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What to Do When You Find It Hard to Do What’s Good for You

“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” ~Lao Tzu

I know how you feel.

You know you shouldn’t eat that cookie, but it’s as if there’s something from deep within that compels you to move your arm forward, pick it up, and consume it in one, grandiosely guilty gesture.

You find yourself performing entire series of behaviors—like reaching into your pocket, picking out the pack, getting the cigarette, and lighting it—without even realizing what you’ve done until you’ve got the thing in your mouth.

You promise yourself you won’t complain, judge, or gossip, and there you are giggling about that thing she’s wearing or rolling your eyes at the person in front of you in line who’s taking ages to pick out her coupons.

You wake up in the morning with the full intent to exercise, feeling faint pangs of guilt with each passing hour on the clock, each hour with its own special excuse. “Too early” becomes “Too hungry” becomes “Too full” becomes “Too late.”

You mean to meditate, you really do, but you spend the whole time bothering about all the items on your to-do list and getting chest-clenching reminders of all the things you’ve forgotten. In the end, relaxing stresses you out even more.

What is going on? Why is it so difficult to just do what’s good for you? Why does it seem so easy for other people? Are some people biologically equipped to be emotionally and physically healthy? Are their lives just easier and more stress-free than yours?

It’s much too easy to say that people who do what’s good for them are different from you somehow. However, it’s even easier to reply to such claims with “You can do it!” or any endless refrain of motivational and inspirational slogans.

We’ve all heard that we can do it if we set ourselves to it, so all the motivational tapes make us feel even worse when we, as if possessed by demons, reach out and pay for the very fries that we spend hours regretting.

That’s because motivation isn’t the answer. Neither is willpower. I found this out the hard way.

Once upon a time, I tried to quit smoking. I failed. I thought I’d failed because I hadn’t picked a proper replacement behavior and because it wasn’t the right time.

In reality, smoking was the least of my problems. I was extremely close to a mental breakdown. I didn’t see it that way, but I knew something was wrong.

The same way that you can become obese over ten years by eating just a little bit extra at every meal, I became just a little bit more mentally ill every day. It was barely noticeable because it was so gradual. I was acclimatizing to my misery as I was plunging into it.

Have you ever been drawing or writing something and suddenly made a mistake? It just makes it worse when you try to cover it up, but you can’t seem to stop. You just keep making it worse and worse the more you try to fix it.

Well, that was my relationship with my body, my mind, and my life.

As the pressure began to build, I kept ignoring obvious signs of my distress. I remember rubbing at my face, thinking that the dark circles around my eyes were from smudged eyeliner. Except they didn’t rub off.

I remember getting nightmares night after night. I remember when I started eating meat again, after abstaining for nine years. I remember when I stopped exercising and started smoking double the amount. I remember when I started drinking every day.

I felt, more and more, like I didn’t really care much about my body, like it could rot for all I cared.

It wasn’t until I became suicidal and started hearing voices that I started to panic a little. Obviously, something was wrong.

So, I decided to quit smoking. Obviously it was the smoking.

Genius, right?

The first time I tried, it failed. Within about twenty-four hours of stopping, all of my mental symptoms worsened tenfold. I was a wreck. I reached back for a cigarette.

I waited a few weeks and tried again.

Within two weeks I had a mental breakdown, which I must say was one of the most amazing things that had ever happened to me. It was a beautiful moment between me and myself.

Suddenly, all that had been extremely complicated and confusing became simple and easy. I faced a choice: change or die.

Choosing to change meant getting on my knees. It meant surrendering to a higher power I couldn’t define or see, and trusting that, even though I wasn’t in control anymore, something would carry me through and help me heal.

There, I found peace.

And yet, my journey after the breakdown was extremely rocky.

I would fluctuate between peace and distress. For a while, I would be happy, peaceful, and joyful. I would treat my body like a temple and feel this intense, building urge to just take care of it, to give it nourishing care and tenderness.

Then I would crash. I would reach back for old vices and the same old insecurities.

After a few months of fluctuating, I crashed again. This time, I ended up in the hospital with meningitis. I knew the moment I got admitted that it wasn’t a coincidence. I knew I’d done it to myself.

Staying in the hospital was sort of like going to prison.

I was being punished for the way I’d been treating myself. I was being punished by my own body, by my own self.

I remember reading that, if you were to go to bed as a non-smoker and wake up the next morning with all the symptoms of having smoked for ten years, you’d rush yourself to the emergency room. You’d think something was horribly wrong.

The only reason that people smoke for ten years without much worry is because the consequences come on so gradually.

For ten years, I’d ignored the effects of my self-hating, self-destructive thoughts the same way that I’d ignored the effects of smoking cigarettes. I couldn’t ignore them anymore.

Lying in that hospital bed, in excruciating pain because the doctors refused to give me narcotics considering my “history,” I realized that the reason I kept hurting myself was because I believed I deserved it.

I was always telling myself that I wasn’t good enough. I was always judging my body. I was always comparing myself to others and deeming myself unworthy.

After I broke down, I started being more loving to myself but, soon enough, the old habits returned.

Lying alone in that hospital bed, I learned my lesson. I realized that self-love was not option. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll destroy yourself and do what’s bad for you. There’s no middle ground.

After I got released, I got to work. I read some books, made some plans, and, more importantly, embraced myself.

I quit smoking, re-embraced vegetarianism, started exercising again, and opened my first blog. I decided to pursue my dreams at any cost and to take care of myself, because I deserve it.

It’s not that I’ve discovered some magical willpower formula that’s helped me combat cravings for cigarettes. I just haven’t craved them.

It’s not that I force myself not to eat meat. I just don’t want it.

Doing yoga, writing a book, starting a business—these weren’t hard. They were meaningful and enjoyable. It was destroying myself and ignoring the effects of it that was hard.

In the end, I’ve realized that a craving is never just a craving. A craving is a signal that something’s missing. An urge to restart old, destructive habits is always, always a sign.

If you can’t seem to do what’s good for you, then maybe you don’t think you deserve what’s good. If you feel compelled to hurt yourself, maybe you think you deserve to be hurt.

At the end of the day, I realized that I didn’t need to quit smoking. I needed to quit hating myself.

I didn’t need to start exercising. I needed to start respecting my body.

I didn’t need to stop drinking. I needed to stop numbing my emotions.

I didn’t need to watch my calories. I needed to watch my thoughts.

Inside each of us, there’s a state of mind where being good to ourselves, others, and the planet is effortless. Don’t try to do good or be good. Just find that state of mind, and it’s all downhill from there.


Editor’s Note: Vironika has generously offered to give away two copies of her new book The Love Mindset: An Unconventional Guide to Healing and HappinessTo enter to win a copy, leave a comment below. You can enter until midnight PST on Monday, January 6th.

Update: The winners have been chosen: Tiffanie and Belinda.

About Vironika Tugaleva

Like every human being, Vironika Tugaleva is an ever-changing mystery. At the time of writing this, she was a life coach, digital nomad, and award-winning author of two books (The Love Mindset and The Art of Talking to Yourself). She spent her days writing, dancing, singing, running, doing yoga, going on adventures, and having long conversations. But that was then. Who knows what she’s doing now? Keep up at www.vironika.org.

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  • alchemista

    Hello Veronica, and thank you for sharing. It’s as though you wrote this article for me, just now in this moment. I am battling the same, and the thoughts are the same,,,,, I have even come to the realization not too long ago that quitting the smoking habit is about loving myself, yet still the habit is here… something pushes me, just one more…. I so wish to love and better take care of this body that carries me…. and I think I do, but self-sabotaging actions arise, and I feel overcome by it.

  • alittlevanilla

    I have found that state of mind but very briefly. It hasn’t taken much for me to be thrown back into my normal routines and loops. I know I can do it but I don’t know the way there. I don’t see which change to make which makes it harder to get back there.
    I love your style of writing – made me smile and nod a few times – and I look forward to reading more of your work.
    Thanks for this post.

  • Awakaning

    This post summarizes my experiences exactly, and has helped me put a mile marker in my path. I need to keep a realistic view in my progress. I am on the path to find that self love. Thank you for this post. I am still trying to find that pure love inside, and to learn the difference between loving myself and rationalizing that I love myself. My sources of fear in life are not perfectly clear, but I appreciate posts like this that help me open my heart.

  • melabonbon

    As someone who grew up in an abusive, dysfunctional home, this really strikes a chord with me. Sometimes I forget how many negative messages about myself I’ve absorbed and accepted as true without realizing it, and how those same thoughts must be fueling my efforts at self sabotage.

  • Anne-Laure

    I can relate but I haven’t found a way to stop my bad habits yet…

  • Karen

    What a lovely article Vironika! Although the thought hasn’t occurred to me before, it makes a lot of sense that rather than all the trying-to-do/be… All we might actually need to do is cultivate that state of mind.. I’ve been getting some cravings that I shouldn’t lately. My opinions of it havnt changed but I’m 100x more tempted now than 2 months ago. And I agree with you it’s probably a sign so now I’ll just aim for that state of mind.

  • Louise Watson

    Hi Vironika, thank you so much for this great post. I realise I’ve been neglecting myself a little recently. After changing my diet, getting into a good exercise routine and meditating regularly, I’ve recently been slipping back into the same old routine. I told myself it was all because I don’t have the time and money to buy good food and keep going to yoga etc. but I can see now that’s just an excuse. It’s strange how we so often neglect to do things that we know make us feel good, as well as being beneficial for or health. Thanks again for the reminder. I’ll be back in my yoga class tomorrow morning!

  • Liz Molitor

    wow, lots of good truths here – very well written and heartfelt. thanks for sharing your story…i needed the reminder! <3

  • buddingyogi1988

    Great article, just what I needed to hear at this time of year!

  • shuster

    Probably one of the best articles I’ve come across in a long time. Thank you for sharing your truths 🙂

  • Karina

    I’m contaminating the people around me. Every living thing in the house is overweight. I never even realized how overweight I had become until I started dating again. One man told me I was ugly, fat, whiny, and disruptive. Wake up call. Now I am surrounding myself with happier, more positive people in an effort to re-train my negative thoughts.

  • Melanie

    Perfect timing for me to have read this. Thanks.

  • Vanessa A.

    Wow, I am a huge believer in signs, and this is one. I’ve been struggling to quit smoking cigarettes lately, and literally a few minutes before receiving my Tiny Buddha daily email, I was contemplating just having one. I’m not depressed nor insecure, but I know I do have a few things missing in my life that I need to focus on. I’m lazy and I don’t like doing things that are difficult, that is my problem. This post was a nice snap back to reality. Great post and very inspirational, thank you for sharing.

  • Julia

    I feel like I’m so broken that it’s no use to even try. I haven’t been able to find a job for ten years and now after two degrees, I’m still unable to get a job. I feel like i’ll never get a job and continue living in a place I don’t like. I was suicidal on new years eve but I think i’ll keep trying to live. but I have so much anger….I’ve had it for over 30 years and I realize that anger just makes everything worse. I hate being in my predicament, my life and being paralyzed by fear. I want to live my life but feel I can’t…and without a job I can’t even financially support myself. as usual, I got up late feel like crap, and opened my tiny budda daily email and read your section. I’m curious to learn what love mindset is all about and want to live the life I deserve. thanks for sharing this post.

  • heatherlaree

    Dear Vironika and Tiny Buddha ~~ I so love when I “read something for someone else” thinking I will forward to them and the article is so beautifully crafted for me. Thank you. Yes, I will also forward, but this one is for me who appreciates the loving reflection and reminder. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. With love ~ heatherlaree

  • Amelia L.

    Thank you ever so much for writing this piece. This in particular made me
    cry: “If you can’t seem to do what’s good for you, then maybe you don’t think you deserve what’s good. If you feel compelled to hurt yourself, maybe you think you deserve to be hurt.”

    It has been almost a year, and I don’t know how someone I loved could just walk away when it truly, is not because of me and is no fault of mine. And yet, secretly, I blamed myself. I am using your quote as my cellphone’s wallpaper to remind myself from now on that I don’t deserve the bad, I need to love myself more.

  • Ambre

    Thank you for this incredible post, it is very inspiring and so touching !!!

  • S.E.D.

    I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW FATEFUL THIS ARTICLE WAS FOR ME!!!! 1,000x, thank you! My life changes RIGHT. NOW.

  • Ambre

    I would love to be part of the draw to win The Love Mindset: An Unconventional Guide to Healing and Happiness 🙂

  • Caira

    This post coincided so perfectly with what I’m reading and working on right now (The Voice of Knowledge), I can’t NOT know the universe is smiling at me. Thank you! Would love to read your book!

  • Lindsay Rose

    I needed this reminder. Sometimes I wait to make changes because I don’t feel it is the right time or I’m waiting to see if things change for the better without me having to initiate it. Thank you for writing this.

  • Michael Burkhardt

    Thank you for this wonderful post!

  • Beth Gallagher

    Thank you for your insights and inspiration! We are going through a time in our family that is painful and emotional for us all, and this advice is so appropriate for all of us! Thanks again, and here’s to a happy, healthy, and strong new year!

  • Riquelmi

    This is amazing… You are powerful!! I love it. Definitely a source of inspiration. I believe that it is no coincidence I came across your article. It is a sign. THANK YOU!

  • Teresa Graham Brett

    This really spoke to me and reinforces what I know deep down. This last part especially that you wrote!

    I didn’t need to start exercising. I needed to start respecting my body.

    I didn’t need to stop drinking. I needed to stop numbing my emotions.

