to reading a post from you at some point down the line!

  • Peter G Kimble

    You are getting their girl and realizing that the journey is as important as the distination. Good on you. May blessing come upon you and through you. Brother Peter 

  • Peter G Kimble

    Lori I have only just read that you would like to read my blog, so here it is and feel free to pass it on,. `` I am unable to receive commets on my website and this needs to be fixed!
    All those who walk in the light, share it with others. Blessings to you from your brother Peter.   

  • Thank you Peter!

  • Anonymous

    I’m reading this and feeling like crying because I don’t really understand any of it. It’s so wonderful that you’ve shared this. I mean, I really get where you’re coming from, I even know how true every word is; it’s just kinda hard to understand right now, at least at this point. Sometimes it’s so easy to take in every word and…you know, totally internalize it. Other times, like right now, they’re just words.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m so happy I stumbled across this site. Everything here’s written so simply and beautifully, and it’s probably just the emotional mess my brain is in right now that’s stopping me from…you know, truly understanding. I think I can once I calm down. It’s just a little difficult right now.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. You’re awesome 🙂

  • I understand. I have those moments, too, where I feel like I’m falling apart, and not even the most uplifting things I’ve written (or the most uplifting things someone else has written) seems to help. I don’t know what you’re going through right now, or how long you’ve been feeling this way, but I know that no feeling lasts forever. It doesn’t always seem that way in the moment, when you’re feeling something intense. It can feel like it could break you–but it won’t. And there will be a time when you will feel better. I hope you’re not being too hard on yourself for being in a rough place. You deserve love, patience, and understanding because you’re awesome, too. =)

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  • JS

    I have to say, this blog was truly, incredibly inspiring. For the longest time, I felt alone in my struggles with self-worth. The part where you said “I held onto this for years—that given the choice, most people wouldn’t like me. As I got older, a lot of people appeared to feel uncomfortable around me, and for good reason. I was like a leech on them, desperately hoping they’d un-say that one horribly undermining comment someone else spoke years ago.” Although I never remember hearing an authority figure say the words that I’m not ok or good enough, I somehow took that message to heart, and it has been the recurring struggle of my life. Especially with people appearing to feel uncomfortable around me. I know that pain and those feelings very deeply. But you offered such amazing advice and you chose to share your story with people and I want to thank you for doing that because I’m sure it wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it ended up helping in a time when I needed help the most. God bless you and keep sharing the truth because you will encourage the rest of us to do the same. And as more people become authentic and comfortable with being vulnerable, the more we will inspire others to do the same. Thanks Lori!

  • Thanks for your comment, JS. I’ve found that vulnerability feels terrifying at first, and then it feels completely liberating. I spent most of my life trying to control everything, including how people saw me–because I desperately wanted their love. Just acknowledging how I really feel provides me with a tremendous sense of relief, because I no longer make it my responsibility to manipulate perception. (Well, most of the time I don’t–I am a work in progress!)

    I’m glad this post helped you feel less alone. I know that feeling well, and I also know there’s nothing more comforting than knowing we are not alone. 

  • Just what I needed to hear. Thank you. 

    I especially like that you went beyond the identification of the problem and listed those five ways I might grow beyond and/or be the water overwhelming the barrier. (@bb6176bf53b010320503c70fec71206e:disqus  thanks!)  

    Thanks again

  • You are most welcome, Mark. =)

  • fravashi

    Thanks Lori – this is exactly what i needed to hear right now. It helps a lot!

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  • Narwhaltat

    Thank you for sharing your ‘work-in-progress’ journey in such an open-hearted, courageously vulnerable way ..

    “Being authentic means being vulnerable–letting people see all your
    different facets, trusting they won’t judge you, and knowing that if
    they do that’s completely on them.”

    Absolutely .. thank you for another beautifully poignant reminder to be present and authentic ..

  • You are most welcome. It feels incredibly freeing to be honest about my imperfections and struggles–and comforting to know I am not alone!

  • Bluefire8872001

    This is something I’ve dealt with, always comparing myself to others, how I was too different, too strange to be loved. What’s funny is now, I really treasure that about myself, my loudness is at heart a form of bravery, my defense of the underdog just a form of empathy to treasure those who are normally overlooked. Our supposed bad traits are positive traits when looked at correctly, I am glad to be brave, and compassionate, even if how I come across sometimes does not always seem to meet these ideas at first hand. Every person has their strengths, the weaknesses are just misrepresentations, strengths taken out of context…

  • I love how you put that–the weaknesses are strengths taken out of context. I also get defensive for the underdog, and though its something I watch, I know it’s a big part of the person I am now proud to be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. =)

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful and relevant. Thanks, Lori. Your posts and those from the TinyBuddha network are a great light to those who are “ever learning what love really means.” =)

  • You are most welcome. =)

  • @typomania

    It so good to know that others share the same struggles. Thanks for writing and posting this – I really needed it just now. I especially like the image “I’ve let a lot of moments slip away while I curled up in my head, wishing I was someone better.” So familiar (and accurate) it hurts.

  • I’m so glad this was helpful to you. That’s the main reason I run this site–I think it helps tremendously to realize we’re not alone with our struggles. One of the most difficult challenges in my life has been shame, so it always makes me feel better to realize I don’t have to hide what I’ve been through (or what I go through). We are all in this together. =)

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  • Jojo

    Lori, I’ve done every single thing you’ve outlined especially explaining myself all the time & clinging on to ppl who make me feel good. Thus it became very hard for me to deal with goodbyes & I am constantly thinking of what image is it that I project & I feel the need to explain in order to steer the opinions & judgments of others in the way I want it too.

    I really do think your advices are helpful but sometimes it gets really frustrating. It’s like it’s a constant battle against myself & it’s hard for me to let go of mistakes sometimes cause I feel as if by doing it I’ve pushed someone away, as if it’s too late. So I end up beating myself  up over it.

    But I will pull through. I will try my best. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful advice, Lori 🙂

  • Hi Jojo,

    It sounds like you and have had a lot in common. I still struggle with these things sometimes too. There were deep-ingrained habits that I’ve been challenging for many years now. I find that the tendencies have gotten weaker over time. Everything improves with practice!

    One thing that’s helped me is realizing some of the events in my past that contributed to my low self-esteem. Remembering that I am a good person, and I am not weak, helps me be kinder to myself instead of beating myself up. Perhaps that will help you too.

    I think we all struggle with these things at times. Know that you are not alone!

