People have always thought that truth was the foundation of everything, but recent research and conversations can prove that it’s not. It’s this thing called self-love. This is that special ability to truly love and accept who you are, what you are, what you want, and how you move around in this world. If you’re finding the concept of self-love a little tough, take a little time off. Get off the dating apps and social media. Stop spending all your time there. You know, looking: Where’s the one, where’s the one? Self-love has often been seen as a moral flaw akin to vanity and selfishness. But are things still so black and white these days? Look at yourself and fall in love with yourself.
We’re talking about the issues. We’re talking about how to live a better life. We’re talking about how to know yourself and love yourself, and that’s what this show is about. This show is about the concept of self-love. I always thought the truth was the foundation of everything, but after some more research and conversations, I’m finding it’s not. It’s this thing called self-love, the ability to truly love who you are, what you are, what you want, and how you move around in this world. We move into some stories about myself and some concepts from Psychology Today, Wikipedia and other fine internet sources. We then head to Ireland to talk to Kelly about her challenges and self-love as she takes on a role and a position that’s challenging for her.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Foundation of Self-Love
I am glad to be here. I want to start off by letting you know something. My father is in the hospital. He basically had a small stroke and there’s an emotion around it. The main thing that I’m feeling is that my dad has been an ox in terms of his health my entire life. He’s been solid. There’s no other way to put it. That man is an ox and he’s this solid, big, strong man. For the first time in my life, he’s in the hospital. It’s an interesting experience because my dad’s been forthright around his health and forthright around expecting this to happen. You can prepare as much mentally as possible and it still happens. The beauty of life and the beauty of the magic of life is always to never know what’s going to happen. I saw him for Thanksgiving. Morgan and I went up there for the holiday. He was in fine and perfect health for him basically, which is as he gets older. A week later he’s going to hospital and he had a small stroke. How this ties in to the show and how this ties into self-love is around this concept of believing in yourself, believing that every single moment of the day and every single moment of your life is totally and100% valuable.
If you don’t treat every single part of your life as valuable, if you think, “I’ll handle this tomorrow. It will get better tomorrow. I’ll do that thing tomorrow,” that tomorrow may not come. It might not. I’m checking out my Facebook feed. This is a downer part of Tuff Love, but it’s important. My friend of mine in Santa Cruz whose daughter, fifteen or sixteen years old, and one of their friends took LSD, went nuts and basically had a violent episode. The Santa Cruz police tried to contain him for a good fifteen minutes with all different types of low impact things. He took a knife and threatened an officer and they shot him and it killed him, a fifteen year old kid.
I’m a man who likes to journey. I’m a man who likes other consciousness. This happens; this is what happens in life. I saw an interview with the kid’s girlfriend this morning and basically said that this wasn’t him, this wasn’t Luke. This was something else that happened. Something else, a part of his brain got activated by some bad LSD and the kid went crazy. It can happen. While this is a weird downer to the self-love section, it’s still important because every single day of your life is valuable. When we think that our lives are not valuable, that’s where we lose time and that’s where we lose opportunity. I say this time and time again. If you’re not happy with your life, do something to change it. The greatest self-love you can do is to get off your procrastinating ass and face and confront what is irking you and do something about it.
It’s foolhardy to think that we have plenty of time, and it’s foolhardy to think that we’re immortal and will be in this lifetime forever. It’s not. It’s up to you. You are in control of your own life. You may think that you’re trapped by your circumstances and perhaps on some level you are, but when it comes down to it, you always have the opportunity to change, if not the circumstance, your relationship to the circumstance. That’s the greatest piece of self-love, is to remember that you do have the power inside of you to change your relationship to your life. That comes from telling the truth, first and foremost to yourself, and then to the circumstances, to your job, to your partner, to your parents. That’s something I endeavor to do every single day, is to find my truth and find how I can live more authentically in a self-loving way.
Don’t wait for tomorrow because tomorrow may not come. I’m interested in this topic and let me tell you the story of how this happened, connected but different. I was on a journey with Morgan. We were in this different altered state. I was touching her head and I was feeling her head. I felt this love that I did not think was possible. Again, this level of love that I have with this woman, I can’t even describe it. It’s beautiful. It is magical and it’s unexpected. I’m a cynical person when it comes to love. I’ve been cynical around relationship and this thing that we have continues to impress on me that what I knew about love was nothing basically, and she’s teaching me time and time again.