    I didn’t need to watch my calories. I needed to watch my thoughts.

  • Vanessa Jezin

    Thank you for this post, I have been reading and reading self helps, Tiny Buddha and various other motivational and inspirational blogs, etc. but none have resonated with me like yours. I, too, have had a gradual change into misery combined with yo yo periods of doing well but could never maintain them. Thank you for hitting home for me and opening myself up to admit that I may not think I deserve the life I so desperately want and have been trying but failing to get. Admitting it is the first step and practicing self-love is the next. Thank you so much!

  • shalu

    Thanks for sharing. It spoke to me . i can relate to it.

  • Johnson

    Just like many others we have all embarked – or attempted to embark – the journey that you have ventured down, as a behaviourist this is my career choice. I have been going to school implementing interventions and believing there was much more to just finding a replacement behaviour, manipulating antecedents, increase/decreasing dimensions of behaviour etc.

    Since I do regret to falling under the rest of the world with their “spending time on their busy life trying to buy more time”, I have lacked individual thinking as well as being able to reflect off others (not to mention we’re all pre-wired to believe our stream so bouncing ideas off people in my field may not be best).

    What hit me the most was where you had said its not motivation or willpower. I really was starting to believe the rest of the world “maybe if it was a different time, place, around different people”. This changed my theory without changing the outcome and took away that one extra variable.

    “A craving is just a signal that something is missing” We’re all told that we should have consequences to our actions, repercussions to our behaviour, but has anyone thought that behaviour is our consequence? it is our repercussion?

    Thanks for giving me an extra something to think about and an opportunity to express something I am very passionate about.

  • Lindsey A.

    Oh my goodness, your article is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. THANK you!

  • Logan Francis Trudeau

    As someone who is going through an existential crisis, this hits home. I am struggling to figure out if I am going to change or die.

  • Cindy

    Thank you for the beautiful reminders! I was headed down that destructive path again without knowing it. Loving my self again!

  • LeafChrist

    Thinking about your idea of “maybe you think you deserve to be hurt”
    or hurting. I recently discovered I have been walking around with blinders on… Like a bulldozer, destroying everything in my path. Much of what you write about, state of mind, is difficult. I copied and pasted a few of your lines into my email as a daily reminder. Thanks.

  • Maryann T

    Thank you so much. That was truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability to allow access to your strength!

  • Gina Marie

    Boy do I need this right now. For the past four years, after an awful end to a destructive relationship, I resolved to learn to be happy with me. I was off to a great start, exercising, learning about proper nutrition etc… The first two years of my journey went great. I got into the best shape of my life, ate healthier and considered competing in a figure competition. I have suffered with low self esteem most of my life and finally felt comfortable in my own skin. I was centered spiritually as well. Then I met a man, dove into a relationship and started a downward spiral within a year. The man is great! I think I just dont know what the difference is between love an infatuation. Being the perfectionist I am, I went to an extreme of being healthy ALONE. Now I am not sure how to climb out of this negativity and find my center/balance again. 2013 was a tough year for me in regards to my physical, emotional and spiritual health. All of a suden I feel lost again. Not sure where to begin the healing…

  • Sandy

    This information is familiar yet eludes me. It certainly speaks to me. I hope to find this state of mind.

  • nantuckettt

    Thank you for this article. It made me tear up also. I know that underneath all the struggle is just a lack of love for myself….I plan to change this. Thank you for opening my eyes 🙂

  • lisa VonLuehrte

    Thank you so much for this passionately crafted post. I have been fighting the good fight with anxiety since I quit “numbing my emotions.” I believe that healing is possible and its lovely to have that reinforced through your own story. With a father who is victim to the psychology/pharmaceutical industries who attempted suicide when I was 17, I have battled separating myself from that looming black cloud of my fathers “problems.” The more I’ve learned about spirituality, healing, self love, the more I’ve wanted to help him save himself, for some reason I see my value in not just whether I can love myself, but if I can be successful in helping him heal, love himself, and be free from self punishment. It’s almost as if I feel guilty for dealing with these life problems better than he has. I’m on the right road and reading posts like yours encourage me to forge forward on my journey. Thank you.

  • Christina

    This article has happened onto my path at a very tumultuous transition in my life. I feel that my struggle has made me feel more alive than ever – not because I enjoy pain, but because I can finally identify what exactly it is that I need to remember and what I need to forget. I feel a positive change inside me that has resulted from making a series of difficult but necessary decisions – that will ultimately fuel a better life. Thank you so much for posting – really puts things into perspective.

  • periodistalibre

    This post rings so true with realizations I’ve recently been enlightened with. Thanks for sharing your growth and helping others move in the right direction!

  • Katie Neubauer Carney

    Thanks so much for this important piece. I have been struggling after a series of difficult life transitions to take care of myself and find drinking and smoking to have increased while exercise and eating well have decreased. Thank you for bringing me hope at a time when things have started to look hopeless for me.

  • luckykat

    What a powerful post. It touches me in a way I can’t quite describe. Lately, it seems as if my motto is “I don’t care”. I don’t care if the house is clean. I don’t care if I’m overweight. I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care. And I feel like it’s the beginning of a road I don’t want to go down, but every now and then, I just don’t care.

    There isn’t any advice in this post that I didn’t already know, but it comes when I know I need it most. It’s time to remind myself that I DO CARE.

  • SandraB

    I am having a hard time hating myself right now. Feeling undeserved and guilty. After 4 years of traveling, learning an teaching as a coach. Now I feel that I came back to a worst point in my life. Empty hands and pregnant. I am depressed and I know is up to me and changing my view. But I felt a force that doesn’t let me o maybe does not want to. I get tired. Your article gives me hope to start again. Thanks

  • kazza

    Beautifully said – you are speaking my language! 🙂

  • dizzle

    Hello. I hate myself. I’ve experienced this to and fro cycular motion for a good 2 years and I don’t know what to do. I have no purpose, which is made extremely more frustrating as in the past I’ve achieved states of such bliss and contentment. I don’t know why I can’t feel that way anymore. Yes, I’m babbling about myself to try and get this book, I need help. I’m currently getting help from a mental health lady but it’s not working. I’ve been suicidal for too long and feel even more embarrassed with myself for not having any guts to just do it. I’m numb, empty and have become far too great at pretending not to be to my friends and family. I just had a good old cry to my mum and she offered me comfort, but I still feel isolated due to the unusual sensory perceptions that I have, I know people are there for me but it’s hard to accept when you’re going through something so strange.. blehh. This post made me feel good.. I would love to have this book. I wish everyone in the comments section could be teleported to a nice comfy room together and just smile at each other for a while, knowing there are people behind the screen that can relate :]

  • Amanda

    beautiful article – thank you

  • Nicole Winterberg

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and for giving me some hope.

  • Jesse Morton

    I’m a recovering alcoholic and addict. Thank you for writing this article. It’s hard to word what paragraphs like the ones above mean to me, so I’ll just say it helped a lot. You’ve helped make my day special.

  • J

    i know everything is harder if you don’t have a job your not happy in your living situation live with family or people that love you understand you try and find someone to support you and what your going through everyone needs some1 to lean on i have a very similiar situation to yourself and ive been in and out of rehab and prison and on the streets without a support system since i was 18 now approaching 27 quickly i have to use what i have to succeed all be it only a family with love and good intentions in there heart to want to see me happy and assistance from an entity within the united states government you can change your prospective with peace and love i stopped on you comment after about 40 comments and i wanted to personally say to you you will be ok things will get better

  • Arlene Towle

    this is my life…this is my self hatred, my disgust, my vicious disappointment with my soul, my will power, my body, my looks, my fears, my failures, my hell. it’s been my whole life, but especially intense since my dad died 3 years ago…he was the small presence who always loved me. i was safe with him, and now he’s gone. how do i touch that elusive center in me that is supposed to be the love i’m desperately seeking? is there a ground zero to start from? or is a slow building of individual thoughts and choices?

  • Gypsy S0ul

    I am new to *Tiny Buddha* and I just wanted to thank you for sharing a little piece of you! I think at some point, we all feel so very alone in our struggles and people like you, who are willing to share, can make all of the difference in the world!

  • Jen

    Thank you. I needed this.

  • Susan

    I too, have often found inspiration to make changes short-lived, and sink back into unhealthy ways of being so easily. Because they are so familiar. Even bad familiar is sometimes more comfortable than the good unfamiliar we trying to get to. Thanks for the article, it is timely as so many of us are attempting to make better decisions in the new year!-S

  • Rianne

    Thank you so very very much, this was just what I needed!!!

    Rianne from the Netherlands

  • fevrierbebe

    I’ve never read a post that I’ve identified with more than this one. Truly needing to stop hating myself and start believing I’m worthy of love. Thank you for this. I truly may owe you my life.

  • Liz Prazeres

    Loved the article and thank you for the opportunity to win a free copy of the book. Always working on flipping the switch from love to hate in myself and it makes ALL the difference.

  • Paula TheGoddess

    This was a beautiful (and inspiring, although hard to read) lesson I needed to learn today…thank you for reminding us of the real needs we all have…and especially thank you for reminding me why I drink. Time to feel. Thank you.

  • Ritzy_Bits

    Great article! Thank you for your words, and honest reminder to LOVE YOURSELF and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. I have had a very similar experience in my life over the past few years (drinking to excess, falling away from vegetarianism, fatigue, not sleeping enough, not meditating, dark circles from chronic anemia, etc.) This piece was exactly what I needed to hear. No one is going to cure the neglect or do the self work that I need to do for my own health and happiness. I really want read your book!!! Here’s to radiant good health, abundance & happiness in 2014!

  • Shera1028

    Powerful stuff! I love the concept and would really like to learn more about how to reach that state of mind!

  • Beautifully said. I’d never thought about not taking care of one’s self as an act of self hatred, but it really makes sense. Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Allison

    Wow, what a great and inspiring article! I can’t wait to read the book!

  • CalRedhead

    Only a few years after being in a space so completely centered that I had profound spiritual experiences, felt deep connections with my family & friends and worked to be in the best shape of my life… I now find myself so out of shape that I’m in pain everyday, wondering why I’m back in school pursuing the work I chose and how I can ever reestablish the close, loving relationships I once had.

    I’ve been struggling for so long & not able understand why everything seems so out of control. Thank you so very much for your great post today – it opened my eyes. I know it’s a long path that requires patience, and I’m not sure how to do it, but at least now I know what needs to be done.
    I hope seeing your words many times a day: “Don’t try to DO good or BE good…just find that state of mind where being good to ourselves, others and the planet is effortless & the rest is all downhill from there.” (my screensaver now) helps me begin the journey. Thank you so much!

  • Dee

    Is it wrong to be so delighted that other people are feeling the same as I do even though it’s not a good thing we’re feeling? I think it just feels better knowing that I’m not losing my mind or am an isolated mess in this world. The article hit so many nails on the head. I do not give myself the gift of consistency or of patience or compassion. If my best friend was going through this, I’d know exactly what to offer her. For me – for myself, not so much. I’m inspired to tackle this, though, BEFORE a visit a to a hospital. I want to “still” myself and figure this out voluntarily before God “stills” me. Knowing others are trying just as hard gives me hope!! The best to ALL of us!!

  • Audrey

    This post came in time. I’ve been suffering from very bad purigo nodularis for the last 3 years. I’ve tried so many things from vegetarian diets to boiling herbs to wash my skin. These couple of weeks was tough. I felt like giving up everything and gorge on meat and chips and all the stuff that I shouldn’t be eating..knowing that nothing is helping me get better or how slow the results were made it worse. it’s taken a toll on my life and I just wanted to give up. I even talk about death to my mum. it’s sad. After reading your post, I’m ready to give myself another chance to try again. This trying is not easy.. but I’ll condition my mind. Thank you for writing such a great post to inspire us to push on for that one more chance to make that change! 🙂

  • disqus_cPBIS2uZWz

    Beautiful, true and so inspiring. Thank you!

  • HL

    It seems self-love and the state of mind it brings are solutions. However, just like quitting addictions, self-love can be difficult. How can one have self-love without going through a trauma like you? I agree self-love is essential but can it be better framed so that it doesn’t result in the same traps of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings that you mention? I can see your message being interpreted as “self-love – just do it or you’ll be destroyed”…. But again, self-love is not that easy for many people. I think a great follow-up is how to build self-love in oneself if that’s what you say the solution is.

  • Madeleine Royere-Koonings

    I loved your post, I think everybody will relate to what you say as we all had or have destructive behaviour. I know it will stay with me and that I need time to process it to see where I am doing that to myself… Thank you very much for the wake up call!

  • Queen

    See yourself the way your Dad saw you. Honor his memory by honoring yourself – the him in you. If you are a praying woman, don’t stop until something shifts in you. Blessings!!

  • AngelaS

    Thanks so much for summing this up so perfectly, Vironika! I, too, came to these same conclusions and it made all the difference. I hope this discovery brings you and all the tinybuddha followers the strength and serenity that I know it can offer. Much love!

  • Michelle

    I run a small alternative high school for adjudicated young adults ages 17-21. Most of my students are gang members, almost all have PTSD, many are homeless, have mental health and substance abuse issues. In my young men’s personal growth groups we talk often about how life would be if they believed themselves worthy of what they would get if they made different decisions and honored themselves. This article reinforces those ideas and I plan on sharing it next week when we return to school next week.

  • Kim

    This made me want to cry, because it is EXACTLY how things are, and have been, for me for quite a while. I don’t love myself, and I don’t think I deserve good things. I am ashamed every day.