    Much love,

  • “You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
    If the universe is a hologram, then the whole universe is inside of each of us. Infinite love, infinite abundance, infinite peace, infinite creative potential — not bad. I love that!

    Great post, great topic.

    Dario Da Ponte

  • That’s beautiful Dario! =)

  • Pdparks22

    So sad:(

  • Why so sad?

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  • Charityfues

    This is an outstanding article.  Thank you

  •  Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it! =)

  • Honneybee

    Starting over after divorce at 49 after 23 years of marriage is rough on your self-esteem! I don’t even know who I am anymore. I’ve been his wife, their mom….but I can’t tell you who I am. What a great site!!! Thanks for sharing, Lori. I see myself in this page. It’s hard, but each day I try to figure out what I really want, now that I finally have time for ME. I’ve joined a church, am taking classes I’ve always wanted to take,…and even considered dating again. And you know what… for the first time in years… I don’t feel guilty about it!!!! EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY!!!!!!

  • That’s wonderful that you’re starting over and embracing the adventure. It sounds like you’re doing some exciting things! =)

  • Laura


    I just wanted to let you know that this post has changed me. I feel like I could have written it, that you were echoing my thoughts, my life. I am 24 years old, and I realized tonight that I haven’t loved myself since I was a child.

    I’ve been reading entries on this TinyBuddha for over 6 years now. I might have read this one before, but it hasn’t been the right time. I’ve been in and out of therapy coping with other issues — but the issue of self-love is at the core. 

    As I’m working to feel better about myself, I found a quote a few months ago that stated, “Only the empty ask to be filled.” I often find myself obsessing over the need to feel reassured by other people — relationships, friendships, anything — to fill the empty void. And then, when I recognized this maladaptive pattern, I always tried to change the negative self-talk for the wrong reasons – still so I would attract others. It was always about the outside world. But it’s not about the outside. It’s about me. 

    I came home from work tonight with the realization of how little self-love I truly have. I pulled up this site, and within 3 clicks, found this entry. 

    You are so genuine and real about your journey. It’s not about getting there, and never having those old feelings ever again. We do take two steps forward, and one step back. It ebbs and flows. It’s about making progress. Reading this entry, and all these comments, makes me feel… not so alone. If others can have such strong feelings, and make progress in changing it, then maybe I can too. 

    I can’t even describe how much I appreciate your honesty. This is such a beautiful, amazing piece… and you are beautiful for sharing it. Acknowledging your vulnerability takes bravery — and I admire your courage.

    Please know that a year after you’ve written this post, someone has found it right when they needed it. Sending you positive, thankful vibes from the bottom of my heart. 


  • Hi Laura,

    I’m so glad you found this when you needed it, and that it made you feel less alone! It sounds like we’ve had similar experiences, being in and out of therapy, and realizing self-love issues were at the core of our struggles.

    One thing that always frustrated me when reading articles about self-love was that it seemed everyone else had done a complete 180–like they’d gone from the same type of emptiness I knew and somehow learned to completely fill it with unconditional acceptance of themselves. But that’s never been how it’s been for me. I’ve certainly made progress over the years, but I still have my difficult times.

    So here’s to focusing on progress, not perfection. It’s a pretty loving thing to do for ourselves.

    I’m sending good thoughts and lots of love your way. =)


  • Lori,

    THanks for this thoughtful post.  I especially appreciated the list of symptoms, which helps a person recognize the need for authenticity.  I realized I spend a lot of time mulling over past mistakes.   Because of this article, I am going to spend time documenting my successes and spending time thinking about those instead. 


  • You’re most welcome. I’m so glad this post encouraged you to focus on your successes! I’ve spent my fair share of time dwelling on mistakes, and I know how draining that can be.

  • JoJo

    I woke up this morning wanting to start come kind of
    meditation based on loving my self more, something I hadn’t realise was amiss.
    This is the first page I found and I am so glad to have read your blog. It is unbelievable
    how conditioned we are by society and life to not love ourselves. I am starting
    to learn that it is the foundation of everything and I am so grateful to such
    amazing people like you who are brave enough to bare their souls and share
    insight. I myself have lived in a very similar way, taken great risks, and made
    many mistakes. It’s so backwards that our mind focuses so intently on our
    mistakes. I know that our mistakes and traumatic events can hold so many
    opportunities to learn and grow, but examining them and rolling them over and
    over in our minds is not going to result in finding answers and ultimately
    peace of mind. Thank you again for your article – Peace and joy – Jo x

  • You’re most welcome JoJo. I’m so glad you found your way here, and that this was helpful to you! 

  • Sabrina

    That’s nice… Thank you and good luck

  • ggn

    I’ve struggled with this for years, it wasn’t until my best friend and now ex, told me that he loved me just the way I was that I realized how little I loved and accepted myself. I have this undying need for perfection. I always want things to be done the right way and I held myself back from loving him out of fear that I wasn’t doing things “the right way.” I’ve also realized that I wanted to be the woman he loved, the version of myself that I don’t see, the good in me, the one who does good for others. I’ve lost him since then and it aches but I don’t hate him for leaving because I know he did this with the best intentions for us both. Now I know that I must love myself first before starting a relationship with anyone else again, as easy as it is to hope that the person you start with next will love you the way you’ve failed to love yourself. Is it silly that I love my ex more for leaving me for me to grow and become a better person? I hope not and I hope I get over him for the sake of not being hurt again. Thanks for sending me this Lori, I hope I don’t stay hung up on this relationship any longer. 

  • You’re most welcome. Based on your email, I thought this one might resonate with you. I don’t think it’s silly–about your ex. He clearly cares about you. Just don’t forget to give yourself credit too! You’re the one being brave and challenging your perfectionist instincts. 

  • Chel

    Well said. It resonates . . . I am halfway thru my own journey like yours. 🙂

  • Narwhaltat

    I’m so glad I ticked the box to get emails when I left my original comment on this post .. because every time someone discovers it, and comments, I get an email which reminds me to come and re-read this post .. and it reminds me again about being fully present, with all my flaws and vulnerability .. and each time I come back and re-read it, I celebrate my progress since the last time .. ‘being in the moment’ used to be a fleeting glimpse, now it’s more and more where I live .. :o)

  • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! =)

  • That’s wonderful, about being in the moment and celebrating your progress! I think that’s one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves–recognize how far we’ve come. Thanks for taking the time to write. =)

  • Jb

    I don’t know what event triggered you to start tiny Buddha- but I’m glad and thankful you did. I’m on a journey of self discovery at this time in my life- and I don’t think I could be doing it without your words of wisdom and guidance. Just wanted to tell you- your making an impact on my life and helping me learn to accept and develop myself, and I am most gratefully to you for sharing your experiences. X jb

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to write JB. I’m thrilled to know Tiny Buddha has been helpful to you as you move forward on your journey of self-discovery! =)

  • Thanks Lori,

    This is exactly where I am at the moment. Day by day in small increments I’m starting to come around. It’s been difficult and only sometimes succeed but it’s better than nothing and better than constant self-flagellation. I’ve never loved myself so I’m still trying to understand what it exactly means but I know I can’t go back to how I’ve been living. And I like that you can expose yourself like this. I’ve been learning to talk to people, ask for help, and not be embarrassed by my faults and weaknesses. We all have them and if you’re honest you realize you have a lot of caring friends (the ones that don’t aren’t your friends).

