how do you learn to love and accept yourself?

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    I am 28 years old, and I don’t know how to love and accept myself. I have always felt like I am not good enough, and was also made feel this way by an emotionally abusive parent growing up.

    I have done so much to try and better myself, so that I might think I am good enough. I lost a bunch of weight 6 years ago (25 kg) and continue to try hard to be fit so I don’t feel fat all the time (which is of varying success, as I have always been an emotional eater). I have worked hard to try and mend what I feel are my personality shortcomings, such as being loud and interruptive and annoying, and I have made progress. But I’ve just come to realise that it doesn’t matter how much weight I lose, I’m never going to have a body I will think is nice, and no matter how much I try to be quieter, or less interuptive, or less opinonated, or less passionate, or less of all the things I believe are wrong me with after years of judgement (both real and perceived), I’m still me and I don’t like me.

    I’ve been trying really hard the last 18-24 months to try and find a sense of balance and peace with life, because up to this point I have constantly doubted things constantly and it causes me to make rash decisions, to isolate myself from others, to be depressed and anxious when I know logically I have so much to be grateful for. I have found meditation helpful to quiet my mind, and have incorporated it, this is still very much a work in progress after two years. I have replaced punishing fitness with nourishing fitness like yoga and walking with my dog, to try and find joy. I have consciouslly broken down my anxiety and causes, my emotional food eating habits, so I can see them for what they are. All this has come to right now, as I write this on a 10 week holiday (also my honeymoon) because I have realised I cannot achueve anything until I can just love and accept myself, exactly as I am today, imperfect as I may be (as we all are).

    The good news is that the steps I have taken are helping with decreasing my anxiety and increasing my calm, and I plan to continue to foster (but meditating and yoa while on the backpacking road has been a bit tough!)

    I just know that I need to keep trying things, and I’m looking for some help.

    I wrote three questions in my journal that I don’t now the answer to:
    How do you learn to like someone that you have never liked for your entire life?
    How do you find beauty in something you have always though was ugly?
    How do you change the fabric of your being (as my self loathe feels to me)?

    I do have so much to be grateful for. I am not obese, and growing up I never though I would be healthy or strong. I have a soulmate who loves me and is gentle and supportive of me , and I also never dreamed anyone would ever love me. I have a comfortable lifestyle and have positive people within my reach, if I just wasn’t so insecure about the genuinity of their opinion of me.

    Has anyone out there been able to take their negative view of them self, a perpetual opinion that they are lacking in some way, and become satisfied? What worked?


    Hi Angie,

    I don’t feel I necessarily have too much advice (or experience of truely doing what you want to do, and that we all need to do), but I just wanted to say I was really struck
    by your post. I left the last post ‘where to be, regret and confusion,’ we are both 28, and from your first sentence, we sound very similar- I could have written your first sentence. ….But I would just like to say I really admire your determination and the work you have done and I would love to hear other peoples thoughts on your questions.


    Hello Angie,
    Glad to know you thru your letters. I have to confess that what you wrote is very sticky for me. Why?, because I know how it feels, actually, I still face those feeling in my life, the difference with the “former me” is the way I interact with those kind of situations today :).

    I read it carefully, word by word, I’d like to mention a couple of things that could help you(If do it, I’ll be more than happy). Quick tips:

    -As I can see, you understand “change” as something hard to achieve and even harder to sustain. You should work on realizing that change is actually easy when you’re focused, and look, change is the life’s second name.

    -Our vocabulary defines too much of what we get in life, I know probably you already know this, but, I noticed you like so much words like “hard”, “try”.. change them for “easy” and “I’ll do”. Believe me, you’re results will speak by themselves.

    -So… stop!.. before changing and improving what you are… accept yourself the way you are today… If you don’t do it, and you change, eventually you will have a lack of satisfaction, because you’re inner being will say “I’m better now, but, who I was where arrived this world was a deception”.. and that is a heavier weight to carry.. remember: we don’t get in life what we want, we get in life what we are”

    -About anxiety and nervousness stuff. I recommend you read some books about the background of that feelings ir our brain, I mean, the physiological explanation. This will help a lot, because “when we know something about other, we are inmediately placed in a position of domination”.. you’ll feel better knowing how those feeling work.