    I need to read this book either way, but winning it would be nice.

  • Soph

    This was interesting to read, thank you.

  • Sara Alicia Kristine

    Change! Please consider the change option. Breaking down allows for a breakthrough. And if you’re broken, NOW you can learn to identify the broken bits and work at repairing them. We are all on this planet for a reason and the best part is we get a lifetime to figure it out. And change is part of the journey. I don’t know you but I felt compelled to respond. When it comes to change or die- always choose change. 🙂 it’s always darkest before the dawn! Listen to some music and it will elevate your mood.

  • Emma

    This was exactly what I needed to hear. At 24 years of age, I am realizing that I am not going anywhere not because of anything else, but because of me. Because I can’t relax and take things the way they are, because I am always trying to change myself but never trying to love myself.

    Thank you for reminding me that’s the key.

  • joan

    Thank you for this post! Loving myself is something I’ve struggled with all my life. Now, as I near 60 and see that there soon will be no one that has my back, I realize I really have to do something about this. I will check out your book, as there are many, many people who’ve commented below who sound much more deserving of your offer than I am. Thanks again!

  • Miguel Muchotrigo

    Wow…I can’t believe I just read this, at this point in my life. Thank you SO much!

  • Dee Romesburg

    But how? I know my obesity is connected to my thoughts, but how do I change them? How do I learn to respect my body? This is the frustrating part.

  • Kolette Myers

    Wow! How enlightening … Just what I needed today!

  • nowimps

    Beautifully said and perfect timing to be heard!

  • Ronald

    This was really helpful, Thanks for the post. Changing not just what I’m doing but why i’m doing it. Its not I need to exercise, but respect my body.

  • Melissa Geneviève Baden

    It’s funny how G-d always gives me exactly what I need exactly when I need it.
    I have struggled with bulimia for 12 years, and have recently begun to address it, as I’ve realized that I have potential and may be worth it….. not to mention the food behaviors are what have caused every. single. relapse. on drugs I have ever had.
    I’ve been sober for almost 90 days this go-round, and finally invested in a nutritionist and have been following a meal plan and trying to love myself. Trying to get better, to care.
    Lately, though, I’ve relapsed with food. It came on suddenly. So suddenly that I didn’t realize it had been gradually building. Looking back, I see the warning signs. Right now, I’m in a place where I want SO badly to care for myself and be the beautiful person I know I can be…. but I don’t truly believe I deserve that. So I also want to self-destruct.
    Know that your story has profoundly impacted someone today. I’m checking into an intensive outpatient program, and I am going to try so very hard to love myself. Because I deserve it. Thank you.

  • Heather@YSP

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve spent the last year getting rid of diets and scales ans restrictions and working on loving and respecting myself. My mind and body are changing for the better.

  • Robert Lewis Smith

    Thank you so much.

    Perfect for my path.

    Sincerely,

    Robbie

  • Mauve

    Hi Vironika
    Thank you for writing this book. The preview is wonderful and has given me hope. I have 2 months sobriety. I started an affair 7 months ago with a man who has 6 years sobriety and 2 months ago is when he suggested I stop drinking. The last thing I should be doing is having a relationship. I numbed my emotions all my life due to a very dysfunctional family. Now I’m not drinking and I am on a downward spiral. I am needy, clingy and self-sabotaging myself with inner emotional turmoil and suffering. Not to mention I blew the relationship and now I am even more desperate. I have completely isolated myself. I am doing everything in my power just to make it through each day in hoping something is going to get better. I try writing in a journal but the pages just end up blotted from crying. I hope to turn my life around like you did. Thank you for listening.

  • Christie Grayson

    This really spoke to me, and the timing was perfect. Thank you! And I would love to read your book. 🙂

  • Subramanian

    Yes, I noticed a similar pattern in my life. To quit any bad habit I had to essentially reach rock bottom. But one other thing I noticed which is a pattern in my life. I pick up things later than normal humans do. For e.g. I did not know how to use my teeth until i was 3 or 4. My mom would liquify all the food and feed me else I used to puke. i got my drivers license rather late {22} and my first car at 27. i’m 27 now. The worst of it I used to wet my bed while sleeping until my 10th grade. My father also tells the very same thing you blogged but I think the problem runs deeper at a sub-conscious muscle memory level, where chemicals and hormones are involved not just our conscious self and thinking mind. So technically its not possible to will oneself out of any guilty obsession. I have a whole new set of issues now, the way i deal with it is give my best shot with full knowledge of what I’m up against i.e. i don’t try to completely restrict myself but i indulge once in a while. Trust me religion and prayer helps.

  • Diego

    o this is good. its not the symptoms that are the problems. the root is the real problem. we must find it by not fearing the truth about ourselves and embracing it.

  • Heather

    Thank you for your courage in sharing this, in hopes of helping some of us who continue to be trapped in self-hate.

  • Kymberlieblu Birkenkamp

    interestingly, this message has been delivered to me several times over the last few weeks through different venues. when the universe works this hard to send me a message, i would be foolish to ignore it. it’s true, i’ve lost the path. thank you for your words and sharing your experience. i very much appreciate it.

  • Teri Karl

    Wonderful post. Thank you!

  • Ashish

    This rings a clear bell. It really does. The beauty of this article lies in its simplicity of words. It’s the mindset that fails us all the time. If we harness that we’re on the sweet route to a personal victory – one that will keep repeating itself. Thanks for the article, Vironika. It is a free blessing that I’ve consumed today, but one which has enlightened a non-flickering lamp in me. 🙂

  • Danu Grayson

    I’ve asked myself many times why I hated myself so much that my actions were causing a slow suicide. Thanks for sharing your experiences so that I could benefit from them.

  • BarbH

    Beautiful words. Thank you for this inspiration.

  • leaves

    Thank you, Vironika. This post came at the perfect time, as do all Tiny Buddha posts. At the end of the day, I guess we do all have to hit rock bottom before we can truly improve ourselves. I feel like you’ve written my story. And like you, I’d never take the hard times back. I tend to appreciate things more now that I can compare them to “what it could be like.” Thanks again, I’m bookmarking this one!

  • heatherms2k

    Great post and just what I needed to hear today! I can relate to this post in every way and have been working through some of these same challenges. “In the end, I’ve realized that a craving is never just a craving. A craving is a signal that something’s missing. An urge to restart old, destructive habits is always, always a sign.” I read this over and over again to get it to stick in my mind because it is so important for me to remember. Thank you for sharing such a personal and relatable post!

  • helen

    I hope you don’t mind me replying to your post but I was reading the comments and was moved by this and your frankness. I recognise that you are obviously dealing with some incredibly deep issues and a little few words from an anonymous person trying to help probably won’t make much of a difference. But Ive also struggled with low self esteem. Ive hated myself too and there were a couple of things I heard that helped me see things in a different way. And i would like to share the one thing I heard that changed my life. You exist. And thats because the universe needs you to be all that it is. If you weren’t needed to be here, you,exactly how you are, you wouldn’t exist. Its that simple. So the fact that you do means you do have a purpose. Even if youre not sure what that is. Don’t get too worked up on figuring it out either. Acceptance is key to having an unconditional relationship with ourselves which in turn leads to self love instead of hate. Love and best wishes to you on your journey x x

  • par

    book please.. and i could really relate to it so thanks

  • Vikki

    Vironika, this is so inspiring. I’m a hard working professional recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that has completely turned my life upside down. I’ve had to step back and reasses everything. Reading this has just reinforced that no matter how hard it is to change my diet, change my thinking, change the way I work, change my personal life, it’s all for the better.

  • charity

    Thanks. This couldn’t have come at a better time.

  • Andrew Thomas Richey I

    What an amazing post, I am in the middle of this very transition myself. Still on the uphill climb of loving myself, but this post definitely helpes

  • Savannah

    This was my first article sent to my email and it was absolutely perfect! Just what I needed to hear!

    “At the end of the day, I realized that I didn’t need to quit smoking. I needed to quit hating myself.
    I didn’t need to start exercising. I needed to start respecting my body.
    I didn’t need to stop drinking. I needed to stop numbing my emotions.
    I didn’t need to watch my calories. I needed to watch my thoughts.”

    How insightful and simple. Sometimes we are so close to our own issues we fail to realise the truth that’s right in front of us. Thank you so much for sharing this piece of you, this soft wisdom.

  • disqus_FmaUEtPTmE

    Wow. This struck so true for me. However although this all makes sense it is still a hard path to figure out and to follow. Thanks

  • David Lopez

    First post I read on Tiny Buddha. Better than a lot of motivational content.

  • SusIE sPrInKLEs

    Super article, thank you for sharing your story. It resonated deeply with me.

  • Jewels Coles

    Thank you for writing that article. Its the beginning of a new year, the perfect time to start a new way of thinking & acting & BEING! I would love to read your book & then share it with my family & friends. <3

  • Megan

    “A craving is a signal that something’s missing. An urge to restart old, destructive habits is always, always a sign.”

    This line in particular stuck with me. I’m learning to pause when old and hurtful habits reappear in my life. In the past, I’ve struggled with Bulimia. After going through intensive therapy, I’ve been in recovery; however, there have been times over the past year where it re-emerges and with such force. I immediately assume it’s just because I feel fat and that I need to change. I’ve learned that there are recurring events and my reaction to the events that is the actual trigger. Most of the time my old habits come back after rejection from a partner. Because I don’t find myself worthy. I’m learning that relationships end for ample reasons and they have nothing to do with me not being deserving of love. I deserve love and I’m learning everyday that I can receive that love from myself. That’s the most important love.

  • Marsha

    So wonderfully said, Vironika – and so painfully familiar. Self-love is indeed a healing thing, and a necessary “inside-out” beginning to all those changes we all say we want to make on the outside … but of course those outer qualities are symptoms of inner realities, not atomistic “habits” or “behaviors” that can be dealt with in isolation from our whole selves. I’ve found this to be a problem with the way that conventional medicine deals with “lifestyle” health issues like weight gain, diabetes, smoking, depression, and high blood pressure. Whatever the underlying genetic predispositions we do or don’t have for these problems, they manifest in a complex and interconnected way with the way we live our lives as a whole – which is to say the way we see and imagine ourselves and then manifest that in the world.

    Of course, knowing these things and putting them to work in my life are two very different things, and unfortunately the career I’ve chosen doesn’t reward slowing down and looking for balance in my life and my identity. Finding balance anyway, along with self-love and prioritizing my own mental and physical health, is the challenge I know I must face this year before some of the outer consequences become even more serious than they already are. Thanks for writing this insightful piece – it’s a great reminder and prompt to action.

  • PathToBliss

    Thank you for this lovely article. Going through a similar situation and i am working on loving myself more and doing good things for myself does help feel better and want to do more for myself. Thanks for the additional support and advice from this article. Very well written and concise.

  • Beth

    Awesome article.

  • Frank Zlotkowski

    Nice saying, but one needs a real plan.
    There are no easy answers other than seeing the ones in front of us.

  • Sarah Woolley

    Your post is very uplifting. It is amazing how you were able to move through all of your issues without counseling. I have done much the same in the last year. I am exercising regularly, without much effort other than wanting to have a healthier body. I am eating well, more veggies than chicken or fish and no red meat. And I quit smoking … after 64 years … I tried an e-cig, after my daughter told me how she found them a great help. After finding the the e-cig made me feel ill, I quit and have not picked up a cigarette in seven months now. I sleep more than I have in years. I’ve talked to my sister about this and she said, “give yourself a break!” She has a point and I know this too will change. Thank you for sharing your story! Congratulations on your successful journey to self discovery. May you continue on and continue sharing!

  • Lori

    I’ve decided to make 2014 my year of radical self-care and self- acceptance! This article (and book) couldn’t have come at a better time!

  • Cecelia

    I am at a crossroads. Little tiny blessings, like this article, showing up at just the right time. I needed this. Thank you.

  • ms_nature

    Wow, you know how sometimes you stumble upon things that you just know the universe has aligned for you to find!? I just recently quit my teaching career for 4 years to pursue a masters degree in school psychology. Within 3 months of the program, I withdrew and fell suicidal. All I knew in life had slipped away. I realized my only source of confidence came from teaching. Now I was 7 hours north of my community, isolated, depressed, lost, stagnant, and living without a purpose. Each day felt like an eternity and I couldn’t pull myself out of my hole. I wouldn’t shower, dress, or take care of myself. I binge ate at night. And all I could do was escape with substances. I started praying one night for guidance and slowly signs and options started appearing. I was jobless and had very little money left in my savings account and didn’t know where to turn. I wouldn’t be able to afford a place on my own anymore without a career. So what now? The more I began to talk to the universe, the more positives slowly began to appear. I have now relocated back to my original community, have reconnected with old friends, and have been welcomed into a home with amazing roommates. I am slowly beginning to regain my life. How did I lose everything? My career, my enthusiasm and passion for life, my athleticism, my health, my self care, my IDENTITY. I am slowly beginning to recognize myself again. Its exciting when I have a reason to smile again. Yesterday, for the first time in who knows how long, I sat outside and just felt the warmth of the sun on my arms. It felt heavenly. Life is coming back to me, slowly, but surely. Thank you for providing an online community to share with – to help not feel so isolated and “different” from others <3 – A 20 something teacher from CA

  • des

    Thank you for this. I’m pregnant and going through some extra turbulence in my life lately. Lots of old demons are being dredged up and I’m facing the fact that I have never lost the feeling of shame that I grew up with. This article really struck a chord and reframed some things in a really helpful light.