  • You’re most welcome Christopher. I think it’s liberating to be open about our struggles. I know in the past, when I held everything in it created this huge sense of shame that just exacerbated the pain I was dealing with. It’s a much better feeling to open up and realize, like you said, that people care.

  • Jordan

    Somehow I missed the “Comments” box right down here at the end of this post. =/ =)
    So I clicked on “Contact” and emailed you (I assume the emails get to you at some point, so I hope you’ll get a chance to read it). I already wrote quite a bit in that email, so I won’t take up much space here. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated this post. It was exactly what I needed to find when I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for.
    I appreciate you stepping outside your comfort zone and sharing what you’ve shared so that we can benefit from it. Thank you!

  • You’re most welcome Jordan! I just checked, and your email actually went into my spam folder. Good thing I knew to look for it! I’m so glad this was helpful to you. =)

  • Ethan

    This is one of the most beautiful blogs…no, piece of writing, I have ever read. It brought me to tears because I am struggling with my own sense of self worth, and a general lack of faith in humanity. You clearly have a deep understand of what true/real love is and you touched my soul with it (I know because I suddenly began crying). Thank you for opening yourself up the way you did and sharing these extremely valuable words.

  • You’re most welcome Ethan. I’m so glad my post touched you. I know what it’s like to struggle with self-worth, and I think it helps a great deal to realize we are not alone.

  • Lori,

    I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate you for your honesty and authenticity. For a very long time I wrestled with the “I’m not enough” belief, and it was such a burden to carry. I overcompensated with charisma, charm, heartless efficiency, and general douchebaggery (yes, I’m making that an official word). I worked so hard to stay ahead of this self-imposed, constantly out of reach curve of being unworthy. It was exhausting.

    I broke a few years back, hired my coach, and have since worked my way through it to find peace, clarity, and the worthiness that had eluded my grasp. I still find myself in that place from time to tiime, however. The strangest thing comes out of it though…

    I notice that familiar push to do more, have more, be more and instead of feeling that rise in anxiety, I get an almost amusement from it. It’s like noticing something nobody ever does – I find myself with a Cheshire Cat grin come across my face.

    “This is normal, Blake. Humans do this, and you’re only human.”

    I find such a powerful sense of relief, acceptance and belonging when I realize I’m human and I’m allowed to feel vulnerable and anxious. I’m still worthy and brilliant and awesome. Sometimes it just takes that leap of trust to understand it. Now I AM a coach, and I’m the one helping people get through their own struggles with being human.

    Thank you for letting your light shine, Lori.

    Stay brilliant!

  • Thanks so much Blake. I love your mantra–and the idea that you can feel vulnerable and anxious without negating your worth and brilliance. That’s wonderful you’re now helping people as a coach! I think the best teachers are the ones who aren’t afraid to stand besides their students and acknowledge they’re also human!

  • amiline

    Why be dependent on anything else when YOU are more than sufficient. I’ve asked myself for years why did I stay married so long to someone who clearly told me continuously from their actions that they didn’t love me. Women why do we do this continuously to ourselves –loving men that don’t love themselves enough to want to be our partners?

    Also, why are we not just happy being by ourselves, complete in our own peace?

  • Gin

    I love your blog, specially this post!! thank you for being so soulful 🙂

  • Thanks so much, and you’re most welcome. =)

  • Sarah

    Oh my goodness. This post was MADE for me. You are me. Or were me. With all this self-destructive crap. I want to say thank you for showing me that what I’m going through is kinda normal. omg, i’m tearing up! thanks! xoxoxo

  • You’re most welcome Sarah! I think more people than we realize deal with the same self-defeating/self-destructive thoughts. It’s liberating to realize we don’t have to hide it; I find that when I’m open about something, I’m better able to work on it.

  • I can see why this is one of the most popular posts Lori. Authenticity is the only real way to move forward. We tell a lie – be authentic about it and clean it up; we will most likely be forgiven. We feel fat – be authentic with ourselves and get to the real root, because only there will we make true change a possibility. We’re unhappy in our job/relationship/location – be authentic and confront that unhappiness so we can move forward. Thank you for the inspiration, and for being authentic 🙂

  • Stephanie

    I was reading your article trying to understand why I have such low self esteem when it comes to relationships. I have spent 10 years of my life “chasing” a guy that I loved so much and who I now have to admit doesn’t want to be with me. You gave me a lightbulb moment. I realize that I want him because I love the person that he made me feel like. I was the best version of myself with him. If he chooses me, then I am worthy of love. If he rejects me then I will be alone (in my mind). Thanks for this. If I could just figure out what to do now. Definitely don’t need to be in a relationship right now.

  • Thanks so much Jeff. I love what you wrote. It’s so true–authenticity is a prerequisite for growth and positive change!

  • You’re most welcome Stephanie! I’ve thought that same thing at times in the past, regarding relationships that didn’t work out. I’m so glad my post helped you have that lightbulb moment.

  • Derek Lauber

    Thank you for being honest and vulnerable Lori. It has taken me years to accept who I am and to embrace it with compassion and love. It is something I still work on everyday.

  • You’re most welcome Derek. I work on it every day as well. I think it’s a lifelong process, with inevitable ups and downs. We’re all works in progress!

  • Bri

    This is really beautiful. Self-worth is something I’ve struggled with for years. I’m certainly not on the other side, and a lot of the time I feel that the people in my life that know I struggle with this are entirely incapable of understanding HOW someone could not like themselves. Your post was incredibly authentic, and I felt like it was something that could help me. Thank you!

  • You’re most welcome Bri. I can relate to what you wrote, as I’ve known people who seem to wonder the same thing. It helps me to realize just how many people struggle with this. It might not be everyone, but we are far from alone!

