self - self-respect

Love your neighbor as you love your self.

Jesus of Nazareth


If you have trouble loving yourself, imagine that everyone in the world is a hungry soul whose life has been imperfect.  Like you, they had imperfect parents.  Like you, tragedies and difficulties befell them.  If you could hear each person's story, you would probably be moved to tears and want to reach out and embrace that person.  You would want to tell them that in spite of everything they've gone through, they have great value.

Daphne Rose Kingma


You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere.  You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

the Buddha


And most of all, I will love myself.  For when I do, I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body, mind and soul.  Never will I overindulge the requests of my flesh, rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation.  Never will I allow my mind to be attracted to evil and despair, rather I will uplift it with the wisdom and knowledge of the ages.  Never will I allow my soul to become complacent and satisfied, rather I will feed it with meditation and prayer.  Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth.

Og Mandino

People often say that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder.  This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.

Salma Hayek

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

Karl Menninger

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I believe that probably the most important thing is that a loving person is a person
who loves him or herself.  Now people are going to sit up and say, "Oh, oh, what does
he mean by that?"  I'm not talking about the ego trip.  I'm not talking about standing
before a mirror and saying, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest one of all?
You're so right, mirror."  You know that isn't what I'm talking about when I say a person
who loves him or herself.  I'm talking about a person who loves oneself as being someone
who realizes that you can only give away what you have, so you damned well better
work at getting something.  You want to be the most educated, the most brilliant, the most
exciting, the most versatile, the most creative individual in the world, because then you
can give it away; and the only reason you have anything is to give it away.

Leo Buscaglia


If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult
time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you
give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.

Barbara De Angelis


Don't forget to love yourself.

Søren Kierkegaard


My primary relationship is with myself--all others are mirrors of it.  As
I learn to love myself, I automatically receive the love and appreciation
that I desire from others.  If I am committed to myself and to living my
truth, I will attract others with equal commitment.  My willingness to be
intimate with my own deep feelings creates the space for intimacy with
another.  As I learn to love myself, I receive the love I desire from others.

Shakti Gawain

You will always have to live with yourself, and it is to your best
interest to see that you have good company -- a clean, pure,
straight, honest, upright, generous, magnanimous companion.

Orison Swett Marden

It is of practical value to learn to like yourself.  Since you must
spend so much time with yourself you might as well
get some satisfaction out of the relationship.

Norman Vincent Peale


You must love yourself before you love another.  By
accepting yourself and fully being what you are,
your simple presence can make others happy.


I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same
as the meaning of the fact that I am Black:  it means that I must
undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though
my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.

June Jordan

There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout:
This is me damn it!  I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel,
love the way I love!  I am a whole complex package.  Take me. . . or leave me.
Accept me--or walk away!  Do not try to make me feel like less of a person,
just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change
me to fit your mold.  If I need to change, I alone will make that decision.
When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad--
you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.

Stacey Charter


Self-love is the foundation of our loving practice.  Without it
our other efforts to love fail.  Giving ourselves love we provide our
inner being with the opportunity to have the unconditional love we
may have always longed to receive from someone else.

Bell Hooks

self - self-respect

My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God
as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.

Mohandas Gandhi

Love yourself first and everything falls into line.

Lucille Ball


Those of us who are so-called givers can fall into this trap with
ease.  We take care of everyone in our life and we like this role.
But somehow we don't make it onto our own list of the deserving.
It is important for us to realize that we are also human beings, to
consider our experience as we would any other person's, to know
that we too are deserving of basic kindness, the same kindness
that we so readily offer to others.  With this small but profound
shift in awareness, our ability to love cracks open.  Once our own
suffering and longings matter, we are able to love with
the true fullness of our being, ourselves included.

Nancy Colier
Inviting a Monkey to Tea



Most of the time you are growing up, people tell you what's wrong with you.  Your
coach tells you, your parents tell you, the teachers tell you when they grade you.
I think that's very good in the early stages, because it helps you then develop skills.
But at some point in your career, generally I think when you are in your teens, you
look in a mirror and you have to say, despite all the bumps and warts, "I like that
person I'm looking at, and let's just do our best."

Robert D. Ballard

The question "Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?" is
one you must consistently ask yourself if you are committed to having all
that you want and all that you deserve.  When you love yourself you feel
worthy and deserving of claiming the gifts of this world.  Self-love gives you
peace of mind and balance.  Self-love gives you self-respect and the ability
to respect others.  It gives you the confidence to stand up and ask for what
you want.  Self-love is the main ingredient in a successful, fulfilled life.