  • Lynn Tiffany

    This resongnates deep within me….for so long, the voice inside my head…the thoughts and feelings of uselessness and unworthiness…of feeling no one cared so why should i …. i PRETEND to be okay…thinking if i PRETEND hard enough,,,,things would be better…. I have a 16 year old daughter….I DONT WANT TO CRASH and LEAVE HER To PICK UP THE PIECES….HOW????HOW DO YOU FIND THE “RIGHT MIND SET”????”!!!!
    PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET YOUR BOOK TO SAVE ME AND MY LIFE. thank you! Lynn x

  • gollom

    Thank you for this most insightful essay. This is perfect timing for me – I am 53 years old, going thru detox and living in a mental hell. I didn’t want to admit that I hate myself, your essay helped me not only admit it, but give way to the tears that have been building for months. I feel better, that maybe change is possible for me, even though I’m “advanced”.
    One question, though, have you found that in most cases, struggles with religious beliefs is at the surface of mental issues? I have many bi/polar friends who have expressed this, and I seriously question my spirituality as well.

  • Brenda

    After a day of arguing and screaming and silence treatment with my husband, I left and went to my computer and was in the middle of anger BINGE: eating chips, drinking diet soda, inhaling a candy bar and deciding to go get some ice cream when I read your article. I was shocked to see myself and my life laid out for me in detail. Never good enough, always a people pleaser, the fixer for family, friends and strangers. Bulimetic, Anxeroia, suicidal, cutting, you name it I did it. 3 breakdowns, never getting over burnouts, just constantly running and giving to excess. I had days, maybe a few months where I was at peace, but it never lasted for long. Now here I sit, at the breaking point once more, not wanting to live, yet not wanting to die. And knowing you wrote the truth, loving ourselves, despite what our life seemed to tell us. If we don’t wake up to the what the obvious ending will be, who else will?
    Thank you for a lifeline, I accept it and will begin to take the first small baby steps towards loving and caring for me.

  • Larissa

    Thanks you for this piece of article. I would be happy to buy the book somehow, as I’m starting a volunteer job to help adolescents in risky situations such as depression and selfharm.
    Thanks one more time for your existence and help 🙂

  • Yvonne Appleyard

    I’m currently stuck doing all the things I know are repeat patterns, even though I am aware that I need to treat myself better. This strikes a chord.

  • Amanda

    As always, I am given everything that I need. Today, right now, THIS blog post is exactly what I needed. Sometimes it just takes someone else laying it out so clearly and simply for you to realize what kind of changes need to be made. Not changes to behaviors, but changes to my thoughts. Reading this I realized that I have lacked the self love I need to lose the weight I so struggle with, to stop the overeating. So begins my journey towards self love. Thank you, Vironika for giving me what I needed to hear.

  • ms_nature

    Wow, you know how sometimes you stumble upon things that you just know the universe has aligned for you to find!? I just recently quit my teaching career for 4 years to pursue a masters degree in school psychology. Within 3 months of the program, I withdrew and fell suicidal. All I knew in life had slipped away. I realized my only source of confidence came from teaching. Now I was 7 hours north of my community, isolated, depressed, lost, stagnant, and living without a purpose. Each day felt like an eternity and I couldn’t pull myself out of my hole. I wouldn’t shower, dress, or take care of myself. I binge ate at night. And all I could do was escape with substances. I started praying one night for guidance and slowly signs and options started appearing. I was jobless and had very little money left in my savings account and didn’t know where to turn. I wouldn’t be able to afford a place on my own anymore without a career. So what now? The more I began to talk to the universe, the more positives slowly began to appear. I have now relocated back to my original community, have reconnected with old friends, and have been welcomed into a home with amazing roommates. I am slowly beginning to regain my life. How did I lose everything? My career, my enthusiasm and passion for life, my athleticism, my health, my self care, my IDENTITY. I am slowly beginning to recognize myself again. Its exciting when I have a reason to smile again. Yesterday, for the first time in who knows how long, I sat outside and just felt the warmth of the sun on my arms. It felt heavenly. Life is coming back to me, slowly, but surely. Thank you for providing an online community to share with – to help not feel so isolated and “different” from others <3 – A 20 something teacher from CA

  • Carol Kretschmer

    All the problems I see in my family and friends, my personal and professional life, can be tracked back to Self Love. Loving and fully accepting ourselves is the solution to most ills. Your article resonated strongly with me . . thank you for the reminder xx

  • Mpetri

    Up until a few years ago, I was so focused on others (my spouse, my child) and their needs, their behavior, their choices, that I didn’t pay any attention to mine at all. And it built up gradually over time, just like you said. And one day, one moment, I “woke up” and decided that I wasn’t going to live that way for the rest of my life. I started making conscious choices to take care of myself. I left a mutually miserable long term relationship. I started moving more and eating less. I started journaling daily, and several other self-care practices. I made these choices and changes gradually, and practiced them one day at a time. I still need lots of practice, but now I have the tools and the skills necessary to grow and change.

  • jo

    Others seem to deserve this far more than I do. Still I wished to say thank you for sharing hope and leading he way, both to Tiny Buddha and Vironika. I keep hoping something will strike the right chord in me If only we could share the book and all benefit together. There is so much to gain from each other. I struggle a great deal and wish there was some way those who suffer wouldn’t have to do alone. It saddens me to know how many of us there are. May we all have what we need to overcome and become balanced once again. <3

  • Lori

    thanks for this

  • Mental health issues come from misunderstandings who we are. A flower understands what it is without needing religion. It knows it needs water and takes it. We suffer from spiritual anorexia, love anorexia, acceptance anorexia. Mental issues are self-love issues.

  • Hi Lynn, I’m glad you see that pretending doesn’t work. I think that’s the first step. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can find the link in my bio above 🙂

  • You deserve it 🙂 Remember that you cannot get addicted to what’s good for you. Only cheap replacements can do that. Look underneath the cravings to what you really, truly need. What’s lovely is that you don’t need to buy it or find it. You’ve always had the power to give it to yourself.

  • I remember writing a song called “Just One More” in another life. I dare you to ride out the waves of the craving. Therein, you’ll find what you really crave. Namaste. 🙂

  • Eric

    Since May of 2013 I have been in a state of depression that I never knew existed. I use to think that mental health was a joke and could easily be overcome. Now I truly understand how dangerous it is and how important it is to love yourself. Although I am still struggling to do this.

    I thought I had my life in track until my girlfriend broke up with me, and it showed me how much I relyed on her to have love for myself. After losing her and watching her connect with someone else abroad I sunk deeper and deeper into this hole. I knew she was going away and I even thought that breaking up was a good idea. Little did I know I was not prepared for this loss. It had proven very difficult to overcome and I wish all of you the best. I still am trying to move forward but finding love for myself is the hardest part.

    Namastè

  • Imagine that, since the day you were born, you’ve been carrying around an umbilical cord trying to plug it into whatever’s available. In your stability, you plugged into life, into love, into yourself. When someone else came along, there was the urge to plug into him. This is totally normal. It happens to us all. It is just a learning process of how to stay plugged into life, love, yourself when there’s a ready trigger available. You will do this better next time because you’ll know that no amount of external triggers can replace your own self-sufficiency. <3

  • Migs L.

    A haiku for you:

    Practice fear… Perfect!
    Perfect practice makes perfect.
    Practice love… Perfect!

    ” I know how you feel “

  • You’d listen to a lover. Why not listen to yourself? Have you ever seen someone not be listened to? They start off quiet, then they yell, then they exaggerate. You’re saying change. You’ve always been saying change. But you haven’t been listening. The die part is just for dramatic effect. You don’t really mean it and you know it.

  • Logan Francis Trudeau

    It sure doesn’t feel like that some days. I am tired of always struggling.

  • Logan Francis Trudeau

    It is hard to stick around not knowing the reason. This has been a 23 year struggle with depression and suicidality. I am worn down and tired of the struggle.

    I stay so I don’t cause collateral damage.

  • If you have ever loved another person, laughed until you cried, or watched a beautiful sunset, you do not hate yourself. You are not some body or some set of emotions. You’re not your words. You are not your experiences or your brain or your thoughts. You are a tiny fraction of the universe, just like the rest of us. You are the difference between the one who’s reading this right now and a plastic clone of your body. How can you hate that? Self-loathing, I’ve found, is just a misunderstanding of who “self” really is. Your true self is powerful, eternal, and beautiful. It can’t be harmed, killed, or threatened. It can’t fail or achieve. It can just continue to exist, in whatever form, moment to moment. Everything else is tassels. If you try to love tassels, you will grow bored. Tassels are boring, ugly even. You are more than tassels. You are life itself and that is a beautiful, wonderful thing. <3

  • Mary Quigley

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this article and inspires me to make positive changes in the year ahead. Thank you for sharing!

  • Mary Quigley

    Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed reading this article and will be great inspiration for me to make some positive changes in the coming year. Thanks for sharing!

  • Connie

    Thank You

  • Lynn Tiffany

    I have found this book and bought it…. and shared it with my sister who though skeptical is interested in your book too! Brightest Blessings and thank you for writing this book, sharing Your Journey and Holding my hand…while i strip back all the lies and pretense….Thank You..xx

  • Jen

    Thanks for sharing this. Would love to win your book 🙂

  • Jayred

    I am an older woman (58, nearly 59) and I have had issues with depression and anxiety all my life, with different and varying periods .. at one time an addict and suicidal and many years of blackness. My father suicided on my 14th birthday, but even so, I would say I existed in a depressed state prior to that. Both my parents suffered depression. I did a lot of therapy in my earlier years and it was very helpful. I also used SSRI medication successfully for many years – in fact, it probably saved my life. At the beginning of 2013 I stopped my medication (well, very gradually actually and with a lot of difficulties). Since then, I am struggling a lot with depression again (but I did to an extent on the medication too … I think it lost its effectiveness after many years of being on it). What helps? Sometimes not a lot. But, trying to accept where I am is certainly key; gratitude (when I can remember all that there is to be grateful for); animals and nature; trying to remember that I am loved … It is a hard road, as hard as any chronic illness … It would be nice to experience what you speak of – that sense of effortlessness, which is I guess is an acceptance of oneself. I have overcome severe addictions (to drugs) in my lifetime, I also don’t drink or smoke. I do however have weight that I carry (and it really is a weight!), although I eat very healthily. I think these days, depression is more of a state of no energy for anything, than the blackness of earlier years. To all who suffer with this debilitating state, I wish them lightness and hope and acceptance of self. Thank you for putting yourself out there in this article.

  • Teresa Fisher

    A fascinating perspective.

  • T

    Thank you Vironika.

  • Dave van der Linden

    I can totally relate to this, for a while I felt empty inside, I did not have anything and I did not want to do anything. All I wanted was to go to party’s and enjoy the music so I would forget about everyday life in society. I have tried different kinds of drugs which all would give me a boost in that and some following moments. It was after these moments though that I would want more, making these moments longer, not wanting them to end. After that I met a girl that really loved me but I could not let go of old habits, I actually wanted to go party and take drugs rather then going to her to spend time with her. After two years I thought I had nothing to give so I broke up with her and for a while everyday became very self destructive. Only for a while though, I met another girl I felt very attracted to and did everything so I could be with her, I gave up drugs and parties and did all she wanted so she would be with me. I got myself a job and worked really hard for this relationship, gave it all I had, got us a nice appartment and gave her all she wanted. It was only after we had a son together that I felt unloved and all my actions I did for her was taken for granted. I was only giving and giving and ending up feeling down and once again empty inside. I started partying again and being with my friends taking drugs. It was on recent new years eve that I realized that all my intentions were wrong, I have been trying to feed my temporary ‘needs’ and always got disappointed. I was playing music on parties to help people to let go of their temporary ‘needs’ but I was not able to do so myself. I realized that I was trying to give something I do not have, I ended up just taking. After a while of just taking and not giving I was not able to receive. I made the choice to let go of even my son now because I have nothing to give to him. I need to balance myself. I need to let go of my desires and set priorities. I need to unlock my creative being to spread love. I choose to make psychedelic music with all the love I have and play it for dancefloors, making people breathe in my love and hopefully releasing it amplified, making eachother feeling loved, welcome and at home. I can absorb these feelings again to return to my son, releasing these feelings to him amplified. It is not easy to be open on this planet where we all the time get distracted from what really matters but I think if we don’t let ourselves get distracted from the goals we set for ourselves we can realize them, it won’t be easy, we have to make lots of sacrifices and do a lot of hard things that we don’t really want to do but if the intentions are truly right, all we need is within our reach.

  • John

    Hello
    I just came across this today after hating myself for years, like yourself i dont like the way i look, see myself as boring, dont think i am good at my job etc etc. Everyone else see me differently. I have in the past told potential partners not to get involved with me incase they get hurt due to my insercurites.

    And dont know what to do about it, I want to love myself i want a lot of freinds but dont belive i derseve any.

    Sorry feel free to delete this comment if you want

  • Tiffany Buczek

    This was one of the more “real” articles I’ve read on the subject. Thank you for being so honest about your experiences.

  • laura

    I love this.
    ” I realized that self-love was not option. If you don’t love yourself,
    you’ll destroy yourself and do what’s bad for you. There’s no middle
    ground”

    Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being brave, open and honest.
    Thank you for confirming self-love to others.
    🙂

  • Tiffany Buczek

    No, it’s not wrong. In the world of social media where people portray only the wonderful things about their lives, the rest of us feel very alone. It helps to know we’re in good company.