  • chaoticpix93

    I think I’m going to print this off and put it somewhere I can reread it when I feel bad. Seriously, I have to be with myself 24/7 and even I get tired of myself sometimes, and this reminds me despite all that, it’s ok. 🙂 When I would fail something, or do something wrong, I was harder on myself than anyone else was.

    I want to add to this, that you think people focus on your flaws, but think about people in your life, what do you first think of? Not any flaws but how funny, inspiring, cute and adorable, they are and the good moments you’ve had together. Remind yourself that this is what people see of yourself, because you’re the only one who sees everything in one big picture with everything you’ve done, thought, and felt. And even if they’ve seen your flaws they love you for them.

  • Ruby’sjules

    Wow! An unbelievable piece of writing! You have captured exactly how I feel and what I want yo
    Change thankyou for finding words I couldn’t! X

  • You are most welcome. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for your comment. That’s such a great point. People often sees us for our strengths and goodness first–not all of them but more than we think!



  • You’re most welcome!

  • Paula

    I’ve come across this post a little belatedly, but I want to thank you for it. Your honesty and openness is really accessible and beautiful. I often feel in a strange limbo between my roots (with people who don’t think about these sorts of things at all, and who think I’m strange/mentally ill for wanting to) and people who have ‘achieved’ self-awareness and self-acceptance (who seem, from the outside, to be so beyond what I can even conceive of achieving). Reading a post like this feels like a beautiful gift. It helps remind me to respect my journey. It helps remind me to let go of comparisons, let go of self-judgement. It’s a beautiful reminder that I am where I need to be. It’s helped me remember that I can let myself feel proud of the distance I have travelled, instead of feeling hopeless because I still have so far to go.

  • You’re most welcome Paula. Those are reminders I need as well, so I’m thrilled to know my post helped you in this way. =)

  • Thank you x

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • For many of us learning to fully accept and love ourselves is a journey full of turns and surprising discoveries, but as long as we continue on our way, we are bound to reach our destination, each of us at our own pace.

  • Tiny buddha has always been the best

  • Thanks so much. =)

  • Diana

    I’ve been reading tiny Buddha posts for awhile and must admit this post has been the most moving one! Thank you so much for the wisest words. Tiny Budha has given me so much insight and emotional support, I can’t imagine a day without reading someone’s personal story and how they overcame it. I sometimes wish more people that are emotionally wounded can be honest and resolve their past by looking within instead of running away from their problems through instant gratification. It’s a cyclical cycle. I have a few friends that are closed off, not accepting their personal self, but don’t know how to help.

  • Thanks so much Diana. I love knowing the site makes a positive difference! I also find it inspiring and helpful to read other people’s stories about overcoming personal challenges. It reminds me to focus on growing and moving forward instead of stagnating and standing still.

    As someone who formerly avoided all emotions, I know all about reaching for instant gratification, and I know it’s never a smart long-term solution. I have some friends who seem to be in that place, and I also want to help them. I remember being in that space, though–no matter how many people wanted and tried to help me, they simply couldn’t until I was ready and open to accepting it. I guess we all have our own process!

  • Thank you Lori for your post.
    It is funny how we allow pain into our hearts… Never realizing how it binds us.
    Years later and hopefully a little wiser and a little more courageous we will undue the hurt that has held us hostage.
    Thank you for being vulnerable and allowing me to see how beautiful your are as a human being.



  • Heather

    Beautiful. I am struggling with reaching this kind of acceptance but then having days where I go backwards and beat myself up all day and want to cancel every plan cause don’t want people to see me in my worst unenlightened states… I so want to be the perfect expression of self love but then feel like a giant fraud when I can’t rise above on my hard days. I need to as you say, lead the way, even when I’m struggling. To find some love for myself in every state i find myself in.

  • I could relate to what you wrote in a big way Heather. That feeling/fear of being a fraud is something I still struggle with at times, as I sometimes assume people expect me to be perfect, even though I’ve written a lot about being imperfect! I think this is actually really common–the fear of being/appearing to be a fraud. It’s something I see on lots of blogs, and from people who you might not expect it from. For me, it helps just knowing this is not all that uncommon, and that helps me be a little easier on myself!

  • Laverne

    Wow! It’s like you have been a fly on the wall of my life. This is exactly what I struggle with too. Thank you sincerely for your willingness to share and your encouraging words!

  • Excellent read, so spot on! Thank you for sharing this

  • Janice, I got here the EXACT sme way =)

  • Thanks Chris, and you are most welcome. =)

  • You’re most welcome Laverne!

  • Rashmi

    I’ve goose bumps reading this Lori. I can feel the truth of’ I am another you’, and ‘We are all one.’ I’ve a feeling of gratitude that ‘you’ exist. Sending you lots of love.

  • Thanks so much Rashmi. Sending lots of love back to you. =)

  • Enea

    You are beautiful Lori. Thanks for making the difference

  • Thank you so much. =)

  • Katie

    This speaks to me and 30 million other people I think, but thanks for putting it into words. It’s nice to hear that you’re not alone 🙂 And also, that you can’t seek from others what you need from yourself. I kept trying to squeeze myself into what I “should” be, and kind of failing – because the shiny perfect person some people think they should be is neither pleasant or interesting.

  • You’re most welcome Katie! I also appreciate knowing that I’m not alone–and I’ve realized that I too prefer to be this messy, far from shiny, but far more interesting imperfect person. And though I sometimes forget this when I fall back into thinking that I “should” be something else, I also far prefer being around people who own their unique brand of perfect imperfection.

  • Jenn Hourani

    Lori – you are definitely a huge value to us, to everyone who reads these articles, and to the universe. Thank you for being you. We love you 🙂

  • Thank you so much Jen. What an awesome comment to find in my inbox. =)

  • Tim

    Very cool post! I got to it from a link on another part of your site. I can’t imagine you as anything but happy and perfect, based on the way you look and the amazing website you have going with hundreds of positive feedbacks each day. It was good to see that you are one of us imperfect people. Not just saying that you are, but showing us by sharing the struggles you have gone through. The line where you say that you’d rather be real with people and know who accepts you is my favorite. There is a lot to think about in this post. Thanks.