I’m holding her love and I have this image of Disney Love. That Disney love that you make fun of, she’s cute, it’s like what we grew up on and it’s just a thing. There was that scene in Lady and the Tramp when the two dogs are eating the spaghetti and they’re paying attention to something else and they’re eating it. All of a sudden their noses touched and notice they’re kissing. That was like, “Fuck, that’s the feeling.” It’s so great. This isn’t a show about love. This show isn’t about romantic love, though it could be. The second thought I had close to after that image of the two dogs in Lady and the Tramp was this thought like, “This love is possible because I love myself more than I ever have in my entire life.” That shook me for a moment. The next thought was something like, “The only way to truly love another is to truly love myself.”
As I work on expanding my own self-love, my own self approval, which has been a total journey,46 years and I’m still learning how to do that, that’s what’s enabled me to feel the depth of the love that I have for someone else. Until I work on this self-love, nothing happens. A friend of mine posted this thing, she said, “Do you think that you can love someone else more than they love themselves?” Let me do the math again. This is a different topic. Do you think you can love someone else more than they love themselves? I have responded to that post and I basically said, “You can love someone to any degree, the nth degree, to the thousandth percentile. Whatever unit of love measure you can have, you can love them, but how much they can receive from you is dependent on their self-love.”
I can love Morgan. I can love Morgan. How much she loves herself is how much she can receive my love. How much I love her is how much I can love myself. Do you get a general theme going on here? Do you get a little clue? This is all about self-love. If you want to learn to be in a loving relationship, stop focusing 99.98% attention on finding the one or the thing or the person. Take a little time off the Bumble, the Tinder, the Match.com, the Grindr, whatever your flavor, get off the social media apps and spending all your time there looking. Looking, “Where’s the one?” and be like, “Oh.” Get one of those mirror apps on your phone that you can look at yourself do your makeup. Look at yourself and fall in love with yourself because that’s the thing that a lot of people are missing, is this practice of self-love.
I’ve been teaching now for sixteen years. I’ve done thousands of workshops. This is 52 on Tuff Love. I don’t think I’ve ever said self-love. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this. I’ve talked about a lot of things but I can’t honestly remember that point where I discuss the power of self-love. I really got it in that one moment of touching her head, how important it is. I went to do what I do sometimes. I went to the Google and I found the Oracle, as I call him, the Google. I put in self-love and of course about 97 articles popped up.
I first want to go to Wikipedia because Wikipedia is different. It has a different flavor. I love the first sentence of Wikipedia on self-love, “Self-love has often been seen as a moral, flaw akin to vanity and selfishness.” I thought that was a great start to the article. The second sentence in the very short article from Wikipedia, “In 1956, however, psychologists and social philosopher Erich Fromm,” which I’ve heard of before but have no idea what he did, “Proposed that loving oneself is different from being arrogant, conceited or egocentric, meaning instead of caring about oneself and taking responsibility for oneself.”
Let’s diagnose those two sentences from the Google via Wikipedia. The social viewpoint is that self-love is vanity and selfishness. That’s a meme of society. It wasn’t until 1956, 60 years ago in our existence, that someone said, “This is how we take care of ourselves. This is the thing that we need to do to love ourselves.” I thought that was fascinating in itself, that the way the world sees self-love. I believe this because this is my social norm, it’s arrogant and egocentric. I thought that was totally fucked up.
They talk a little bit more about what he did and Eric Erickson spoke some more. You can check out the Wikipedia article. I went and I found some great articles that are posted on the event. 30 Ways to Practice Self-Love and Be Good to Yourself, this is Lifehack. Psychology Today did a good one that I’m going to talk about that has some tips and tricks of how to self-love. Before I go into the how or the what, I want to get into what the feeling and what needs to be talked about. This is a plea. This is a plea for your sanity and for the sanity of the people around you.
If you think loving someone else is the most loving act, you’re wrong. If you think loving selfishly someone else before you love yourself is the right thing, you’re wrong. This is complicated when it comes to children. Being a co-parent and learning to be a co-parent with Morgan has taught me a lot. These kids, what a set of teachers they are. If you ever met more narcissistic, self-centered little things, these are them, these little six and eight years old. They are the queens of narcissism.