  • sezz

    Logan – I know that I can’t say anything that will change the way you feel, but I just felt I had to reply. I really hope you choose to change – but from my own experience, it takes lots of tiny changes and tiny steps. I don’t know about us all being here for a reason – but we are all here nonetheless. And I think we can choose our own “reasons” each day – maybe it’s just to enjoy a beautiful sky, or encourage someone, or watch a good movie! The vast majority of us are not going to change the world – but we can change the way we see our world and the way we see ourselves in it. Anyway – I hope you find a glimmer of light in the darkness – a little positive moment in your difficult days.

  • Dawn Bridgeman

    Great words and so true. Thank you for this!

  • Wendy M

    Simply amazing… Exactly on time and perfect. I’d love a copy of the book.

  • dlynch33

    I totally understand what you are saying Logan! I have felt like this for most of my life, it started in my teens and never left. It is an overwhelming and totally consuming tiredness. When I hit those points, all I can say is I’m so tired. It doesn’t really come close to describing it at all, but that is all that can be said about it. The only reason I have not committed suicide, is that I can not bare the thought of hurting my family. For years I’ve tried to find ways that would let them know it wouldn’t be their fault and there was nothing they could have done. But I knew in my heart what it would do to them. Then someone very close in the family did exactly what I had wanted to do all those years…and I saw first hand what it did to those people I had wanted to spare from that pain! The only thing that has helped me is something that is going to sound really weird, but here it is. I gave permission to my thoughts to everyone on the other side. (I call it home, some call it heaven, you get the point) I still get that way an awful lot, but I don’t stay that way. Every time I get like that, since giving that permission, I can’t hold those thoughts very long. No lie, it is like someone else keeps changing the subject in my head and before I know it I am off thinking about something else. It is not a cure all, but it has changed my life quite a bit. Please try it, my friend. ♥

  • Monica Forbes

    This way of thinking really spoke to me. I look forward to reading the book.

  • Kathryn N

    I love the excerpt – stated in such a way that it breaks through the layers and touches my core – I love it!!

  • Willow Lucas

    thanks for the post, it was exactly what I needed to read today!

  • Nia

    Still struggling to like myself after 3 years of counselling, but reading your post has given me hope that I might change things one day!

  • Jocelyn

    I have crashed many times over the years. My big problem is clinical depression. I finally had to accept that it is my brain chemistry, and I can’t control it. I have to take antidepressants and accept that I will take them the rest of my life. The other thing that brought this about is stress from overworking. I have to accept that I will never be able to take much stress, and I will always have pay attention to my stress level. These lessons have been hard for me to learn, and even harder for me to keep up my “habits”. However, it’s the only way to allow me to enjoy my grandchildren, and they are so precious to me.

  • Noho

    It’s that easy and that hard. I hope I win a copy of your book because I want it and I need it and (gulp) I think I’m totally worth it (-:

  • Hazel Eyes

    The timing of this article is perfect. Just home from the Dr today and must face some tough challenges ahead for myself. All things are possible with positivity and willingness to try – and never give up. I look forward to reading more from tinybuddha.com. Thank you!

  • Vidya

    Please could I have a copy for my daughter. I cant afford to buy it but I am so worried about her and this blog post sounded so much like her

  • Peace

    Thank you it hit home

  • Y3

    I sincerely hope that you get better friend, don’t give up hope. The fact that you already posted here is proof that you are willing to make a positive change and that in itself is a brave action, so it’s not too long until that positive energy looks for you. Good luck friend.

  • Logan Francis Trudeau

    I am trying.

  • Logan Francis Trudeau

    I often use the wolf parable which talks about which thoughts and emotions we are giving energy to and try not to get stuck in the feelings. It makes it more tolerable but does not get rid of the underlying feelings.

  • Shannon Joy

    Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to read at exactly the moment I needed to hear it. I just love serendipity!

  • Hols

    wonderful post Vironka! i have been sober for almost 17 years., non smoker for 12 years, and am still working on that sugar habit. Some days I eat mindfully, others not so. But I can link the way I am feeling about myself with the way I eat…… all so interesting. And I am a yoga teacher who is human…..some days do “well”, and others days fall back into old habits. Acceptance of me, where ever I am, is very important. Thank you for your thoughts.

  • dottie

    Thank you for this post. And thank you Helen, for your repost to Dizzle. Just what I needed right now.
    I am always trying to improve
    myself, it’s never enough and I’ve worn myself down. I was so tired this
    last year, and so dissapointed. I can’t seem to find my goal in life,
    I’m trying and searching always struggling, fighting myself. For as long
    as I can remember. And smoking and eating lots of chocolate because how miserable would my life be without that?
    I know I have to stop doing this. On januari 1st
    this year someone posted an empty sheet of paper on her facebook. Her
    to-do list for 2014. And suddenly I realized I need that same paper. I
    don’t have to try so hard to be better than I am. I am allowed to just
    be here.
    And that is such a relief to me. I can give up the struggle. And maybe then, after a while, I won’t need all those cigarettes anymore. Who knows.

  • Karleen Wagner

    I love you author…this just reassured what I have been trying to put to words for soo long…my most appreciation for your wonderful, englighting words.May all human beings find this state of mind you talk about in this article.Namaste:)

  • Angilee Memyselfandi

    Thank you
    I needed this article today,buddha has been a big part of my evening ritual since June ,but this really hit home today

  • YJ

    Thank you for writing this inspiring article. I am totally moved by your own experience of discovering the importance of loving yourself. I really appreciate this opportunity of encountering with your article. Bless you and be happy!

  • Johanna_Galt

    Thanks for sharing this Vironika. It really resonates for me. In fact, instead of making my New Year’s resolution directed toward “fixing” or “improving” something about myself (which implies I’m somehow ‘broken’ or not good enough), I decided instead to focus on simply loving myself. So reading this today just helps to reinforce the importance of that even more. Thank you!

  • This was an eye opener. Thank you for writing this!

  • Chelseawm

    Wow. Just wow. I’m a “long time reader, first time commenter” This post is so timely for me and I just want to thank you. We might be experience twins in this crazy universe.

  • Yehonala

    <3 You would never fuel your car with just whatever why would you do so for your body <3

  • Alma Guadalupe

    In 2004 I had a mass in my lung. Fear and chemotherapy drove me to lose 79 pounds. I kept the weight off for 5 years. Then I found out that I needed a double lung transplant and I had to lose 40 pounds. At this point I was on oxygen for 24/7 and had very high needs when exercising. I was able to lose 27 pounds. I did not reach the doctors goal so they gave me one lung because the window for transplant was very short. I could not even stand for long, or talk. I was not even smiling. Through these struggles I learned to love myself. I dieted and I even was on totally raw foods for about 2 years. I do have the discipline but I am not consistent. After eating my heart out and taking loads of steroids I gained 47 pounds. I have lost 12 of them but have not gotten back to consciousness since the holidays.

    I need that state of mind to be good to myself consistently I have worked consciously on positive thoughts for 10 years now. I have to be mindful of all my thoughts, I have to respect myself more to exercise consistently and I have stop numbing my emotions with food and express them more consistently. You see I have changed. I am a work in process but I still need help because I want to be the best person I can be.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom as it has put some words to my emotions. It has given me the information, I believe, I need. I seek the mindset.

    Namaste,
    Alma

  • A.F.

    Thank you for writing this. It totally resonates with me, I am also slipping back into the old habits I have tried to quit. So I gave up cigarettes for 6 months now but had a couple of joints given to me as a present from an old friend who knew my old habits. So of course, I smoked them and actually relaxed. but then the hunt was on again. Being in my 40’s, single parent in a new town. When I realised I was not going to get anymore, the hate came back tenfold. So, can’t get high, what to do, exercise… pffft that would mean I need to have ambition to make myself fit. I will be judged as I wobble down the street since I have gained apx 10kgs since I stopped smoking. I crave companionship but know I wont get it in this frame of mind. So, depression kicks in, again. Wine, yes wine will help. Until I wake up the next day hungover so so desperately angry at myself, going to work and hating people for being happy. This is not me. This is not who I want to be.

  • Alias

    Reading this article felt as if someone held a mirror to my demons & exposed my secrets and fears. I appreciate your honesty & would love to hear more.

  • Judy

    I will hold you to the light so that grace will be yours. You need a soul reading.

  • Deanie

    sounds very familiur.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    That’s a good reason to stay. Suicide is unending devastation and guilt for those who remain. You are a beautiful person. I hope you can find some peace.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    I liked your post, but I don’t understand what you mean by giving permission to you thoughts to everyone on the other side? What did you mean by that, can you explain a little more? Thanks.

  • Merry

    For myself, it is my weight that I struggle with. Like you, I don’t eat meat because I don’t want it. I don’t smoke, because I don’t want to. I drink only a little, because I don’t want to drink a lot. I lost 83 pounds and have gained back 25 of it and I don’t know if it is the loss of control or what but I am definitely spiraling into situations when I seemingly have lost the ability to say no to myself. I find myself saying that I deserve whatever it is that I know I shouldn’t have, like I have earned it in some way. I was always worth it before–I was always worth exercising before, always worth watching my calories for. But I do struggle with trying to find that trigger to make myself worth it again.

  • Erin McD

    I love this!!!! This is exactly what I need right now in my life. Thank you for the wisdom, and I would love to read more from you.

  • Cheney

    This is amazing. I feel that there is a shift in consciousness in people around me and from conversations that I am vicariously apart of. A very positive change. People aren’t scared of new things anymore. A openness to life like I’ve never experience before.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    I wish you the best, Alma.

  • mmartin

    this is so well said i had to forward it to my mom and sister. Thank you!!!

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou
  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    Hi John. I hope the part that wants to love yourself wins out over the part that wants to hate yourself. You deserve to feel loved.

  • SharingMyTruth

    Perfectly-timed. What you lived through is what I am discovering, as of the latter part of 2013. I cried throughout New Year’s Day, no longer able to hide from myself the fact that I have given up on myself and allowed my thoughts to full-on embrace self-hate and self-sabotage. I felt the relief of deep honesty and a less-burdened body, too. Mine was a gradual embracing, like yours, which seemed to sneak-up on me even while I sensed I was losing more and more touch with reality, becoming hyper-hyper sensitive, and isolating.

    I have chronic health issues that I created, I’m sure, by my thoughts. I have deep loneliness that comes in waves, and an Internet habit that squanders my time so I can numb out from my feelings. I have barely-there self-care, which initially I thought was from the illness and now I realize, stems from my anger towards myself and God.

    The only one who can fix this is me. This is why on Jan 1, I surrendered, and made a decision to stop the online numbing and face my life. It changed me, just to take responsibility. The next day, the things that I had felt traumatized by in 2013 were things I could look at with completely different eyes and ears, and I released my fear/victim energy around them. There is more to go and much to be done between where I am and what I now want: A joyful, peace-filled life that is harmonious and nourishes me from the inside.

    It encourages me to hear you have been able to ride the rocky waves of caring for yourself and giving up, and that you straightened out the relationship between you and you.
    Being alone and isolated has the advantage of allowing me to develop a healthy relationship with myself, after being an insidious enemy to myself.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    🙂 That sounds really nice.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    Very interesting post. I didn’t know it was possible to not know how to use your teeth. You are awesome and this was a very helpful post.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    Agreed.

  • SharingMyTruth

    dizzle, I wish I could sit in a room with you and share a knowing smile. Maybe we could each win a copy of the book and read it together. 🙂

    I relate completely to old tools no longer working. I think that contributed a ton to the despair I allowed — having the expectation unmet and not knowing what to do.

    It’s strange existence for me, too. I know what you mean by the lack of feeling people being there. It makes me glad to know you get it and I want you to know that I get it.

    Maybe as we each journey there’s solace in knowing we are traveling together.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    Am I the only one who thinks the lady up top has on a wee bit too much makeup?

  • Fae Firecaster

    Vironika, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and learning with us! I have lived with depression since childhood, unrelieved angers and hurts, rejections, both real and perceived, and all has led to so much fear and insecurity. After my divorce, I had built up walls so thick and strong around me that I imprisoned myself. Three years ago, I had the courage to step onto a path I continue to walk, often in the dark, but I know it is right for me. On this path, I have been learning to be aware of these types of lessons, I have learned some things about myself and what I need to release. I struggle to do so. I know the message in my head, but putting it into practice is so very very difficult. When receiving the oft repeated message “Let go!” from the Universe, I find myself asking, “How?” As the past three years has gone by, still with the “Let go” message, I see more and more I have to let go of. I am trying to come out of some very deeply painful experiences and resurgence of the depression from the past year. I want so much to see sunlight in my spirit! I want so much to have no more physical pain in my body, no more embarrassment and shame in my head regarding my body, no more feeling unwanted and unloved by those around me because of the expectations I have placed on them. I want to be free. I want to be secure and confident in myself. I seek help, even while knowing the help must come from within, hoping to find something that will trigger that knowledge and healing to be released forth from my dark recesses. Your post really spoke to me in that regard. Thank you!

  • Awakaning

    Dizzle, been there. I am glad to see a ray of optimistic light at the end of your post. Please know that you are not alone. I too feel numbness, but at times it is so strange because it almost burns, which is not numbness, but it hurts somehow. I have found solace here on these blogs and with loved ones. I can’t say I feel your pain, because yours is a unique life, but I could describe some bits of my life as you have. I send you love in the hopes that my opening my heart in true desire to see you succeed will also help melt some of me numbness as well. Keep with it and good luck. Pardon the ramble, but your comments stirred something in me, and I was compelled to reply. I guess you could say you had a positive influence on my life tonight as I acted purely on instinct in this reply, and felt a warmth in my soul. Thanks and again good luck!!!

