When we are able to love others and yet hate ourselves—perhaps this is a sign that we have to heal, to unify and to find peace with ourselves.

I believe God wants to me love myself like he loves me. It is after learning to love one’s self that loving your neighbor as yourself makes sense. This is what I mean by self-love. There are three things that underpin, or hold up, our ability to experience self-love. These are: (1) Unconditional Positive Regard, (2) Empathy, and (3) Genuineness. When we get these 3 legs of the three-legged stool in place, we have a stable foundation for self-love and the voice of “I am not” is subdued or extinguished. The stool does not have to be perfect, symmetrical, or level. It just needs those three components in whatever measure we can manifest them.

Unconditional Positive Regard

Unconditional Positive Regard is the intentionality in making the decision to not negatively judge one’s self, talk bad to, or about, one’s self, or talk down to one’s self. It is telling ourselves, “It’s OK.” Especially when we make mistakes. We move ourselves forward by allowing the feeling of guilt to move us towards making amends and peace with self and others, and we refuse to let shame rule the day. Shame tells us, “you are bad,” and tells us you did something bad and moves us to make amends. Shame immobilizes us and keeps us stuck so the voice of “I am not” can rage in us, weaken us, and turn us against ourselves.


Empathy is our ability to recognize our pain and suffering and to tell ourselves that “yes, this sucks, but you are not alone, you will be okay, this too shall pass.”  It creates a space in our suffering that reassures us and shields us from the rant of the voice of “I am not” that manifests our shame.


Genuineness is when and where we hold to our truths. Genuineness is authenticity of who we are, why we are, and what we are. It is being true to ourselves, our morals, our ideals and our beliefs. Our genuineness coexists peacefully with our empathy and our unconditional positive regard. If it doesn’t, it is actually a veiled voice of “I am not”. Genuineness is the voice of “I AM.”

If we are able to assemble these three legs of the 3-legged stool of self-love, we can slowly transform our inner dialog that creates the field of energy that is our relationship with ourselves. Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy, and Genuineness become the background of the inner dialog we have with ourselves and it shifts our perspective of self.

Learn more about Mike’s healing journey from “The Antics” click here