I watch Morgan. Morgan’s sick and she’s been sick. Her voice is different and it’s painful. It looks like she got run over by a truck. She’s cooking meals for them and taking them places, and then they’re still screaming for her attention. I watch Morgan, this woman, bypass her own weights of her existence to love them. I’m curious about this thing. I got in watching Morgan that that’s the way she loves herself, is through her children. It’s how she feels the love inside of her and bypasses her sickness and bypasses the weights in her system. That’s how she feels love, it’s inside of her.
I twisted my view around service and I twisted my view around how to take care of people because I take care of a lot of people. Honestly, there’s a lot of people are constantly texting me, calling me and I love it. I love being in that place. People pay you for sessions and I have a thriving business around it. I do love taking care of people. Matter of fact, if I’m bored, what do I do? “How’s it going?” I might even text someone who I know is fucked up and they’re like, “I’m fucked up,” but then I go, “My life has meaning.” My point is it’s the way we love. Sometimes it’s not about taking care of my physical body or Morgan taking care of our physical body, but she keeps tending to the love inside of her that she has for children. I keep taking care of the love inside of me for taking care of other people. This whole twist around this concept of self-love, because sometimes it’s not doing the healthiest thing or the smartest things. It’s about doing the thing that connects you to the core of your love.
This is convoluted as I speak it and I watch your faces because it is convoluted. The thing is we don’t know what true love is, what self-love is, and what self-care is until we die. You’re not going to know how well you took care of yourself until you die because it’s this formula that keeps changing. We can learn from experiences. I put myself in a business situation for twenty months, working 30 to 40 hours a week for no money, putting money into the business so it kept going. After twenty months, I realized that that was not the most self-loving thing. It is not how I want to live my life. I don’t want to live my life building someone else’s dream. I want to live my life building my dreams, mine and Morgan’s dream, this idea of building this concept. Sometimes you have to go through some shitty experiences to learn what is the most self-loving thing. Sometimes you got to put your foot in it, you got to put your foot in a pile of shit to know, “That smells. It’s gross.” I’m never going to do that again.
Let me go to my Psychology Today Top Seven Tips and I’m going to disagree with one of them, which is even fun. I like Psychology Today. It’s good pop. There’s People Magazine, there’s Psychology Today, it’s the same level on some level. Psychology today, I’ll read these one by one and I think I’ll discuss some of them and some I’ll let them go. Number one is to be mindful. That’s great. Be aware of the concepts. Be deliberate. Be willing to look at what’s happening and be smart about it. Be mindful in your life. Take mindful practices. Mindful often means slowing down. Instead of your rote response to A, B and C, take the time to identify what’s going on in yourself. Be mindful.
Number two, I disagree with, so we’ll do the next. Number three, which I think is huge, is set boundaries. For all my people who want to be liked, all my caretakers out there, this is the one for you. Set boundaries. Morgan got sick because we think she had her boundaries bypassed. Look at setting your boundaries and knowing your boundaries. I’m in a discussion about a business side with my whole company. I had a choice where I could have let them go over my boundaries, instead I said, “No, this is what I want,” and pushed back. I went against the grain of my own social conditioning and programming to say, “No, this is actually what I want,” and now we’ll see how they respond to it. I at least feel good. It’s good to try rather than feeling run over because that run over kills you.
Practice good self-care. This makes sense if you want to self-love, take self-care. Sleep well, eat well, take baths, journal, take time to yourself. Find your personal time. Do those little practices that will enable you to take care of yourself and love yourself. Take self-care, pretty straight forward.
I thought this one was interesting, it’s protect yourself. The article went on to speak about frenemies. Frenemies, friends that turn into enemies or friends around you that don’t treat you that well. We’ve all had them, those friends. Those lifelong friends where you spend time with them and feel like shit. Protect yourself from people who suck your energy. There are a lot of vampires out there, they’re not just in the movies. We know a lot of them; a lot of them are family members. Take the time to look at which people in your life are sucking you dry and protect yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to be mean to them, but be aware of the places that you’re not being good to yourself and change of habit.