  • dlynch33

    You’re right, it doesn’t get rid of the underlying feelings. It does help keep us from causing that damage to loved ones though.

  • dlynch33

    I believe in spirit guides, guardian angels, loved ones that have passed on still watching over us, Jesus, and God. When you give permission to your thoughts, you are giving everyone in heaven access to your thoughts at any & every given moment. If they know what you are thinking, then they can step in to try and help you when you need it most. This way you don’t have to tell them what you are thinking and feeling, they will already know.

  • SharingMyTruth

    So inspiring, so glad for your emergence. How did you lose everything — was there a train of thinking that had taken you down? I am trying to understand that for myself.

    To many more days and nights in the heavenly balm of sun and sky, filled with surrender to guidance and new life.

  • SharingMyTruth

    That’s so hard, John. You’re right, how we see ourselves can make life miserable even if others see us as loveable. I hope you are able to experience peace within as you find the inner voice that only has loving things to say about you.

  • SharingMyTruth

    Thank you for these tangible ideas and the reminder that it takes small, deliberate actions to make a big difference. Wishing you much joy in 2014.

  • Ginger Stevens

    Thank you… that was one of the things I needed to hear today. It brings a smile to my face and hope in my heart to know that these are the things that many people are thinking about and reflecting upon. Namast’e

  • SharingMyTruth

    Your post completely spoke to me, as Vironika’s. //no more embarrassment and shame in my head regarding my body, no more feeling unwanted and unloved by those around me because of the expectations I have placed on them. I want to be free. I want to be secure and confident in myself. I seek help, even while knowing the help must come from within, hoping to find something that will trigger that knowledge and healing to be released forth from my dark recesses.// YES. To our letting go.

  • Gidget

    Wow, that was a great post and totally spoke to me. I’m going through similar issues right now and it’s nice to read another experience. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Gidget

    You are not alone. I experience some of those thoughts too. It takes great strength and guts to seek help as well as recognize your feelings/thoughts. You exist and matter. Feelings and thoughts are hard to deal with at first, especially after being numb for so long. A counselor can help guide you through that process…..If you feel like your current treatment is not working, it’s best to be honest and tell her, she may have more suggestions or a referral, never lose hope. As most would say ‘Hang in there’….that used to annoy me…but those 3 little words actually help and make me feel better especially when coming from somebody that relates or cares.

  • Ryan

    Hey! so i must say, this post really hit home for me. I am a 24 year old male and I have been struggling with mental health for quite sometime. I was on meds when i was younger, but felt it did nothing so i stopped after a couple years. I wanted to go a more natural way such as vitamins, exercise, meditation and reading various books on the power of positing thinking and the connection between the mind, body and soul. As much as I can go on and rant about all the things I have learned, and how you can put them into practice… I find it so much easier to tell people how to do it then to actually do it myself.. I often feel like I am stuck in this rut where I just feel lonely, confused and sad and I try to do all these different things to help me but it never seems to work… or perhaps i dont stick to it long enough. However, when you feel so down, its so much easier to sit and sulk on the couch, or cry in alone in your bedroom than it is to get up and do something about it. some days i feel so mentally drained, and just tired of always feeling sad. but then there are other days where i feel great, positive and motivated. but it never lasts. This summer i went traveling in europe for 2.5 months.. visited 11 countries and 22 cities… i thought all of this would help because i love the planet and there is so much i want to explore. but I found myself sad over there at times, and came back home feeling the exact same way as when i left. my job didnt work out the way i had hoped when i returned either so im feeling lost career wise and dont know what to do with myself. ive also never been able to land a relationship which is why i feel so lonely. sometimes i feel its the universes way of telling me “how can you love someone else if you cant love yourself?” but i dont know how to love myself. at least not for more then a couple days. ive been in talks with a therapist, but i keep canceling. i dont want to waste my money.. i feel i need more then just another person to talk to. I keep reading about how people hit such a dark spot in their life that they suddenly have a break through and see the light.. I feel like i should be hitting that point but i never can. I want that to happen to me but obviously i cant force it. I am just so tired of feeling the way i do and have no idea how to fix it. I want to find my inner peace, just don’t know where to start.

    sorry for the long paragraph. i hope it is not too confusing to read. i just always have a lot on my mind but even as ive written all that i still feel like there is more for me to say. feels good to vent though..

  • Diana O’Brien

    Thank you for this post, and for the book giveaway. I am up date reading this because I have been talking with my 9 year old daughter about this subject for the last hour. I realized that I need to be an example of self love for her to follow. I feel so fortunate that she has the courage to initiate such conversations.

  • Amanda

    This really struck a chord with me. I think you hit the nail on the head. I’d love to read your book.

  • Greg Cerrato

    I think that is the key….finding out the deeper seated issues behind our actions….the solution is always to love yourself….the path towards that self love is the easiest thing to do seemingly but I can always fall right back into that trap of not being good enough or not being who I think I could be….its loving yourself on your journey to becoming your highest self, its loving the journey itself and all of the souls you meet along the way who help you along your learning process 🙂

  • Tiffany Angelle Garner

    Great post! I would love a copy of your book. 🙂

  • Blue lotus

    It seems not only good timing this message comes to me, but that I am in a place to hear it. Thank you.

  • uberkelly

    This really and truly spoke to me. Thank you so much for articulating what I’ve wanted to express for so long.

  • Lydiologist

    This really hits close to home. I would love to read her book.

  • Kel

    I would like to start loving myself too! Ive never looked at my vices in this way! Maybe its time i showed myself some respect! I dislike that i smoke, im 40 and have been smoking since i was 13! Its time i have 5 beautiful children and i need to show them that i want to be around to see my grandchildren! Thanks for planting some seeds in my mind, now to work out how to do it by loving myself enough to care about me and my health! If i could have one wish granted it would be to be a non smoker for the rest of this life and all of my future ones too!

  • Heather Bromley

    Great post – A reminder for everyone to love themselves more, I love the part were you said ” If you don’t love yourself, you’ll hurt yourself” .. So true..

  • Heidi

    I was deeply moved by the wisdom shared and like many other readers, I can relate to it easily. Perhaps this is one of the biggest challenges for us; to learn how to unconditionally love ourselves and listen to our souls amidst the everyday challenges of social conformity, perfectionism, social idealism, cultural traditions, family expectations etc, all of which can, at times, equal stress in all its forms. Like many others, I would love for life to be ‘stress free’, simple and easy, free of hurt, pain, sorrow and strain. But, as so many others have mentioned, the sweet of life would not be as sweet without a taste of the bitter. I can honestly say that I have a greater appreciation of my life not because of the challenges that I have faced, but because of the challenges that I have overcome. And each small step that I can conquer gives me confidence and strength to face the next. Perhaps if we could all love and respect ourselves a little bit more we could soon find out that anything is possible and that we can be happy and relish every moment of life.

  • Belinda

    Hello Vironika, Im not one to comment on pages like this, but you have struck a cord with me. I am an over eater and told i am a control freak, tho i rarely feel in control of myself. Each year my resolution is to clean up my diet and start treating myself better, and i tell myself ‘then i will be in control’. Famous last (or first) words, hey? So here we are at the beginning of a new year and Im trolling self help pages to give myself an edge, a decent shove forward, and all the while a voice in my head is telling me “what’s the point? You know it wont make any difference. You will fail like you always fail” and as the pattern goes, a few weeks from now i will lose momentum, make peace with myself and continue as i always have. Deluding myself that i am happy and that nothing need to change. But is that really the truth?

  • Jackie

    What a great article and I agree with the conclusion it is all about respecting your thoughts and yourself. Thanks!

  • ae

    Wow! Very interested in reading your book! I seem to have been on the brink of change for some time now 🙂 I just want to change already! The above article is well written and easily relatable. Love the message!

  • Natalia Xavier

    Yesterday I woke up at 5pm. Yes, 5pm. I couldn’t get out of bed, so I slept again until 2am. That’s when I decided to send a message to my best friend. I wrote just one sentence: “There’s something wrong with all this sleeping.” He texted me back asking what it could be. I told him: “I don’t know why I’m so sleepy, but what scares me even more is that I don’t know why I don’t want to wake up.”

    I have been sleeping a lot lately. I have been feeling so, so lonely lately. I feel like I don’t have a reason to go on. I have no tangible dreams, no aspirations, no family, no love for my body, no motivation. I feel that I don’t deserve to be loved. I just want to sleep. Sleep makes the days go faster. But the problem with it is that during the few hours I’m awake, I’m hating myself for not having done anything, for having spent the day in bed. Again.

    In 2012 I had a breakdown. I spent 7 weeks in a psychiatric hospital. After that experience I thought I would be able to make some changes in my life. At first I did make some changes. I moved away from the people that hurt me; I started a new life in a new city; I tried to connect more to my own feelings. But that all stopped. It’s just as Vironika said: you don’t realize the consequences because they are gradual.

    When I got half way through this text, a weird sound started coming out of my mouth. A squeak. A painful squeak. I realised I was crying, after a long time without shedding a tear. I also realised I’m scared. I don’t know what to do, or if I will be able to do it. I’m crying as I write these words because…I’m lost. And I’m afraid no one will look for me. Not even myself.

  • Anne Nield

    Fabulous article. Thank you. It is ringing a lot of bells.

  • Alli Priole

    Thank you for posting this! It was a definitely a great read!

  • Anonymous

    I feel like I’m waiting to be hospitalized. My whole life I knew I’d look like my real self if I could just control my weight and that proved impossible since my first attempts before I was ten. I became bulimic when I was 19 and what started as a weight loss endeavor has become a toxic cycle that has resulted in debt, law-breaking, drinking and drug binges, and a body that is being rotted from the inside out. My feet bleed when I’m at work. My eyes and throat bulge. My hair stopped growing. I lost my period and was told I’m infertile. I lost the love of my life to MYSELF. This is true self-hatred at its core and I fear death. I agree whole-heartedly with this post, and have said these same things to myself so many times. I’m afraid I’m waiting for something detrimental to happen…but just as you said, had I gone to bed healthy last night, I would hospitalize myself if I awakened in the current state I’m in. I’m so afraid, but it’s so much less painful to numb it all.

  • Pat

    Wow wow wow What synchronisity . I was wondering the very same sentence you have quoted. I was wondering why I don’t do the things that I know are good for me, and then your post came up ” What to do when you find it hard to do what’s good for you”. Thank you the book will be amazing. xxx

  • Nicole

    Thank you so much for this post. It was much needed.

  • Chloe Selaiden

    Great article!! Thank you ♡♥

  • Violeta

    Thank you for this, I am going through this journey of self healing myself. I woke up one morning and I made a comittment not to hurt myself anymore. My children are my mirrors and my masters every day. I see myself through their eyes and nowadays I struggle to understand my own emotions and needs, instead of just imposing myself a certain behaviour. I do the same with others, especially my family. As you said, the key is to understand what lies beyond a certain behaviour, to recognize the pain and, as Kim Eng said, love it to death (until it dissappears). Blessings to you all, peace and wisdom ! 🙂

  • Discus

    I love your story. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sam

    Vironika this is a beautiful post, I particularly like the points at the end my favourite being

    I didn’t need to stop drinking. I needed to stop numbing my emotions

    carry on sharing the love 🙂

  • ee22

    Thank you Vironika. Wise words.

  • Cat D T

    Vironika, can you please elaborate when you wrote, “…realized that self-love was not option.”? Thanks! Great article, by the way. <3

  • Carrie Tiedke

    Thank you for writing what you wrote. It made me cry. Tears of joy that there was a REASON I felt this way. I have been searching for that reason for years. The reason is THERE IS NO REASON. I keep trying to find WHY I don’t take care of myself. Why I don’t care about myself. Therapy, EMDR, tapping, meditating, I needed to know WHAT or WHO in my past made me dislike myself so much. Nothing logical made sense. I am smart. I am funny. I am a good friend. I am kind. All the traits I like in other people….but I can’t appreciate them in myself. What resonated the most with this writing is the part Change or Die. When I hit my bottom with alcohol 12 years ago; that is exactly how I felt. Even though for the previous several years I wanted to die and didn’t care if I did, when I hit my bottom, my “being” wanted to LIVE. I would LOVE and be honored to win your book! I think it would help me a great deal. A friend shared this post on a facebook group I am involved in Tapping for Weightloss…and I am so grateful to her, and for you for writing it!

  • Carrie Tiedke

    Oh Vironkia! “you’ve been carrying around an unbilical cord trying to plug it into whatever’s available” YES YES I have! Whether it’s a man or a bag of chips or a pack of cigarettes! What an awesome (yet sad!) analogy! Thanks for that!

  • Carrie Tiedke

    Logan, this may sound strange, but I have been suicidal a good majority of my life. I am 45 now and have been sober and clean for 12 years, and have only thought of suicide a few times-and briefly. I am not saying you need to quit drinking…lol, just sharing what was true with me. When I was younger it didn’t have anything to do with drinking or drugs, so I am not blaming that. Anyway….I heard something a few years ago that really freaked me out…something that never occurred to me all the times I thought of suicide. I never went through with it because I didn’t want to hurt my family. But the peace,and serenity, and to just STOP the PAIN was Soooooooo tempting. Anyway, what I heard was….What IF, when you die, and if there really is an afterlife……and in this afterlife…you are STILL depressed?? What if your FINALLY going through with it and committing suicide didn’t stop the pain? So you hurt those that love you for NOTHING. Freaks me OUT. Hope it helps you. I also was always afraid that I might be able to see my family mourn for me….that would be awful. Hang in there buddy…..life CAN be good.