Debbie Ford


But in order to be strong, you have to love yourself, and in order
to love yourself, you need thorough self-knowledge, you need to
know everything about yourself, including your most hidden secrets,
the ones most difficult to accept.

Susanna Tamaro


I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself.  But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don't want to spend my life with someone who is always critical.  So I am going to stop being my own critic.  It's high time that I accept all the great things about me.

C. JoyBell C.

You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don't know it, all of that doesn't even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away.  It's not like you have forever, so don't waste any of your seconds, don't throw even one of your moments away.

I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have
for yourself.  I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break.
Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself,
but I love myself enough to keep that promise.

Steve Maraboli
Life, the Truth, and Being Free

People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous
and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility,
forgiveness and inclusiveness.

Sanaya Roman
Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power
and Spiritual Transformation

Don't think it was a natural process for me to leave my personality behind and put on a character.  Something deep inside me continued to rebel; one part of me wanted to keep on being myself, while the other part, the part that wanted to be loved, tried to comply with the world's demands.  I detested my mother and the superficial, empty manner she had. I detested her, and yet slowly, against my will, I was becoming just like her.  That is the great, terrible blackmail of every upbringing, the one it's just about impossible to escape.  No child can live without love.  That's why we follow the model prescribed to us, even if we don't like it at all, even if we think it's wrong.  The effects of this transaction persist into adulthood.  When you become a mother it resurfaces whether you want it to or not, you may not even notice it, but it's shaping your actions once again.  So when your mother was born, I was absolutely convinced I'd behave differently.  And in fact I did, but the differences were superficial and completely false.  To avoid imposing on your mother a model like the one that had been imposed on me at a tender age, I always left her free to make choices.  I wanted her to feel she had my approval in everything she did.  I constantly told her, "We're two different people and each of us must respect the other's differences."

There was a mistake in all this, a serious mistake.  Do you know what it was?  It was my lack of identity.  Even though I was now an adult, I wasn't secure about anything.  I wasn't able to love myself or have esteem for myself.

Susanna Tamaro
from Follow Your Heart
I understand that I must be kind to myself.  I am my own best
friend and I must be loving towards myself each day.  If I take
care of myself and if I am generous towards myself, I am more
likely to be loving and good to others. . . . So I give myself all
the importance and all the attention I need.  This way,
I can accomplish the greatest of things.

Happiness One Day at a Time

In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.

Rachel Brathen


Self-love also means not letting the opinions, preferences, needs,
and desires of others dictate your life.  It is your life to live--your
God-given purpose to fulfill.  You are the adult and advocate for
the child who still lives inside you.  Listen to that child--be your
own Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell all rolled into one.
Spend your life doing those things that stir up your imagination,
lift your spirits, and leave you inspired to do more.

Bernie Siegel
No Endings, Only Beginnings


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Loving yourself implies being able to admit your weaknesses, knowing
that even though things haven't always been easy, you've always done
as best you could.  When you love yourself and you accept yourself as
you are, you're never afraid to grow, to learn and to change.

Judy Ford


When we don't love ourselves unconditionally, the limited, judgmental,
conditional love we give ourselves is all we have to give anyone.
When we see ourselves as flawed, we also see others as flawed.



We receive mixed messages about taking good care of ourselves.  Love thy
neighbor as thyself means to love thyself and thy neighbor.
  Yet, self-love often is confused with selfishness and conceit.  We are selfish
when we do not love and accept ourselves, and attempt to take from others
to fill the emptiness.
   Conceit indicates low self-worth and an attempt to conceal it.  It is difficult
to extend to others what you have not been able to give yourself.
   Take good care of yourself so you can care about the rest of us.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey



The catch is, to transmit the highest frequency of love, you must love
yourself, and that can be difficult for many.  If you focus on the outside
and what you see now, you may trip yourself up, because what you see
and feel about you now is the result of what you used to think.  If you
don't love you, the person you see now is likely to be full
of faults that you have found in yourself.

To love yourself fully, you must focus on a new dimension of You.  You
must focus on the presence inside of You.  Take a moment and sit still.
Focus on feeling the life presence inside you.  As you focus on the presence
within, it will begin to reveal itself to You.  It is a feeling of pure love
and bliss, and it is perfection.  That presence is the perfection of You.
That presence is the real You.  As you focus on that presence, as you
feel, love, and praise that presence, you will love yourself fully,
quite possibly for the first time in your life.