  • Thanks so much Tim! I am far from perfect and I have highs and lows; it means the world to me to know I can make a difference not in spite of it, but maybe even because of it. I appreciate that you took the time to write. =)

  • Jill – Just Love Yourself

    Thank you for writing about loving yourself. In the last 6months or so I became aware on the ways I was not loving myself. I am a generrally happy person but I was neglecting to love myself. To me, loving myself is the most important gift I can give myself, and that is what I am giving myself now. I feel love around me, and dont seek it from others, experiences, food etc. I have even started writing a blog about loving yourself, which feels so right for me. Check it out, you may too enjoy it. Jill

  • bob

    I have just come to realise how much I hate myself, my life and other people. It is said that what you see in others is what needs to be ‘fixed’ in your own life. I have always believed that people hate me. I am not seeking sympathy; just hear to learn and hopefully get some encouragement. Thanks.

  • Hi Bob,

    I think I understand, as I’ve felt those same things. I hope the site provides you with the wisdom and encouragement you’re seeking!


  • Emily Kurz

    Im working toward happiness too

  • alan

    Incredible young lady buddha.a real true tara. This just makes. me cry tears of gratitude.Thank You and keep on keeping on.

  • You are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to write! 🙂

  • Ronnie

    Very engaging, and persuasive read. Lori sounds extremely sincere, kind, insightful and authentic. I know how some of own personal pitfalls have been my tendency to overly dwell on my past, at the expense of fully living in the present. I’ve overcome a lot of this habit, but there’s still work to do. Another weakness of mine is my extreme perfectionist streak and perennial dislike/fear of ‘failure’. Again, this has been a daunting challenge to me to try and alter and modify to levels that don’t mar my life and happiness. Some people have hinted that I come across as a bit of a ‘control freak’. I think they exaggerate, but not completely. I’m working on containing some of my controlling (dislike of trusting and delegating) impulses, as well.

    Overall, though, I’d say I’ve been pretty confident and content with my life. I’m self-employed (and successful :)) ; highly (and happily) self-reliant in multiple facets in my life, love my myriad freedoms; have tons of passions which I indulge in, to varying extents. And lastly, I’d urge all the people I know and care about (and even those I don’t) to never succumb to any sense of ‘guilt’ regarding always valuing their own needs and desires above anyone else’s. If that’s being “selfish”, so be it. Prioritising your own needs and pursuing your own goals is a veritable, non-negotiable virtue, in my book.

  • Thanks so much, Ronnie! It sounds like we have a lot in common, as worries about the past and perfectionism have weighed me down, as well. And I’ve also felt like/been known as a control freak!

    That’s great advise, about prioritizing your own needs. I think we need to first take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write!

  • Andreas

    I have repeatedly been told who I need to become in order to be loved in this world. First from others, but upon refection, mostly from myself. The feeling of fear dissolves upon accepting all of me… Flaws and all. The need of placing others acceptance of me higher than the acceptance for myself is painful. Bringing love and acceptance for myself is freeing…
    Thanks for your words

  • Ronnie

    Lori, I notice how in my first post here, I had carelessly referred to you (in your own blog) in the third person. My bad, ..too bad.

    Interesting to know that we both have some stand-out issues, in common. To be honest, though, I admit to not being inordinately bothered about some elements of my perfectionism, my referencing my past, or my instinctive desire of being in ‘control’. I recognise where the problems lie. And I reckon I have fixed some of them. Also, Lori, I often think that my lifelong introverted (not shy) personality, love of solitude, and extreme degree of self-reliance have caused too many people to misunderstand and apparently resent me. I fully meant what I said about always giving top billing to one’s own needs and goals. I had caught on to that truism a little later than I’d have liked. But I did. And so should everybody else, hopefully. Cheers!

  • You’re most welcome, Andreas. I think it all comes down to accepting ourselves. I’m glad this helped. =)

  • Aljoscha

    Thank you for this amazing post! Thank you for creating this amazing page!

  • You’re most welcome, and thank you for taking the time to write!

  • digiprog III

    Thank you for writing this,Iam interesting in it,I am looking forward to you next passage.W%

  • One of my favorite posts!

  • Thanks so much Liv. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • DJM

    I hate to but can’t help but say “blah!” Please don’t call me a negative Nancy and have your minds scurry away like roaches when the lights are turned on because that’s what most people do the instant they feel someone is about to down the mood or rain on their parade. I just want to be real about this. I can’t help but look around in life and see nothing but things that come nowhere close to validating the love I have for myself. In fact i can love myself all day long but if the world is downing you every step of every day, how is one supposed to just ignore that and think that it doesn’t matter? When life is constantly spitting in your face, how is one supposed to smile and nod and say “I love myself and life is great”? Just ignore it you say? You can’t hide behind the mirage of sunshine and lollipops that does not exist. What I’m trying to say is that I can love myself but somewhere along the road of life that is not going to be enough. It needs validity or it’s just an illusion. If you’re telling yourself that you are a good person, and you are loved and life is good but every aspect of your life says otherwise then you might as well be rocking back and forth in the fetal position in the dark corner of a padded room. It’s like if you think you’re a good writer but nobody will read your book; or if you think you’re a good musician but nobody will listen to your music. I believe at some point in all of our lives we need to have something to validate ourselves. I’m not saying that we hold the views of others to be our own but rather something to agree or disagree with in defining ourselves.

  • Carolyn

    Dear Lori,
    First, thank you for being helpful. I hope you will take what I am about to say in the same

    honest spirit I am saying it. The photo of the girl for Love Yourself Authentically is terrible. Not the girl but where she is sitting. She`s in mud. It’ really not an uplifting picture.

  • You’re most welcome. That’s actually me! I chose this picture because I loved sitting in nature, and I was wearing my favorite dress. I just felt so peaceful on that day, and I wanted to share this on this post about being at peace with yourself.

  • Ben

    “Give yourself permission to not be perfect” – i beat myself up constantly if im not perfect and think of myself as a failure. i need to change, im trying my best.

  • kj

    Thank you for writing this. It means more than I can articulate.

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • Steve

    Really nice post, I just wish I could agree with it all and see it with a more positive mindset. My current life state is held back by my worst, stupidest mistakes and it’ll take years to rectify. I get point two, but it only works if there are people around who care, for you to be able to determine those who accept you. I agree with 3, but if you have to put a mask on to be even vaguely accepted it breaks down. Which leads to point 4: I know I don’t really matter. The dysfunctional relationship with my girlfriend, she’d be better without me, I don’t have any true friends to speak of, and the one parent I’m in touch with doesn’t care for me. Honestly, if I quietly slipped away to a different country, or just disappeared, there’d be quiet murmurings and gossip before folks just moved on. If you know this is the truth, I don’t see how it can be reversed? I’m sorry to sound so negative and morose, it helps to let it out a bit tbh. I hope I can stay with this and get to a day when I feel what you mean, but sometimes; well, I guess it’s just not meant to be

  • Hi Steve,

    My heart breaks in reading your comment. I don’t think you sound negative. I think you seem lost and in need of help. Have you ever seen a therapist, or considered seeing one? I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for the years of therapy I had when I was younger. It helped me work through a lot of my pain and limiting beliefs. Perhaps it could do the same for you. I know it may not seem like it, but you don’t have to feel this way forever. Things could get better. It just takes time.