I thought this was good. This is going to be hard for all of them. This is the hardest one. Forgive yourself. Be willing to say my biggest “fuck ups” have been my greatest lessons and my greatest teachers. My whole business for twenty months is a lifelong lesson. I’m learning in pain and I’m forgiving myself. I have to forgive myself and I have to forgive myself and then I’m paying back a loan and I’m like, “Fuck, I could be using this for something fun,” and instead I’m paying back this fucking loan. There was a life lesson. These loans will not be the rest of my life and matter of fact, it will go away in a couple of months. Just forgive myself.
Live intentionally, which is similar to be mindful. Be aware. The last one then I’m going to jump on our coaching call with Kelly, which I’m looking forward to, Psychology Today says act on what you need rather than what you want. That one threw me for a loop for a second. I was like, “Did I read that wrong? Did they have a typo?” No, they actually mean that. Act on what you need rather than what you want. I’m going to say, “Fuck you, Psychology Today.” I’m going to say, “Act on what you want rather than what you need.” Of course take care of your needs, your basic core elements. Figure out your foundational pieces, but go for what you want. If you want to have an experience, create the experience. If you want to try something, go for it. Take care of your foundation, but at the same time be in that place where you’re looking your desires, your exploring your desires, and you’re willing to have your desires. That’s where life was. Self-love is being in totally selfish moments, and totally saying, “This is what I want.”
The whole core of my relationship with Morgan was her being, “This is what I want,” saying a “selfish act” because that’s what she wanted. I’m grateful for that moment because she gave me the opportunity to say yes, no or maybe and I said yes. The intimacy that was hovering dove deep in that moment. Ask for it. Have it, be it, love it, love yourself and love what you want. That’s our little spiel on self-love. I also want to say, this is the world record or people volunteering for Tuff Love today. I have seven. I’m grateful for everyone who said yes and I have all their names. I’m not having to beg for people to be on the show, which I’m looking forward to.
How are you, sweetheart? How’s it going?
I’m okay, thank you. I’m having a tough day, which is interesting that I’m on Tuff Love.
What made it tough?
Because I think being on here has prompted some thoughts or preliminary thoughts around self-love and that’s got me connected with the areas of me that aren’t being loved at the moment.
Let’s dive in. What’s your relationship to self-love?
My relationship to self-love is building. It’s definitely that I’m aware of it. For me, self-love is similar to self-acceptance. It’s different words but self-love’s like my boss level. Every year, I’m making some improvements but ultimately this is my greatest challenge and one that is potentially going to be ongoing for a long while.
Let me ask you this question. In your culture, what’s the culture of relationship to self-love?
I would say it’s in line with what you read on the Wikipedia. When people hear me talking about self-love, they describe me as being a hippie. It’s not a widely accepted thing. A lot of people believe that you just get love from other people rather than focusing inwards, whereas I believe that you need to focus inwards first before you can receive love from other people. I would agree with what you’ve said already.
The first thing is to congratulate yourself. If you’ve gotten any self-love in your culture, I don’t know if the States is any that different. It may be a little bit better than the Irish, but it’s similar. It’s challenging to be in that self-love place. First, congratulate yourself to be the salmon to go against the cultural tide is pretty huge.
That’s the time when I get that appreciation for myself when I realize that that’s what I’m doing. It is a challenge. It takes work every day. A lot at the time I don’t put the work in, and I think this is where the challenge for me. The reason why I volunteered to do the call is because I see that that is my challenge, basically.
Let’s pick a specific area. Do you have one that we can talk about?
Work and something that came up. I read the Psychology Today article as well about how if you have a huge amount of self-love for yourself, then you project that thing into work. At the moment, work’s my big challenge, so I think that’s a good place to start.
Don’t give away too many details but what is it about your work environment that has you find it challenging to be self-loved? What are the elements? What are the circumstances?
Work for me at the moment is a whole heap of triggers for not loving myself. The part of the job at the moment is a trigger and a barrier to self-love at the moment.
Can you be a little more specific?
I’ve gone into a job where I congratulate myself for taking a job out of my comfort zone, one that I’m not experienced for. Yes, I’ll give myself that. However, going into a job with very little experience or no experience, it’s lecturing. I’ve never taught before. To deliver a module that I know nothing on, that is pushing all of my buttons in terms of wanting to be a people pleaser, in terms of wanting to not fail, not get it right, and not make mistakes. It’s huge on so many levels. Now because I’m asking for support and I’m struggling, I fear that I’m being perceived as incompetent or I’m being judged as not being good enough. That’s totally connecting right there with all the stuff that I don’t love about myself.