Rhonda Byrne

self - self-respect

Growing up, I was the kind of kid that thrived on approval, so when
I didn't get any I thought that there must be something wrong with me.
I must not deserve to be loved and cherished. As a teen, I even tried
to take my life because I thought I wasn't worthy enough
to take up space on the planet.
    It was a long journey to discover that I was a good person. One of
the things that helped, was to travel back through time to that younger
me. I imagined that I was holding young Denise on my lap and I telling
her, again and again, that she was a lovable, worthwhile person.
Eventually she began to believe me.
    Being loved and cherished starts with loving yourself. Tell that younger
you, "You are so loved and lovable. You deserve the best in life!" and by
doing this your present and your future are enriched. It works. Shine On!

Denise Linn

You can be loved by your family, your mate, and your friends yet
not love yourself. You can be admired by your associates yet
regard yourself as worthless.  You can project an image of
assurance and poise that fools almost everyone yet secretly
tremble with a sense of inadequacy.  You can fulfill the expectations
of others yet fail your own.  You can win every honor yet feel that
you have accomplished nothing.  What shall it profit a person to gain
the esteem of the whole world yet lose his or her own?

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day


I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me,
"I love you."  There is an African saying which is:
"Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

Maya Angelou

Many people try to change the world by changing the secondary characters in their story.  They try to control everybody around them.  How do they do that? It's easy to understand.  They love people the way they themselves were loved:  they love with conditions.  Which means, “I love you if you let me control you.  If you do what I want you to do, we can be so happy.”  We learn to love everybody with conditions, because everybody loves us with conditions.

The problem is that we can't change the secondary characters; we can only change the world by changing the main character of our story—ourselves.  The biggest way you can change yourself is by learning to love yourself unconditionally.

So, to be clear, you can help me to change the world by changing your own world, through unconditional love for yourself.  And when you do, it's like magic, because everyone around you will also change.

Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr.
Little Book of Wisdom
When you're at peace with yourself and love your self, it is
virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.

Wayne Dyer

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The feeling of being valuable is a cornerstone of self-discipline because
when you consider yourself valuable you will take care of yourself--
including things like using your time well.  In this way,
self-discipline is self-caring.

M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled

The first problem, of course, is that we haven't learned to love ourselves.
That's the first problem.  We can only give to another what we have to
give.  And if we have no love over here, we can't give it over there.

Neale Donald Walsch
Little Book of Life


The first love affair you must consummate is the love affair with
yourself.  Only then are you ready for a romantic relationship.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

Many of us fear that we are not attractive or desirable enough to attract
others.  We have believed that we are "not enough."  Today let's remind
ourselves that we all receive our beauty, energy, and light from the same
inexhaustible source.  As we acknowledge this and begin to love and
appreciate ourselves as we are, our channel opens and we have available
to us the infinite vitality, beauty, and magnetism of the life force.

Shakti Gawain
Reflections in the Light

Happiness is when you love who you are and
you are able to accept yourself and others.

Bar Refaeli


If you feel loved and cherished--even if it is only by yourself--
then you will have more love to give to others, too.

Penelope Quest

What does it mean to love ourselves. . . ?  It means loving ourselves
even when we feel shame for having yelled at a friend.  It means
loving ourselves even when we secretly wish harm on another.  It
means continuing to love ourselves even when we let opportunities
to do something good for other people slip by.
   There will be days when we need to make the conscious decision
to love ourselves moment by moment.  We will never be perfect, but
we can be better people than we were in the past.  A brief personal
inventory will reflect this:  perhaps we are learning to think before we
act; perhaps we are treating friends or even strangers less critically;
perhaps we are seeing the benefits of loving others unconditionally.
   In time we will realize the gains we have made.  We will see that it
is possible to love ourselves fully, even though
we have not become perfect.

Karen Casey
A Woman's Spirit

I had always thought self-esteem was a state of being.
Now I realize it's the constant decision to love myself,
regardless of circumstances, all day long.

Mary Casey


Love for others is the manifestation of love for self.  We cannot love another
more than we love ourselves.  Life is a mirror.  If you want to know what love
for yourself looks like, look at your love for others.  If you want to know
what your love for others look like, look at your love for self.  When you love
yourself this way, you love God this way.  This relationship is the
divine love triangle:  self, God, and others in any order.

Marlon Hartley Lindsay



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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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