    You are in my thoughts….

  • Barb Davis

    So insightful, thank you.

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • Bev

    Great read and nicely put! 🙂 I’ve done some of these at one point in my life.

  • Thanks Bev!

  • Mika Khoo

    Hi Lori,
    Thank you for this post. It’s truly enlightening. I’ve had a lot of anxiety the 2 years I was in junior college and was really mean to my friends back then,especially when I felt overwhelmed and out of control with anxiety. 2 years on, I’ve begin to accept my anxiety but now I find myself stressing at times to act like a ‘nice’ person, and to go out of my way to be nicer to people because I honestly am ashamed about how I acted in the past. I’ve been feeling really empty about myself and my life recently. Sometimes I feel so restricted when I have conversations, for fear of saying something wrong or judgemental. I’ve not being having many friends now that I’ve started university probably because I am quite uncomfortable with voicing out my opinions,for fear of being seen as ‘mean’ or ‘hurtful.’. And honestly, I’ve been feeling really confused about my identity.
    Thank you for this post, it reminds me of how everybody has their own flaws but the important thing is to embrace our mistakes and love ourselves the most,regardless everything we’ve done. Anyway, mistakes are kind of like testaments to the experiences that I’ve pulled through in the past. Maybe I could start seeing them as battle scars instead haha.
    I guess there’s a line to draw between pretending to be someone likeable and being in touch with my true self. We can’t always be nice since we’re only human and we err. And pretending to be nice to people,when I don’t feel genuine love, feels really empty.

    Thank you again for this post. It’s really comforting.


  • izzwish

    Thank you very much for posting this!! I am glad I came across this post at a much needed time and it is so inspiring!!

  • Americo Zeccardi

    Thanks for adding to it all. I appreciate that. Your words and the feeling in them inspire me to be the same.

  • You’re most welcome! 🙂

  • Nice post. Very helpful and full of
    information. This is very good. I appreciate this very much!

    Clipping Path

  • Michelle

    Thank you!

  • zoe

    Thank you for helping me to see how I have found a healthy lifestyle now because that is the most important thing and reminding me that I can forgive myself for the past and doing this gives myself space to embrace the happy healthy lifestyle that I can be feeling now because I have chosen to change and I do deserve it thank you namaste peace love light be well

  • You’re most welcome. Namaste. 🙂

  • I am in love with Tiny Buddha. It is so inspiring to read the posts here. They induce strength and inspiration in me everyday!

  • Thanks for taking the time to write, Reema. I’m glad to know the site has been helpful to you! =)

  • Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.
    Clipping Path

  • kavin paker

    This post and the comments have helped me tremendously in deciding what’s right for me.
    Munchen Flughafen

  • Dude

    Something stunk with that buddha quote. So i checked it up. Its fake, according to fake buddha quotes and i’m not surprised, because it’s completely contrary to buddha teachings of emptiness. I’m afraid this articles has to be dismissed on the basis of being completely wrong. Small real quote to back this up(from Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra) –
    “Yet when vast, uncountable, immeasurable numbers
    of beings have thus been liberated, verily no being has been
    liberated. Why is this, Subhuti? It is because no Bodhisattva
    who is a real Bodhisattva cherishes the idea of an ego-entity, a
    personality, a being, or a separated individuality.”

  • Tyler Carraway

    “Constantly compensate for who you are with apologies, hedging words, or clarifications for your actions—like you always owe other people explanations.”

    Oh gosh, that. I have literally stopped doing something when I was alone, and taken a moment to explain what I was doing, just in case any angels, spirits, or other supernatural beings were watching me at the time.

  • Interesting
    information.The Truth Plus Sensitivity, Specificity and All That Is Decent to
    Reveal About Predictive Values This theme serves to educate people in their
    daily life, thanks to people like you we have more knowledge about this
    important issue.

  • Miranda Linkous

    I’m almost in tears because of the sentence where you say you know you want love for me too. I am favoriting this one and reading it often. So much in it that I need to repeatedly tell myself. Thank you for being brave. You’ve helped me more than you know.

  • Thanks so much, Pamela. I love what you wrote here: “To own what is true about ourselves despite our worst judgment of what we know and to love ourselves unconditionally is grace beyond measure.” I appreciate that you took the time to write this thoughtful, beautiful comment. =)

  • Drew

    Thank you very much for this article. The honesty that you wrote with allowed me to open myself and take your words in deeply.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad it helped. 🙂

  • Polan

    Thank you for writing it. I love it. And I needed It as much a traveler needed starlight.

    Be blessings upon you.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this was helpful to you!

  • Chrissy

    You are fantastic Lori. I read this page almost every day, and I always find something that helps and resonates with me. Thank you for this site 🙂

  • Chrissy

    I read the site every day, I meant!

  • Thanks so much, and you’re most welcome. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the site! =)

  • fatima

    awesome thanks

  • fatima

    actually i know all these stuff but sometimes i find myself unable to see the beatiful things
    worried, unsatisfied ,depression .This feeling ; i have everything but i have nothing, isnt that a big contradiction ? lol

  • cld1

    this may not be a recent essay but it, i think/beleive, is still extremely valuable.

    i,d like to ask not having read the 287 comments is point 3, know the dark is valuable, consistent with the announcement, “Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go” on the page? i.e., is letting go recognizing the value of the dark? or, would transform be a better expression of what you mean? (my point in mentioning the large number of comments is that you may have already addressed this.)

  • Hi there,

    The announcement on the top of the page refers to my eCourse, which helps people let go of limiting beliefs about themselves and the past. This actually ties into the same idea–they both suggest changing our perception.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this post! =)


  • cld1

    i did value the post. in fact, i think it was one of your best ever!

    so, is “letting go” the same as transformation to you? e.g., if i let go of my limiting beliefs does that mean my perception was that they and my experiences resulting from them, had no value?


  • Thanks! Letting go of limiting beliefs is the prerequisite to forming healthier beliefs. One such healthy belief could be that a painful past experience made you a stronger person, or somehow prepared you to make a difference in the world–which would make that experience quite valuable!