What’s the overt evidence that you have that you’re being judged?
They said it.
That’s a good boss if he talked directly like that. Are you in the point of losing your job? Are you in a danger zone or are you right in the middle?
No, but I’m at the point of, “Do I leave?” I’m at the point where I’m thinking I got angry about it and I want to quit. I’m at the point now where I’ve had this week off to do some self-care and thinking I’ve got to stand up for myself here. That would be scary because I’ve never practiced self-love in that way in terms of setting boundaries. Understand, “This isn’t okay, you’re taken advantage of and I need support.” Trying to do that without shame is quite a challenge at the moment.
This is convoluted. I can get how complicated this is. On one element, you know that you’re amateurish in this area, you’re new to this area.
The second piece is your bosses, are they saying you’re not up to snuff? What is the abusive thing they’re saying to you?
I’ve asked for support so I’ve said, “I’m struggling, I need support with this,” and they said, “No.” Then when I’ve felt stressed or expressed that I’m stressed with the amount of I’ve got to do and not being sure I’m doing it right, they then said that they’re concerned about my ability to deliver one module and they’re concerned about the state that I get into before I’m delivering those teaching sessions.
Do you know why they’re not giving you support?
Money and culture, I would say, are the two things.
It’s like pull yourself up by the bootstraps kind of place.
Yes. This is how they do it. They will hire by experience, so they think it’s right for me to have that experience as well.
Is there some sexism in here too happening?
I’m not sure about sexism. My two main managers are females so it may be professional. I’m not sure, but I haven’t sensed sexism yet.
Sexism can happen from women too. Don’t forget that. Men don’t hold the corner on sexism. Women can be meaner to other women.
I looked at that in terms of projection, but yes, I would say that’s part of it.
We’re untying it a little bit. We haven’t gotten to the center of it. You’re in a place where you’ve put yourself in a position that self-love is extremely challenging. The first thing is that I would recommend is to pull the lens back and remind yourself for some fucked up reason you’ve decided to climb that mountain in bare feet. When I look back at my business, not that I’m trying to equate the two, please know that I’m not trying to equate my challenge to your challenge. When I look back at my experience and I take full responsibility, why take full responsibility? My forgiveness level and my comfort level increases significantly. When I felt victimized by my own choices, that’s where things are more difficult.
That’s the same here.
I knew before I started this business, I was bored to tears and I missed certain elements. A prison. A prison cell, I’m in certain elements of a prison cell. Twenty months later I’m learning I don’t need to put myself in the prison. I’m quite glad on some level because for the rest of my life I have this skillset. For you, there’s some part of you that wanted the challenge of this.
You’re in connection with that piece?
Absolutely, that’s why I took the job.
You have the power. You climbed the mountain in bare feet. You’re dealing with two women. Their sexism or competitive nature is arising. You don’t feel supported. Here’s my next question. Is there other ways to get support different from the bosses?
Potentially, yes. I’m not sure yet, but I’m assuming at the moment that I can tap into support from other colleagues in different departments. I’m going to be very creative when I got back to work in terms of what I can do for myself. There’s definitely a sense of in justice or anger that I’ve got to process before I can advance.
What is this injustice? What is this anger?
This is where I think I can do that and that would be fine, but they have a duty as well. I want to fight. I’m not sure if that’s helpful or not but that’s where I’m at.
What is it that you want to fight?
I want to tell them that it’s not good enough and that they need to do better.
Why do you want to do that?
It means that I don’t have to admit that I could do better. It’s avoiding dealing with what I need to do, which is to love myself, accept it and find support under another way.
Has there ever been another part in your life when you didn’t feel supported by someone?
Yes, my childhood, I would say. A lot of this stuff stems from that.
I have Morgan’s knowledge or voice in my ear right now. She’s diving into something, a teacher named Teal Swan and this parcels of the completion process. I’m not an expert at this in this shape or form, I’m learning from her. The concept is that all our wounds happened when we were younger. We get older and then we have experiences that open up those wounds again. We put ourselves in situations to complete and to heal the wounds from our childhood. You’re not angry necessarily at your woman bosses even though they merit it, it could be hypothetically you’re angry at your parents.