    Well, about your questions:

    Q1: Do you think that “thing” is worthy?.. If yes, well, take a paper and write down every good thing about it..

    Q2: Here we have some logic stuff.. You though it was ugly because of your mental patterns and beliefs. That doesn’t make ugly. Do not work saying “it’s not ugly anymore, it’s not ugly anymore,it’s not ugly anymore”…. work on your beliefs..and stare a lil bit more in the mirror, smile to yourself..

    Q3: Just change it, remember, changing is easy 🙂

    Angie I hope this helps you to feel better and grow. Waiting for your reply :)..


    First of all, congratulations on your weight loss 🙂

    I’m quite surprised to hear that you feel you have to ‘mend’ certain aspects of yourself. You are who you are – you don’t need ‘fixing’
    If being loud is naturally a part of who you are, so what? And are you really being ‘annoying’ or are you just being you, having fun?

    Obviously there is a time and place for everything but don’t try to hide away parts of your personality if it’s truly who you are, especially the passionate side!
    Emotional Freedom Technique has been said to be effective and I find it often calms down my mind when it’s racing. You can find many videos on Youtube that will show you how to do it.

    Ethan Small

    How do you learn to like someone that you have never liked for your entire life?

    Place all your concentration on positive attributes about that person. Even if it means observing negative things that they don’t do (how they could be worse). If there are certain things that they say that bother you, learn to accept it: instead of focusing on how they bother you, find a distraction. Breathe and let go of the tension you feel when they say or do something that you don’t like.

    How do you find beauty in something you have always though was ugly?

    Learn more about. Dive into the facts. Foster interest in it. Try to see that thing as part of the larger picture of life. Understand that the world would not be the same without it.

    How do you change the fabric of your being (as my self loathe feels to me)?

    I don’t think it’s really a matter of changing the fabric of your being – that is something that is relatively inflexible and steady. Your soul has no attributes. It simply IS. By practicing living in the present moment, you can try to shift your focus away from your inner feelings and out to the senses of your perception – sight, taste, touch, smell, etc. In the observation – devoid of judgement – you can find solace.

    Hope this helps.


    For most of my life I had doubted myself. I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a family who encourage self doubt as a result until I turned 20 I was still living with them with a constant voice in my head that says “don’t fool yourself you can’t do it”. I could not get a job because after I was denied once, I had quit, thinking it affirms what the voice in my head was saying. I wanted to get the best education possible, but just like my job search I had given up before progress can be seen.

    Last year I decided to abandon all of that. I told myself if this is all life has to offer me then I might as well die trying to get out of it. So I moved out of my parents house, attended the best community college there is in United States(#1 City College Santa Barbara City College) and decided to start my journey from the very start. I have no money nor support from my parents I just tackled life head on.

    It was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. I had found so much more meaning in my life. I wake up every single day with overwhelming drive to achieve my goals. Fast forward to today one year later, I currently have a 4.0 GPA, starting my own blog site, and developed very strong relationships I had never had. I will soon have a job and be able to support myself independently. But most important of all, the voice in my head that says “I can’t do it”, have been replaced with “I can, and I will”.

    I will be homeless over this summer because it’s summer vacation and there is no financial aid over the summer but to me it’s all okay. I know that this will only be temporary and I will get through it no matter what I have to go through. I know my dreams will eventually come true.

    I mention this because this is the basis of the following advice I’m going to give you. To accept and love yourself you must make regular efforts every single day to make it so. It won’t happen over night, you have to build it over time. I have never been more scared in my life than moving out of my parents house, but as I said I was willing to die for the chance of achieving my goal. The same is true for accepting and loving yourself, you must fully commit to it and let go of all the fears that come from it. Instead face the challenges that come from it like depression or self-doubt.

    I will not answer your three questions because I believe if you search within yourself, and really dig deep, you yourself knows the answer in the first place. Stay strong my friend, remember that you are great and wonderful just the way you are and capable of wonderful things in this life.



    Great advice Les… Everyone is already a bit more enlightened because of your idea.


    Thanks Cristian,

    Any words that are spoken from the heart are useful words wisdom

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