Self-love is not opposed to the love of other people. You cannot really love yourself and do yourself a favor without doing people a favor, and vice versa. ~ Karl Menninger, M.D.


As Dr. Menninger says above, when you give to yourself, you automatically give to others. That means when you show self-love, you are automatically loving others. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it continually amazes me how few of us really believe and accept we should love ourselves.

A week or so ago, one of our readers wrote us a heart-wrenching letter. (See below.) As you read it, look for any reflections of yourself in the words. I could certainly see a few of my younger selves.

With the writer’s permission, we’re publishing a slightly edited version of the letter. For the sake of her privacy, I’ve deleted any identifying information.

Hi John,

Hope you had a wonderful summer.

I have a question for you, and if this has ever been addressed by Spirit, if you could redirect me to that posting, I would love to know what was said.

John, in so much of the information one reads about these days, you often hear you should “love yourself.”

I don’t know if there is something “wrong” with me, or if I had some crummy information “taught to me by others somewhere along the way, or bad experiences, or what the case may be, but for the life of me, I just find that whole idea so… What?

It just feels so phony, so ridiculous, or “who are you trying to kid” kind of feeling.

I just can’t stare at myself in a mirror, and spout off a bunch of phony-baloney, salivating about myself that “I love me; I just love me. Oh I can’t get enough of me!”

Maybe I’m just a little screwed up, maybe everybody is SUPPOSED to be able to gush and salivate over themselves. I just can’t.

I don’t believe that automatically means I can’t stand myself.

I don’t believe that makes me a “bad person.”

Like most people, I’ve been good, I’ve been bad. I like to think more good than bad, and I do my best to keep trying, to keep moving forward, to help whenever I can, and I understand that I’m a soul having a human experience, so I certainly won’t be perfect (else I probably wouldn’t be here in the first place!) but in the end?

I find I feel, I… just… AM.

Do I HAVE to be “mushy-gushy” over myself all the time to somehow “prove” I’m OK (Prove to who? Myself? Why?)?

One day, if you have a minute, I’d really be interested in hearing your opinion.

Have a great week, and many thanks for your postings.

All the best,
(name withheld)

I replied to the letter writer the same day she wrote. See my reply below.

But first I wanted to say that when I reply to folks who contact me, my spirit guides often “jump in.” Or occasionally, I’ll ask them to participate. Years ago, they described this process as a “blending.” Meaning they and I were speaking as one. Although, I’m not “formally” channeling them, the end result is the same.

Here’s my (our) reply:

Hi (name withheld),

Yes, I did have a great summer, thank you. I hope you did too.

I agree with you—so many teachers are saying we need to be more loving to ourselves. I completely agree with that.

I’m not sure when or where my spirit guides said it, but they have said when we all learn to love ourselves as we deserve to be loved, then we will have peace on earth. It’s really a version of that old biblical admonition—the great commandment—Love God and your neighbor as yourself.

Your description of yourself is one probably many would give of themselves. Our society has brainwashed us into believing we are not deserving of good in our lives. I see that all over the place, even in religion.

I was brought up Roman Catholic. We were always taught to put everybody else ahead of ourselves. It was almost considered a sin to love yourself. There was (and maybe still is—I don’t know, as I left the church years ago) a part in the Roman Catholic mass where we repeated the words, “I am not worthy…”

Many people grew up with that perspective of themselves. Some of my old friends and family are still struggling with that perspective, even today.

Anyway, you asked for my opinion. So there it is. Are you sorry you asked now? 🙂

My spirit guides and I have written many times about love and self-love. And the subject often comes up in private readings.

Here are some of the posts that I could put my hands on. You might find something useful in them:

Learning To Love Yourself
11 Reasons You Don’t Love Yourself and What You Can Do About It
When You Love Yourself Your Problems Are Solved
How Do You Learn To Love Yourself?

I hope this helps.


Copyright © 2018 by John Cali

How do you feel about self-love? Do you feel uncomfortable with the idea? Or are you truly able to love yourself as you love others? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


The late Louise Hay was a big proponent of self-love. Though this video is titled Best Advice for Women: Love Yourself, Louise’s advice applies equally to men.


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