Finding self-love in unexpected places.

3 min readApr 6, 2023

When it comes to self-love, I’ve entertained many different ideas.

Some of them were about a purposeful activity, where I tried to hold myself with myself or as myself.

As if there were two versions of me and one of those was supposed to take care of and appreciate the other.

And there were ideas where self-love was more about allowing a specific capacity, something natural, to unfold.

Self-love, in that respect, meant being with whatever is.

But no matter how I approached it, no matter how much sense it made or how cool it sounded, it was hard for me to get a real feel for what it meant.

A couple of days ago I had an insight into this that changed my way of seeing it profoundly.

When I reflected on my life and acknowledged how incredibly hard and challenging it has been, I saw the immense power that has been available to me.

I walk around with an incredibly judgmental mind (and it can get really extreme and detailed) every single day, but I never gave up on myself.

I was brought up with a vast amount of diminishing ideas and crippling beliefs, and I still managed to get out of that fucking hole and become a joyful, hopeful, strong person.

And this is where I saw self-love: the capacity to overcome almost endless amounts of shit.

I am here, today, the way I am, loving and appreciative and in awe, because of self-love.

Self-love kept me going, self-love kept me sane, and self-love kept me motivated even after a million disappointments.

My life is the effect, the result, of self-love.

And if I take a good look at what I have endured to end up in this light-filled, magical place, if I reflect on the weeks and the months that I wanted to give up or stay in the dark forever, I feel an incredible amount of gratitude for my self-love.

I am where I am because of self-love.

I am WHO I am because of self-love.

And because I know that to be a fact, I can now invite it into my life, deliberately.

If you start to see self-love as your capacity to hold on and push through, your talent to get going regardless of trauma and horrible past events, and your capability to live with a mind that can get terribly harsh and condescending, you may start to appreciate how deep it is, and how powerful it is.

It feels like a loving duty to me to help people find this for themselves.

After a lifetime of self-hate, the moment of seeing how much love has always been available for you and how it has worked behind the scenes to keep you going can be monumentally liberating.

Let me guide you into that place of realization.

Let me be with you when you wake up from the chaos and destruction, and see that the light was always on.

Let my love help you in finding and honoring yours.

And let’s set this tremendous power free!

(You can find me and my love at




Marnix Pauwels. Author. Transformative Coach. Slowly getting to the place he never left. Exploring awe. How about simplicity?