  • cld1

    sorry, but i still don’t know what you mean by letting go. in the essay’s text you wrote, “If I didn’t have less flattering traits and stories, this site would likely not exist. When you realize your flaws can help the world and bring us closer together, suddenly they seem less like liabilities and more like assets.” which seems like my limitations should be seen as valuable and i suppose give me the ability to make new and hopefully better choices which i can because of current experiences and ideas. if i let go of current ideas does that eliminate my ability to make a different choice? if i transform them then i am not letting go of them but building on them. that’s what you are suggesting.?

    if i deny/ not accept my current self rather thanalways build on it, am i judging myself?

    i guess the question is resolved in mind if you mean letting go is the same as transformation. you may have said that but without directly answering the question i didn’t understand because if that is what you mean prior to your article i have always thought of them as being differnt. thanks for your patience.

  • Hi there,

    In the course, I am not referring to letting go of your traits or flaws; I’m referring to letting go of limiting beliefs about yourself and the past. So, for example, you could let go of the belief “I am a bad person because I’ve hurt people I love in the past,” and could choose to ingrain the belief, “I hurt people because I too was hurting, and as a result I’ve become more mindful of how to be loving and compassionate in the future.”

    I don’t see letting go as the same as transformation; I see it as a prerequisite. We need to let go of the thoughts, ideas, and beliefs don’t serve us so we can replace them with more empowering ones that support the change we’d like to make.

    Does that make more sense?


  • Roger

    HI Lori. Great post and exactly where I am right now. I understand so much about my pain but, the hardest part and the most important is loving yourself. As you are, in this moment. Still working on it but, aren’t we all? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It helps to know that I am not the only one to suffer even though it may feel that way at times.

  • Thanks so much, Roger. You are most definitely not the only one. I think self-love is a daily practice, with highs and lows, and we’re all always working on it! I’m glad this was helpful to you. 🙂

  • Tanja Marfo

    I really loved reading this article. Thanks so much for love and light! <3 Greetings from Germany

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it. =)

  • Andrea

    I just wanted to say thank you for making this post, really. I came to this article because I am genuinely having struggles in this area. So I typed that into google “struggling to love myself,” and your article was the first one to show up. And I really needed it. There is no amount of words I can use to describe how profoundly my heart and mind were helped by your writing this. So I will just say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am doing my best to love myself and I will get there, little by little.

  • You’re most welcome, Andrea. I’m glad you found your way and found this helpful. =)

  • Carlos Irizarry

    The more you love yourself, the more you can love your fellows.

  • kk

    thank you Lori…touched almost each aspect. Very grateful to read this and love myself unconditionally. I wanna apply all these points.

    Regards kk

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • Shizumi

    Lori, that is indeed a beautiful picture of you. Thank you for sharing!

  • You’re most welcome, and thanks so much! =)

  • This so beautiful! Thank you for being so honest. Thank you for being real. Finding my love for myself was the greatest thing I have done in my life,but like any relationship, I work on it daily.

  • Thanks so much, Jessica, and you’re most welcome! =)

  • iloveme

    Deep. And so TRUE

  • Abigail Odiet Wojahn

    Thank you!

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Thank you for sharing & showing your vulnerabilty. It is all about self-love and yes, none of us are perfect and have many ‘flaws’ and learn every day. Articles like these really help many others. Thank you.

  • You’re most welcome, and thank you for taking the time to leave this thoughtful comment. 🙂

  • Joanna Cantoral

    AMAZING! Thats the best i can say, this is AMAZING! I will be sharing this with my friends and loved ones right now. They need to read this!

  • Thanks Joanna! I hope it’s helpful to them. =)

  • Joanna Cantoral

    THANK YOU! 1) for replying to quickly and 2) for sharing your amazing story 🙂

  • You’re most welcome!

  • amanda lozoya

    This was super beautiful! It made me feel beautiful inside and out. I love myself! Flaws and all. Mistakes or not! I deserve to live right now in the present moment! Accept myself and love me for me!! Not dwell on the past or feel anxious about the future! Live in the moment. Thank you. You are a beautiful person and amazing for writing this! You deserve all the best that life will offer you!

  • Thanks so much, Amanda. Your comment is super beautiful too–and you deserve all the best as well! =)

  • Luz Falcon

    I just love it and is true even a small thing that you make count in every single way

  • Karan Gupta

    Too good lori….an epitome of perfection….keep up the good work and keep us showing the light!

  • Thanks for the kind words, Karan!

  • Njeri

    Thank you so much for sharing. Reading this post came at a time in my life when I am re-embarking to to actively love myself. I find that when I’m not dating, I can spend the time focusing on me, but when I get in a romantic relationship, I give that person the power to be responsible for my happiness. Thank you for being open and sharing your love and your light. I will definitely reference this article as a reference. Also, thank you so much for this site. It’s been wonderful to read and learn of others’ journey to self-love and self-empowerment.

  • I suppose this comment is late to the party considering the last one was 4 years ago! In any event, I just want to thank you so much for your website. In an age of more, and do and all that is, it’s so refreshing to absorb information about the BEing. Thank you! Paz, Molly

  • Hi there,

    You’re most welcome – and my apologies for the slow response! I can relate to what you wrote in a big way, as that was a pattern of mine as well. I’m so glad you’ve found the site helpful, and I hope it continues to provide insight and inspiration! =)


  • Baiju

    I loved this article ..thanks for motivated me..i had broken up with my long time girl but going to meet her since my heart feels we need to give a second chance to each other….cheers..

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad it was helpful to you. =)