  • ymk

    This article was awesome. I’ll keep reading it because that will help me when I need it. Glad to know I’m not the only one. Thank you

  • Carrie Tiedke

    Thank you for writing what you wrote. It made me cry. Tears of joy that there was a REASON I felt this way. I have been searching for that reason for years. The reason is THERE IS NO REASON. I keep trying to find WHY I don’t take care of myself. Why I don’t care about myself. Therapy, EMDR, tapping, meditating, I needed to know WHAT or WHO in my past made me dislike myself so much. Nothing logical made sense. I am smart. I am funny. I am a good friend. I am kind. All the traits I like in other people….but I can’t appreciate them in myself. What resonated the most with this writing is the part Change or Die. When I hit my bottom with alcohol 12 years ago; that is exactly how I felt. Even though for the previous several years I wanted to die and didn’t care if I did, when I hit my bottom, my “being” wanted to LIVE. I would LOVE and be honored to win your book! I think it would help me a great deal. A friend shared this post on a facebook group I am involved in Tapping for Weightloss…and I am so grateful to her, and for you for writing it!

  • Aliroo

    Sometimes the way out is through… through the pain and the self hatred. I’ve been bouncing around at rock bottom off and on for over half of my life. I’m feeling more hopeful since I found my way to self
    Forgiveness. I forgive myself that I am not where I thought I should be. Doing the things I want to be doing. And this forgiveness comes from the realization that I do love myself. Even if it is just a tiny spark that has kept me from committing suicide. It has been there. Articles like this one fan the flames so I take time everyday to read and then do something to keep the fire burning. Love is action.

  • grammaof9

    “I didn’t need to watch my calories, I needed to watch my thoughts”….Ooh, that’s what I need to hear and do. I eat to ‘fill’ myself, but its the wrong kind of filling.. now to discover what it is that needs filling…. Thank you for this wonderful article!

  • Samantha

    Incredible post, thank you for your honesty and the beauty in your words!

  • Christy Niece

    Your article came to me at the perfect time. With the new year starting, I reluctantly created a list of goals for 2014. I say reluctantly because I know that everything on that list are things I know I should do, but I will probably never get around to, or will just fade away like all the previous years. On my lunch break at work, I was even searching the internet for ways to stick to my goals and stop procrastinating. Then I wake up this morning to find your article staring me in my face! Whether it’s the law of attraction or just coincidence, I’m thankful.

  • Lily2008

    Very powerful thought-provoking words. I hope that I take them to heart. I have been in a self-loathing spiral for so long. Reading the comments also helps me to know I am not alone. The book sounds amazing.

  • Corky

    Wow…that is so inspirational, especially as I have been thinking of quitting smoking. Nag nag nag..a constant battle between conscious and sub conscious. I really want to do it. and will endeavour more now. Thank you so much for providing me with a kick up the whatsit. xxxxx

  • Corky

    Please don’t hate yourself. You are special and loving and beautiful, you just can’t see it at the moment. Try to be grateful for all the small things in your life and take pleasure from simple things that make you happy and you can turn your life around. I wasn’t as bad as you but had low self esteem, depression and menopause all in one! I felt so sad all the time and had bad things happening but I have turned things around in 2 months and now can cope and feel happy all the time. I hope you can unlearn habitual thinking and get some positives back into your life. Try 5HTP tabs too, they are natural and help your brain produce Serotonin. Thoughts become things, think happy and you will have a happy life. x

  • Talat Halman

    You’ve shared two key points: (as in AA) sanity only comes through surrender to a Higher Power and submitting to its care and (as in the Release Technique) challenge your self by asking yourself “Could you give up wanting approval so you can have approval?” I think that our need to get approval from others is at the heart of self-hate and that processing this question leads one to self-love.

  • TK

    Wow this was something. I have been out of school for the past few years now and I have been in a place of discontent and misery. Jobs that I hate, sleeping on couches, and year after year nothing ever seeming to change. I’ve been studying acting also but when there is time for me to go to an agency or submit myself to something, anything I always seem to talk myself out of it. ‘My hair is not done’, ‘I have to get in shape first’, ‘one more workshop’. It’s exhausting. after reading this I discovered that there are things going on inside that I need to be dealing with. Like loving myself and being confident in knowing that this is what I am supposed to doing and actually going after it. Time is just wasting and I can’t help but to think how worse I will feel in 10 years still standing still.

    Thank you for this. I look forward to reading your book.

  • Katie

    To love oneself – so valuable, I do wish it could be taught as one is growing up instead of all the negatives so readily dished out.

  • the_leaky_pen

    Aw man, I feel that. I’m one of my favourite people in the world, but even so I struggle to think of myself as worthy–of love, of health, of caring. This is a really important reminder.

  • Lori

    Oh yea, remember to love myself! Always back to love…….. I forget sometimes.

  • Sufisinder

    My daughter really needs to read this book as it would help her a lot I’m sure. Thank you for caring for others and all your on going work to keep helping others.

  • Kim

    Thank you for sharing…

  • Pep.

    This was the most powerful article I have ever read. I have never had something hit home so hard or strike such a chord. Beautifully written. I have many times found myself unable to stop myself from doing something destructive, and your wise words keyed me in on what I really knew all along. I have recently come to the realization that I have been substituting alcohol for confidence and sex for self-esteem for as long as I can remember. My intention for 2014 isn’t to “stop drinking” or anything concrete – I’m simply calling it “SelfLove2014”. Your book would help me immensely on that journey.

  • DW

    I so desperately want to discover what truly makes ME happy. I find myself always striving to meet what I think everyone else’s expectations of me are. Inevitably I am living in a world full of anxiety. The thing is, I know what I need to do so why can’t I just do it. As soon as I read the opening paragraphs of your post above, about eating better and meditating and all the excuses we make, I knew I’d stumbled into the right page. I’d love to read more of what you have to say. Thank you for your insight and sharing your experience. It makes us feel not so alone x

  • DW

    Brenda thank you for sharing! Thank you so much. I understand how you feel. I know I have so much to live for but damn its hard sometimes. I hope we can all be there for each other in some way. I want you to know you really helped me by sharing.

  • DW

    So true!

  • Zane Zillner

    What a wonderful article. For quite sometime I’ve wondered why it is I always fall back to old patterns. I have a knack for acknowledging the reasons why but have a consistent tendency to ignore taking action to remedy the problem.

    This article just offered a different perspective. Searching beneath the physical pattern looking for the emotional or spiritual root of what may be missing or out of alignment. Often I don’t want to admit to myself the darkness of my inner thoughts, but I am finding that you can’t know the light without the dark and there is a lot of growth and progression that happens within the unseen.

    Thank you again for writing this at the perfect time. <3

  • Freespirit

    I’ve gotten past the self hate and working on loving myself. But, finding that sate of mind where I long to be is sometimes very elusive. I’m dealing with health issues that I believe for the most part are created by my thoughts. How do I change or stop the thought processes that create problems in my life? I know it has to have something to do with loving myself. Thank you for sharing this experience with everyone. I long to read your book.

  • Jay

    Thanks for this beautiful piece of practical wisdom: there’s more to it than meets the eye, and “we”re never upset for the reason we think” (Course in Miracles). Happy New Year!

  • This is a great story and very insightful. Thank you for sharing. It gives hope that there is a better day ahead, no matte what.

  • IwishIcouldhelpyou

    Thanks!

  • Angel

    Well where do i start. The moment when i started hating my self or when they made me realize of my ugliness, when they putted me names, bullied me.
    I just saw this video ¨the pork chops¨ where everything starts when he accidentaly gets to be named pork chops, because of a funny situation. I didn´t remember of this until i saw this animation, i thought it was my fault i was named after like that, or that i wouldn´t be my self if it wouldn´t for them for bullying me, or they weren´t so mean after all. But how many things i have missed if i had skipped high school. The truth is that there were several persons who bullied me and the rest just were compassionate, or they wouldn´t do anything.
    It stopped all of sudden when i started crying for no reason.
    I was looking to fill my emptyness in porn, or trying to get ambicious proyects in design, just making sure they actually recognized me. So i went and go looked for goals, and the perfect place to go and be my self, just trying not to come back dead. So i went to a different city and ate, be, move,by myself. I made it and i realized that finishing this time, i ll finish college, and then nothing would be able to move me because i was again with no motivation.- I hardly speak, i have to think hard before saying something, no gf, hardly ever see my friends, and hardly go out- Then i went to one class that teaches meditation and then learned to breath and not to think in anything else than my breathing.i just went once, after that i found long videos of guided meditation, i don´t listen to them in daylight, i put my ipod and sleep with it. I´m not doing great but i least i´m not feeling very miserable. I have tried hard to change and go out, and speak my mind.
    So the fact is that you should try again, and again until it gets done,
    I´ll get to listen and make more meditation, and found out what i´m here for…or rather just be.And smile more. cheers¡¡

  • YarnYeti

    I want to thank both Tiny Buddha and Vironika for such a wonderful, vulnerable, and soul-stirring conversation. I’m new to this site, and found you from a FB link. I’m interested in your book! Thank you for writing what I most needed to hear – everyone.

  • Petvet

    This was a great article. I am a recovering addict, so I’m always looking for inspiration and spirituality. My favorite part of the article was that “cravings are always a sign” and the few sentences that follow. I printed that part out to hang in my office. I’m very interested in your book, so if I don’t win it, I certainly will purchase it. Keep on writing and inspiring!

  • Le-Roi

    Wow veronika, I really enjoyed you sharing your story. I feel like I’m headed in the right direction, I just have the terrible habit of going back to old ways. I love people for the wrong reasons. Too concerned about doin whats right , or what I think is right, or what society thinks is right. I always end up feeling bad for being myself.i love too much, do these peoole deserve my compassion? Theres way too much thinking involved. Im becoming more in tune the more I meditate, and observing my thoughts from a diatance. Im not strong enough yet, im confident now that I wont renig, but im not perfect. I know whats best for me, but I feel like im heartless and cruel by being myself. I guess I know my problem of not being true to myself…How do I fix it..?

  • sonia

    Wow I identifiy so much of your experience with my own thinking an action, I put the drink down the cigs down the drugs down, surrendered to a higher power an took up.yoga, walking started a small business (I’m not making this up) an today all I talk about is ME, my weight my struggle my difficult life, I even think to myself “shut up”, I fantasize about change but don’t change my routine or add new thinking or take new action, so how can I be surprised when out of the blue, I find my mothers conversation gets me so uptight I think I want to smoke. Signs, lol its so great that after your words I remember I have a choice, I love me or I don’t, I’ve tried don’t for a long time an its time for I do, its the least I cud do for my amazing body that’s got up.mountains swam in lakes, held my baby neiece. Oh wow I think I needed to get that out thank you for sharing your story its made a difference to me x sonia 42 England

  • Elliedodge

    Dizzle. I completely understand how you feel. I, like many others before us, have felt that empty dark space where nothing matters anymore. You receive a hug and you don’t feel the warmth generating to you. People tell you, you have so much to offer, you have so much in your life, you have achieved so much. You look at them and think ‘what the hell has that got to do with anything’. You think they are in some secret ‘happy’ club for which you have missed the invite. If you had spoken to me 6 months ago, I was exactly there. A huge dark abyss that I had been trying to escape for most of my life. I might make it halfway out…but then I would slip back in. It’s the worst place in the world. You have no emotion, you just exist. I remember seeing my new Psychiatrist earlier this year. He told me that if I trusted him, he could make my life better. I laughed at him (I suppose that was a start). So many had tried before. But this time it worked. I started a powerful programme of ‘Psychodrama’ (not as awful as you might think), and various other forms of therapy and psycho-education. My medications were altered and reviewed and I am finally in a great place (could never have imagined me describing my life as great!). I am not saying that this is the ‘fix’ for you. What I am saying is that you are not alone, and this too will pass. You will keep fighting and you will find your fix. Because you want to and because you deserve to. Please take good care.

  • Sally

    This post speaks to me because I was stuck in a self-destructive cycle for most of my life. Like you, I was desperate to break it, and I made many failed attempts over the years. Though my confidence seem to increase over the years, along with my self-awareness, I did not value my self and my life, and I hurt myself and others as a result of my low self-esteem. Recently, with the help of a boyfriend, I have been able to look at my habits and thinking with more objectivity and begin to break the cycle. One idea from your article that particularly strikes me is that an “urge to restart old, destructive habits is always, always a sign.” I will try to consider what is missing when I have the urge to smoke, focus on the past, binge eat, drink, Netflix, etc…

  • Amber

    I have never really ‘loved’ myself, i accept myself… i suffer with PTSD, OCD, chronic anxiety/panic attacks and depression. I have begun my road to finding myself again, healing myself, loving myself.. i go to gym almost everyday, started eating well, therapy, yoga etc.. i quit caffeine, and drinking but still im failing to kick smokes.. i would love a copy of your book, really.. it would help so much, its a long rocky road to recovery, but i will get there. loved your blog Vironika!

  • Kyle

    Thank you.

