Why Is it So Difficult to Love Ourselves?

A Conversation Between Louise Hay and Robert Holden, Ph.D.

In the process of writing this book with Louise, I’ve been tracking my responses to the phrase ‘Life loves you.’

Each time I hear these three words, I can hear my soul saying, “Yes.” Sometimes it’s a gentle whisper, and other times it’s a joyous shout. With each ‘Yes’ I feel physically strong and deeply heartened. I know life is spurring me on. That said I’m also aware of other voices that call out from the dark corners of my mind. These voices are more cynical. They are full of hurt. ‘Life loves you’ sounds like mere words to them, and the words are too good to be true.

I asked Louise why she thinks these darker influences cross our minds some of the time.

 “It’s taken me a while to let myself hear these words,” I admit.

 “Not everyone can hear them,” she says.

 “Sometimes they sound like the gospel truth,” I say, “but other times, they feel like only a positive affirmation.”

“I know how that feels,” says Louise.

 “Why do we find it difficult to hear these words?” I ask her.

 “We don’t believe them,” says Louise.

“Why is that?”

“We don’t believe in ourselves.”

“Why not?”


Guilt is a loss of innocence. It’s what we experience when we forget the basic truth ‘I am loveable.’ It comes with the basic fear ‘I am not loveable.’ It’s a belief in unworthiness. When we lose sight of our innocence-which is our true nature-we believe we don’t deserve love. We long for love, but we turn away from it when it comes, because we feel unworthy. Our feeling of unworthiness is what causes us not only to feel unlovable but also to behave in unloving ways toward ourselves and others.

Guilt is a fear that once upon a time I was loveable, but I’m not anymore. Guilt always comes with a story. The story might be about what you did to someone or what someone did to you. It’s a story based on what happened in the past. The story has normally finished by now, and yet it can feel like a never-ending tale. We can become so identified with our guilty story, we’re afraid to let it go.

Who would I be without this story and this unworthiness? we wonder.

The answer is, you would be innocent again. You would feel wholly loveable.

Adapted from Life Loves You (2015) by Louise Hay & Robert Holden, Ph.D.

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