  • Thq 23

    I have felt so bad and so guilty for year and years most of my life honestly.. I meet a beautiful woman about for months and she made me smile and laugh like no one has.. the thing is I could be me and I and at first I was weary but slowly I became more and more confident of me and I realized what a fun and caring person I’m. . So that being said I still have my short comings but as I grow I’m seeing them for what they are and stopping myself before I take action.. I’m not there yet but today I’m a lot more optimistic and I’m loving myself more then I was yesterday.. I want to say one of my downfalls is I don’t feel that I’m good enough for others and I have always felt I was the elephant in the room so to seek and because of my fears and anger at my self I have spent what feels like a lifetime of distruction to my body my mind and my spirit.. always pushing people away allowing myself to hide in the pain instead of injoying the moment.. so anyways about two months ago one of my short comings showed up and I basically lost 2 months of my life and put on hold that blossoming friendship not to say landed me in the hospital 6 times alcohol for anyone wondering.. It’s been 7 days since this physical torment has stopped but for the last five of those 7 days it has been mental torment.. until sudsy December 27 2015.. you see last Wednesday after almost two months of not talking with my friend I received a text from my friend as I laid in a hospital bed at exactly 3:33 in the morning .. I didn’t think much of it till Sunday as I have been missing this amazing woman I call her my beautiful sun kissed hippie 🙂 anyways I started reading up on something that was brought to my attention by her and it all came together my mind my body and my sprit.. I realized it’s time to get up clean up and take control of my future… know I’m not saying all of the sudden my hole world changed but what I am saying is that I don’t know if she knows it or not suspect she does knowing some of her truths she shard with me.. it helped and it reminded me that I’m not who I was or who I thought I was not my quote! But I’m better! And over the past few days I have been making a consistent efert to change my thinking and as I said get up clean up and take my future back!! So my point is I agree with you recognize your shortcomings and mistakes and anything you want to put in that basket and show it because your not just giving you rest but you mybe are helping someone else in there dark times because like said on here we are all a lot a like and deal with the same issues just at different time’s. So that’s my truth.. thank you my sun kissed hippie with a little gangsta in you.. there always going to be a little nest in my heart for you to cuddle up in when you need a break 🙂 and to anyone who reads this thanks for taking the time your awesome!!!

  • Ragga

    Thank you, Lori. Recently I have been struggling a bit with cultivating self-love, because I am constantly looking for a romantic partner to save me from this inner darkness and angst. I have been reading Byron Katie’s work, and she talks about turning around statements, so when thoughts arise about how lonely I am, or how I have no one to love me, I turn it around and say, I need to love me, care for me, and celebrate me. I still long for companionship, but I don’t attach to the painful feeling of having no one at the moment. I also do not want to find that someone right this moment, because I realize I would be doing it from a place of codependency.

  • Tabitha Beaven

    Thank you from my whole heart. That is all xx

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • You’re most welcome, Ragga. I think it’s wonderful that you’re so self-aware and doing this work – both for yourself, and so your next relationship will be a healthy one!

  • Jenny

    I absolutely needed this today. I’m currently working on having more confidence in myself. I constantly put down my accomplishments and fail to acknowledge them as such, I always deny that they are accomplishments and feel embarrassed by them or that they aren’t as awesome as they actually are. I also have for some reason been limited by the belief that I don’t have any job skills (aside from being bilingual and having experience in customer service) I judge myself unfairly and hold it against myself. I’m working on it because I know my skills matter. I know that my passions in life are teaching and learning languages and I love helping others.
    How this will translate when I move back to the USA in September I’m not sure, but I’m working on loving myself more in the meantime. ^_^ xoxox

  • Peter

    I’d make the word “authentic” in the title in brackets.I felt so great just reading this 🙂

  • Matt

    Actually no. The fact that you matter is NOT dependent on what you do. You matter. Period.

  • John Dashner III

    The I Ching, one of my all time favorite books.

  • Mayur

    I have spent most of my life in ‘self-loathing’. All I cared about was the way I looked. I always used to judge myself as well as others based just on the physical appearance. I used to feel bad about my looks. My skin, my hair, my weight, until I realized that these things I care about are so trivial in front of this universe. We are a soul of infinite energy just wearing a costume called body which is going to get buried at the end. We are here to learn,serve others, do something for mankind.Years from now we will realize that the things we cared about meant nothing and the naive quest for perfection was such a giant waste of time.
    Your post is really wonderful and I am grateful that I am a part of tinybuudha.

  • So true, Mayur! I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on my looks, as well. Though I still struggle with this at times, I try to remind myself that beauty is the light behind our eyes, not our skin, hair, or weight – and physical beauty is impermanent for all, since we all age. What endures is the impact we make while we’re here. Thanks for taking the time to write. I’m grateful that you’re part of Tiny Buddha as well. =)

  • Elizabeth

    Wow! This is worth sharing in my social media accounts. I like the line, People can only love us if we believe we’re lovable. This post is so powerful especially to someone who are struggling for other people’s acceptance. The question is, do we always need to feel and see we are accepted? I think not. Being you and loving your own self is all you need to be truly happy. Because it is only then you can love other and they can love you back.

  • michael

    it is only i that knows what i am

  • Tiia Johnson Art

    I don’t know how to be proud of myself or happy anymore. I know how to talk myself out of it & believe it, but not how to talk myself into it & believe it.

  • Claudio Pacciarini

    Thank you, Lori… you’re awesome.

  • You’re most welcome, and thanks!

  • Joseph Smith

    Thank you so much, Lori. It was indeed an intrinsic read for me and it’s quite resonating inside my mind. Of the eight symptoms for not believing in oneself, I had seven.

    For the past five years or so I accommodated myself into my classmates’ and parents’ expectation of me. I had addictions but was never bold enough to tell anyone. Not until a week earlier did I realize my puppet strings and for the entire week I worried that those were inherent and questioned who myself really are. The truth is, as you said, “our past actions shaped us today, but we’re not what we’ve been.” Maybe I just have to forgive myself and get back to my path of love. Can’t thank you more, Lori, although I don’t know you!!!

  • You’re most welcome, Joseph! Yes, self-forgiveness changes everything. I’m glad this was helpful to you. =)

  • Joe Couture

    I wanted to share that I have just started my journey of self-discovery and stumbled upon this site. I absolutely love it!! I love that there are links that further explain sometimes complicated terms or subjects with more explanations. Great job!!

  • AwakeningGiant

    Thank you for this article. I struggled with my own self hatred all my life. I felt no on ever noticed and if they did no one asked if I was okay. Men don’t get a free pass on feelings. Its more like suck it up and move on. Even when you were abused as a child and your family put you in mental halfway house, forgeting you with a occasional acknowledgement when you are only a teenager.
    I took a girl from my program to my high school prom and my family pretended it was normal.
    I struggled to make myself with no paternal guidance, always trying to ignore the feeling that I was different.
    I heard talk when they found my background and only few accepted me as a friend.
    As I got older, I became more angry and feeling used and lied to others in the church I was going to.
    Your article did help me and I have still working and going back to college. I have therapist i speak to regularly.
    Everyday I work on forgiving the past and try to be happy.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through. I think healing from abuse is one of the hardest things anyone can do in this lifetime, and it’s even harder when others ignore or invalidate your feelings.

    I hope the therapy is helping. Congrats on going back to college. It sounds like you’re well on your way to a new life!


  • Jaime Matarazzo

    Still making an impact, 7 years from when you wrote it 🙂