I would totally agree with that, I’m absolutely there. That’s why I’m not going in there, swearing and pointing the finger because I know that that’s not appropriate and it’s not completely justified.
You’re self-aware, which is great, and sometimes you still got that fucked up anger stuff in them, especially with your presentation. You’re like, “I’m angry and I’m angry beyond the scope of this experience because it’s my childhood.”
All I can recommend is a couple of things. One is to be aware what you need before you do those teachings. Up your selfishness, your self-attention. If you’re speaking at 12:00 on a Tuesday, what do you need to do from 10:00 to 12:00? Lavish yourself in that self-attention because you’re facing the demon. The second thing is to continue to combine and connect your current time angst with your childhood angst and look at it like, “I’m healing this part of myself.” I’m reaching out to that younger part of myself and saying, “We’re going to do this together.” Third, what you said is ask for help. That’s an awesome thing. I have my colleagues that helped me with my professional stuff constantly. I’m texting them constantly left and right. I know having that support system enables me to go out and be more forthright and open.
That sounds good.
You want to talk to more about this? You want to dovetail into something else?
I’m thinking as I’m exploring the self-loathing, one thing that strikes me in terms of what I think I need to know is I need to know who I am and how unviewed and often I don’t know. You said I’ve got self-awareness. I have to always realize that, and I don’t always know who I am to actually love, if that makes sense. You know you said about falling in love with yourself? I don’t think I have, because I don’t know who I’m falling in love with. It’s a fascinating concept and I’m not sure where I’m at with that.
Here’s the thing, you’re constantly evolving. You’re not falling in love with a thing or a person. You’re falling in love with a dynamic entity. We often feel betrayed in love because we meet at time equals zero, fall in love, and then a time plus a year, that person’s changed. We get mad because you’re like, “You’re not the same person I was a year ago. I feel betrayed because you’ve changed.” That person, you are going to constantly change. Evolution is beautiful. There’s this thing in America where you go back to your high school friends, and your high school friends are boring to the death. You were best friends and exciting, now like, “They’re so boring. I can’t wait to get back to California.” The point is we are constantly evolving and you’re constantly evolving. Fall in love with the process of the evolution of you.
That makes more sense. That seems more achievable as well because sometimes it’s such a weird concept. I guess that’s about where I’m coming from, but to look at it in that way, that’s achievable.
I’ve watched you change from your facial expressions from the beginning of when you guys came on, maybe six months ago, seven months ago. There’s brightness in you and there’s a coming out in you. In our coaching sessions, I know there’s a part of you that’s waking up and saying, “I want this and I deserve this.” That is the most beautiful thing you can do for you. It’s the most beautiful thing you can do, is evolve and be true to yourself.
Thanks, that was awesome.
You may lose things along the way, but holding on and not changing is death.
Thank you. That was great. Cheers.
Cheers. My pleasure. Thank you for coming on the show, as always.
Thanks very much to you as well.
I’m happy to be on the show. As always, I’m grateful. Keep spreading the word if you can. If you haven’t, go to iTunes and make a comment, subscribe on iTunes, that really helps. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, the word of mouth is helping. A lot of people are saying, “This person recommended me. I should listen or should come on the show,” which I’m always grateful and I’m always grateful for my consistent listeners. I could just record this podcast but it wouldn’t be any fun for me. You guys being on the show every week after week is what makes this work.
Coming down to this place and time and time again of self-love, self-approval and putting myself first, coming and put myself first because I’ve lived my life in other people’s shadows my entire life, my dad included. This is the first time in 46 years where I’ve done the personal work, not to blame anyone else, I’ve done the personal work to come out and be forefront and say, my name is Rob Kandell. I am a whole human being. I have something to say and thank you for listening. That is this episode’s Tuff Love. Go forth, be real, be live. Send some loving to my dad if you can. We’ll see you. Thanks so much for joining us for Tuff Love. If you’d like to make a donation, please visit us at PayPal.me/KandellConsulting. Thanks so much. I love you. Go forth and face the day.
- Psychology Today
- Wikipedia article on Self-love
- 30 Ways to Practice Self-Love and Be Good to Yourself
- Psychology Today Top Seven Tips article
- Teal Swan
- Tuff Love on iTunes