Embracing self

Our souls long for love. A tender touch that can only render inside. An expression that every person craves. At times, we can wonder where such love can be? Love can feel so dim inside a lonely heart. What would life be like without love? For we would not know the true meaning of this world, the true depths of relationships and friendships – for what we have and what we hope for is bound in love. 

A common trait among those who become mentally unwell is lack of self-love. We tend to give more to other people’s needs than our own. We tend to care for others, more than we care for ourselves. We tend to love deeply, and hurt deeply, and neglect to give that same love to ourselves, but it seems we have no issue in blaming ourselves for the hurt. 

However, it is not just mental health sufferers who are not great in self-love. Adults who have not suffered from trauma or been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, also struggle with it. From my research, the average mental health sufferer reported 50.3% and the average healthy adult reported 55% that they regularly self-love.

Self-love is a prerequisite to belief in self. Believing in ourselves is one of the strongest internal validations we can have to build our self-worth, have hope, be successful and build a stronger foundation. Without self-love, we would struggle to believe that we can truly make it.

Have you ever felt incredibly stuck? And in that stuck place, a part of you is slowly dying. I felt within me a longing to be nurtured, of who I am with no pretence, no falsehood or invisible masks, no compromise. I have learned that being stuck requires action. If we know how to care and love others beyond description, then we should be able to apply those same principles to ourselves. I must admit it is harder though! We have to start off with the belief that we deserve love, care, attention; and when we start to believe, we then see that receiving love is much easier too. 

If you have no reserves in loving, caring and nurturing yourself; what would your world look like? 

For me, it will be a world of freedom, love, compassion. There will be boundaries. It will most definitely be a safe haven. A place of no fear. A place I can know my needs and wants and freely give me the chance to receive them. A place I offer genuine care and concern as I have done for others for so long, but to also freely give that to me too. This world will have a solid foundation, surrounded by nature, beauty, peace and acceptance; so that when I walk into my world I will feel empowered to be me. 

Ultimately, the more we can love ourselves, the better we will be in serving and helping others and also in receiving their love in return. It’s a win-win.

Publication on self-love will be out September 2021.


How many times have you gone through a life event feeling like your world has crashed? Or you could be just holding it together, then something so tiny comes in your path and that is the thing that has tipped you over. How we deal with every life event has a significant impact on our health and well-being.

When I was in recovery of adult trauma, I built on my well-being research and created about 150 tools over the course of two years. The tools helped me learn more about myself and how to deal with life events in a positive way and they went on to help many other individuals as well. In a St John of God (SJOG) program I attended (2014-2015), on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), it widened my horizons in understanding more of my behaviour following trauma. A program that every individual should complete! Like most things I learn, I drew on everything I have read about, attended and utilised in therapy to harness their full potential. This included, my own research, DBT, CBT, ACT and mindfulness. Out of my learning, I created a board game The Wellbeing Roadmap Game that is designed to discover your core values, five senses, a firmations, world views, well-being and acceptance to life events. At the end of the game, you walk away with tools to use when stressed and more of an understanding of self through the roadmap of life.

You may find yourself going up through the mountains on Overcomer Highway. You may visit Respite Place at the foothills beside a beautiful peaceful lake for some time out. You may find yourself a few times in the desert of Internally Stuck Avenue, you know the place, that endless vicious cycle that never seems to have a way out! And you may even wind your way down into Give Up Close, that cave or pit, we hang out alone in sometimes. Whatever path we are on, we discover and learn more things about ourselves. When we get the opportunity to be at Acceptance Round-a-bout that’s when we make a choice what road we actually travel upon. If we continue to not deal with the life event, we might find ourselves on that rollercoaster ever circling Internally Stuck (the suffering road). This road is not all bad, sometimes we need to build up our courage, and growth does come from suffering.

In DBT, Marsha Linehan, talks about radical acceptance. If we accept, then we are willing and free; if we don’t accept, then we are wilful and su fer. Acceptance doesn’t mean we approve of what happened to us. Acceptance means we acknowledge that this life event happened and work out the best strategies to move on and not let the event drag us down any further. The more we stay on the “suffering road”, the more we are using all our energy to fight, and our health will deteriorate because the amount of stress and cortisol that is mounting up can cause long-term damage.

To learn more about acceptance, read inspire stories, see amazing outback Australian photography, be empowered in learning about the top 5 movement therapies to improve your mental health and heal illnesses – grab your copy of issue 3 today!