  • Tiffanie

    I’ve definitely been sabotaging myself in a lot of ways lately. I started smoking in the last two weeks when I never smoke. I failed the CA bar exam and am supposed to be studying to take it again in Feb, but I can’t even get myself to open one of the books. I’m in a relationship with a man who is clearly losing interest, yet I still bend over backwards to make him happy. I’ve been eating terribly, refuse to exercise and I leave my house only to pick up junk food to shove down my gullet…convincing myself that food is the only thing that can make me happy. I’m so sad…it makes me cry just thinking about it. Maybe I don’t love myself…it’s not something I’ve ever sat down and truly pondered. Your article helped me realize I am sad, but I just don’t know what action I need to take to fix it.

    You mentioned you read a few books to help you kick off the having process. Would you mind sharing the titles?

    Also, what other actions did you take to learn to love yourself?

  • Po

    I really love this post because it shows me how to wake up. Your stories are so real and common… Without any extreme challenges of my own (I’m not obese, smoker, etc.) I can still feel empty and in a downward spiral. My favorite idea is that if a non smoker wakes up with ten years of a smokers side effects, they would think something was horribly wrong- I think the same can happen to us mentally. If a college student woke up as a sixth grader, or a middle aged adult as a college student, we would be shocked at how our minds have changed, and at how- for many of us- negativity has taken over. This story is a wake up call and has some beautiful stories, and I thank you for sharing 🙂

  • APJ

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story. We are our own worst critics. I have eaten less healthily and drunk more alcohol recently, and I have allowed myself to use the holiday season as justification for that, but I an well aware that that’s simply made it easier for me to do it an that it comes from a deeper place from where the healing and self-love need to come. Again, many thanks.

  • Luttie

    I don’t understand the last comment “it’s all downhill from here.” Should it have said “uphill.” I stopped smoking New Year’s Day 1988 when I woke from a Hugh hangover and smoke was still coming from my mouth. I had to smoke a ton of cigs that night. I had to quit and I did along with booze. Following I got rid of 41 lbs. of fat weight. Do I still long for a cig or a drink and bakery products, yes, but I crave me more.

  • Carrie

    “A craving is never just a craving” WOW! Spoke to me in a big way.

  • Marketa

    This is the first time I read Vironika’s writing and it really shocked me… I needed to read this at this right very moment…

  • Marketa

    This is the first time I read Vironika’s writing and it really shocked me… I needed to read this at this right very moment…

  • Lil Haza

    Your article is just what I needed to hear. I am at a crossroads of seeing what self-hatred has given me in terms of ill health and addiction. Let’s just say there is no way but up at this point. Thank you!

  • Francesca

    This post was amazing, I am going through some things right now in my personal life that are somewhat similar to your experience in realizing you didn’t love yourself or feel like you deserved to be healthy. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us, I would love to read your book. -francesca

  • dumpling

    The belief in what you deserve is so important to change and I’d forgotten that until reading your article. Thank you – it was immensely helpful.

  • disqus_a6pU30dFmB

    Thank you for sharing, this article was very helpful

  • Kathleen Scott

    Very good food for thought. I like the proactive approach, seems so simple to look at it, but that isn’t the way we are programmed to approach things, is it? Sad really. I would love to read your book 🙂

  • Aleydis Haubrich

    This was the best possible thing I could have read at this very moment. Your story resonates with me. Thank you so much.

  • Shan

    Vironika, what an empowering and reassuring post. Thank you for letting all of us know we’re not alone.

  • Edith Torres

    I’ve been feeling like this for years and all I could think was that it was because i didn’t have enough motivation, enough willpower, that there was something wrong with me. I’ve known that I don’t have a high self-esteem either, for years; but reading here that, the reason why I stay in bed until noon even when I’m not sleeping, thinking: “why would I even get out of bed”, for months now, is that I hate myself hit me hard. I know now that it is a matter of change or die and I’m thankful for you sharing this with all of us.

  • Tearbile

    I read a book once on self-hypnosis, and was struck by the observation that many of us do not trust the sound of our own voice, so in order to induce the hypnotic state we may have to tell ourselves to trust the sound of our own voice in our recordings, or have someone else make the recordings for us. In my case, I would qualify the author’s observation to say that I often do not trust the sound of my own voice about _positive things_ about myself. The negative self-talk I have no trouble believing. I work twice as hard to embrace the positive as I do the negative.

    I have two voices: 1) what Julia Cameron and others refer to as the “still small voice” and 2) the critic. The SSV is confident, because it knows my dreams and abilities. The SSV is self-effacing because it got the message from the critic that self-knowledge, and the peace it brings, is narcissistic. The critic is an external voice internalized, and has much reinforcement from the outside world.

    I seek refuge in my dreams and talents, and the pleasure I experience from those pursuits muffles the critic for a time. And when my mood is down or I’m not enjoying _being_, i take my inventory, and find I have allowed my SSV to be muzzled. Need to treat the SSV like my breath, an involuntary reflex that keeps me alive….

    Thanks for any comments on my first post. –T

  • Jessica Johnson

    Your story is amazing. The exact same situation happened to me, I was in the hospital after a mental breakdown and consistent days of drinking, smoking and doing drugs. And when I was released from the hospital, I didn’t crave anything anymore! I figured it was because I had this awakening where I wanted to start taking care of myself so I didn’t feel so much pain all the time, but you are so right, it was because I genuinely wanted to start loving myself. I have met so many people in treatment that have gone through so many things, but never have I heard someone’s story so parallel to mine- the rocky success, hating myself and so badly desiring and trying to find solutions where solutions where not going to be found. Incredible, thank you for sharing!!!

  • heavy

    Even reading this post, I had to talk myself into it. Thank you. Breathing and gratitude is where I start. Thank you.

  • Cindy

    Wonderful article. Thank you. I needed to read that.

  • DBColquitt

    Wow! Thank you so much!

  • Imagine there’s a wise old man inside of you. Perhaps he’s under a cherry blossom tree (wise men love to stand under cherry blossom trees, don’t you know?) And he cannot speak English. He speaks a special language called “feelings”. He is quite concerned for your well-being and he sends you all sorts of messages, constantly trying to communicate with you. Then, when you get the message, your mind tries to reason it out. The mind, however, isn’t always great at figuring out the message. The mind more tries to make the message go away (especially when the message is pain or depression). If you were to listen for the wise old man within, what would he be saying? And, remember all the wise old people you know. They don’t say things like “kill yourself” or “you’re worthless” or any of that. Wise old men are quite kind, gentle, and supportive. He’s saying something else. What is he saying? What do you need to do that you’re not doing? What do you need to fix that you’re not fixing right now? What are you doing to yourself that’s not good for you which needs to stop? What is it that you haven’t dealt with that you must deal with? What is the message?

  • What a wonderful intention. So proud of you. <3

  • Imagine you’re a tree. You water yourself with thoughts. Then, your leaves open to the love all around you. There are certain thoughts that help you open to love and others that make you close, just like watering a tree with water makes the leaves open and watering it with tar makes it close. The thoughts that open us speak our deepest truth. Thoughts like: I am powerful, I am eternal, I am worthy, I am loving and loved, I am perfect the way I am, I am indestructible, I am pure life itself, I am beautiful, I am strong. These make us all feel good and make us all feel more open. There’s a reason for that. I think they call it truth <3

  • Logan Francis Trudeau

    Good ideas. Part of the problem though is that I am so tired. I don’t have the energy to fix the things that need fixing. There is so much to do. I keep plodding along, but would much rather not.

  • All that you want is what you already are. All that you seek has already happened. You are already free, whole, and secure. Realizing this is what is meant by “let go”.

  • I think the only person judging you here is yourself. If someone came to you with that same paragraph you wrote, you would react quite differently. If a five year old child came up to you and asked for a lighter for their joint, you’d hesitate and you’d likely tell them all about why they shouldn’t. The capacity for love is within you. You only have to realize you deserve it, regardless of weight, habit, or mindset. You’re right. This is not who you are. And you will never be. You are not your body, thoughts, or emotions. You are a tiny, brilliant spark of the universe, pure, eternal, and never-ending. You are pure life itself. Nothing external will ever really define you. And there’s a reason for that 🙂

  • Your life is a conversation with yourself. The part of you that is being told all these things is reacting to being spoken to this way. There are consequences for lying to yourself. You know what they are, those symptoms, pains, experiences.
    Isn’t it wonderful that you react in pain to lies? When you finally give yourself the compliments you wish you deserved, you will feel good. Isn’t it wonderful that you react in pleasure to the truth?
    <3

  • Debbie

    What a truly inspirational article, as I sit here, alone in my room doing the thing you have done, recovering and healing from a mental breakdown, and yes, I too am battling old destructive behaviours and feelings of not being good enough, I find myself asking the universe, the angels and god, to help me find a way through, help me stop hurting myself over and over, help me out of the self imprisoned state I find myself battling daily, the highs and the crashing lows, and here I am, reading an article which could have been written about me…..thank you for sharing, maybe somebody was listening after all xx

  • Anna

    I can’t wait to read your book!

  • Deb

    Such great advice, as it addresses the actual causes of unhealthy behaviors, not the symptoms. Very refreshing – thank you! I think her book will be very interesting.

  • Arlene Towle

    queen,
    thank you so much for your thoughts…this made sense to me in a way that very few things have since his death…i can do this and have added it to a prayer i say every morning and evening. <3

    arlene

  • Crystal

    This is an amazing revelation. To love myself. My goal for 2014 is to learn to love myself. I’m hoping to learn how to do that. I believe my failed marriage was due partly to the fact that I don’t love myself enough. Thanks to finding this site, I’m hoping to learn self love:)

  • Heather

    I loved this post and I think it’s all very true. I end up in the same cycle over and over and over again and never getting anywhere. I need to start changing my thoughts, and the changes in behavior will follow, not the other way around. Thanks for the insightful read.

  • Genie

    You know I think this is the best story I’ve read. Thank you for your relentless honesty! I completely related to all of it. I study the teachers and experts and spiritual leaders and I understand what they’re saying, but I never made the connection between the self hatred part and the addictions; partly because I didn’t believe I had the self hatred. I felt I had a happy and productive life — I just smoked. The only one I know who did, but people knew better than to nag me. Now it’s presenting itself and I’ve got to get on the horse and ride. I meditate and I feel great peace — then I light up. I wondered why the desperate prayers and guided meditations on quitting smoking didn’t work — at least not for The truth: I have heart disease and I am smoking. So I must be crazy. Need I say more? I’m just not willing to have a nervous breakdown when I quit, which is what started to happen last time. Is the inner strength there? I’ll follow what I can. I’ll take any help I can get. Thank you so much. I’m still not sure what is driving the fear except that I don’t want to go crazy.

  • designby

    The last sentences of the article really struck a chord. How simple. How perfect!

  • V

    I got absolute chills reading this. It’s so true. What I am most frustrated with is the yo-yo ing. I would be happy, optimistic and then crash. I don’t even want to leave the bed. 🙁

  • v

    HUGS, dizzle. I hope you get the book. I am sending you gentle thoughts and light. hugs.

  • Hannah

    I would love to read this book cover to cover. This article really struck a cord with me. Thank you so much. The #1 thing on my life resolutions (instead of this year, I choose life) is to learn to truly love myself.

  • mdsalazar

    Stumbling across this post was not coincidence. It was just what I needed to hear — right now. Vironika, thanks for being brave, confronting your self-hatred, and now helping others find self-love and peace. Thank you so much.

  • Lucy

    Hi Vironika – I just wanted to tell you that your post propelled me out of bed this morning for a run – the run I’ve been putting off day after day because I’m too tired/too hungry/it’s too late/cold/dark 🙂 So THANK YOU for getting me started. My New Years resolution for 2014 is to love myself, and this is one way of showing that. Lucy

  • Wandering Bodhi

    Wow this really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing Vironika. Ive just had one of those AHA moments. Much love

  • sqwirk

    Thank you for writing this. I’m in the middle of my rejuvenation journey of the self, so to speak. When you mentioned that you “read some books,” which ones did you read? The book you wrote is of course on my list but I don’t know what else I should be reading in order to help me find the way to love myself. I never have and I’m scared that I never will 🙁

  • rabenatz

    I really like that. I am too rational and sceptical for my own good but I think I can actually imagine and believe that. My dad and grandma are “over there” and I miss them so much. They were the few people that kind of understood me and I got some psychical affection from as a child so I really like the thought of them hearing what is going on in my mind and stepping in when I am becoming self-destructive, negative, depressed again. Well, even more than usual. Seriously, some cultures really got it right. You know, those who believe in their elders being always present in their lifes, watching over them?

  • INFJ

    This particular entry has shaken me to my very core. That was 3 months ago but I cannot forget the sentence “self-love was not an option”. There’s a reason why so many people have commented here. This is truth. Surrender to a higher power and you will find your peace.

  • Leslie Laughlin

    I had a rough childhood and spent time on the streets from 11 to 15 ears of age. I struggled through adulthood, however I know there was something better for me and everyone that struggles. I eventually waited tables to put myself through school and achieved a Maters in Social Welfare from Berkeley. I spent the last 15 years working with families facing poverty, family violence, addiction and abuse. I still go through lack of self care and questioning ever mistake I make and find it very difficult getting to yoga class and dance class. I av to watch my thoughts every day. I have wonderful sweet moments of being with my children and I have been able to practice savoring love and self acceptance, however it seems to be a very hard theme to completely be rid of….this unworthiness. I am thrilled that you wrote this book!

  • Operabethie

    Thank you for this. I couldn’t relate more. Beautiful.