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Feb 072014
Reading Time: 12 minutes

Many of us do not feel truly loved or accepted for who we are. We then try to get this love and acceptance by pleasing others constantly, caretaking (addictive giving and caring) and other-focused living. As a result we betray our own happiness, needs and purpose. This article explores why this happens and gives you tips on how to build your self-love.

The culprit in this state of affairs hides deep within our patriarchal culture, infiltrating the very place where a child is meant to receive unconditional love; the family.

In a utilitarian and competitive culture, the family installs a non-conditional love policy towards the children. As they grow up in the Domestication Trance, children learn that in order to be loved and accepted, they must be and do what the adults expect of them. Any deviation meets with disapproval (in the mildest cases), rejection or punishment in most cases and ~ in the worse scenarios, physical abuse.

Unconditional Love

Children love unconditionally. Unconditional Love is not something that only saints or good mothers attain. It is the very nature of love to be unconditional. True love, that is. Love that is based on appreciating the essence of the other person. Love that is based on wanting what is best for that person. Love that seeks not a self-benefiting goal but a genuine contribution to the other within a mutually supportive relationship. Love that is the extension of one’s self. There is a word in Mayan that encompasses the source of Unconditional Love:

Unconditional Love is the result of self-acceptance and non-judgment and a deep understanding of our own humanity, founded in our Basic Goodness; yet riddled with flaws, mistakes and challenges.

This experience of unconditional acceptance of the self grows, through empathy and compassion, to encompass others. We then appreciate their essence and resilience, their dreams and virtues; while feeling compassion for their flaws and problems; that mirror our own. Instead of judging them or demanding what they cannot give at the moment, we then support and encourage them to find the best of themselves; without placing demands that they cannot meet.

As adults, we can love this way ONLY if we are taking care of our own needs and love ourselves unconditionally. Otherwise, we will feel the hunger left by conditional love and strive to get it met from others because we are not filling that gap ourselves.



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Changing the Love Games: Four Practices to develop Unconditional Self-love

What to do, when to do it and how to do it and why these simple practices, done consistently every day will bring you into a new frequency of love, self-acceptance and self-value that will change your life.

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The Love Games

As the child grows up in an unconditional loving family, she unlearns Unconditional Love.

She begins to see relationships within a utilitarian frame of mind. What’s in it for me? becomes the end game, and this child grows up to be an adult trapped in a terrible dilemma. She seeks to satisfy her hunger for Unconditional Love while being unable to love unconditionally herself. The love games begin.

These love games stress out and distort adult relationships because each member is seeking to fill their hunger but does not believe to be intrinsically lovable.

If she cannot be loved as she is, she must do something to get that love. Masks, pretense, seduction games, manipulation and struggle ensue in an attempt to get the most without giving too much.

Yet, nothing that others give us fills that hole because we cannot receive it. We cannot receive it because we secretly believe that we do not DESERVE it.

Men are taught that giving in to women’s demands makes them weak and that they are to stay in control, which leads many men to hold back on expressing their love or even feeling it in an attempt to keep control. Expressing love or surrendering to their heart is seen as weakness or vulnerability ~which is equated with weakness. In a competitive society, you cannot allow yourself to be vulnerable because you will “lose” the game.

Women may be seeking to fill their Father-Hunger without standing on their own self-love. As a result, this women may place constant demands on men as proof of a love that they cannot receive, no matter how much is given to them.

On the other hand, we have the women (and some men) who love too much, the caretakers and co-dependents. Isn’t their love unconditional? Don’t they give everything to the loved one, in spite of getting nothing in return? Not really. Their love game is different, but it is still conditional.

Their love game is about guilt and blame. They give in excess, neglecting themselves because they expect the others to give them what they are not giving themselves. If the others do not deliver, then they turn on the blame and shame them.

Unconditional Love starts with the self and grows from the self to encompass others. Because you accept yourself as you are, you can then accept others without judging them.

Co-dependent love and caretaking addictions stem from a hunger to be loved unconditionally that drives us to keep giving in a desperate attempt to please and be finally loved.

When we love ourselves unconditionally, we live and love in this way:

  • We are authentic, expressing who we are without going out of our way to please others.
  • We take responsibility for living our life instead of constantly focusing on others.
  • We are true to our own wellbeing and expect to be loved just as we are, without bending backwards.
  • And above all, we do not insist on giving our gifts to those who do not appreciate us because we value ourselves and what what we have been given by spirit to give to others.


Adult Partnership

In adult relationships there is a degree of mutuality that contains Unconditional Love because it is a partnership entered from choice and that choice is based on certain mutual agreements, like marriage or friendship.

To the degree that we, as adults, can balance our own wellbeing in a relationship while contributing to the other person’s wellbeing, Unconditional Love may grow to the highest frequency of Divine Love within us. Yet, each adult is responsible for loving him or herself unconditionally in the first place.


Unconditional Love and the Self

In a child, however, conditioning love is extremely prejudicial because the child is learning who she is and what life is about from the elders.

Unconditional Love creates self-love, self-esteem and self-confidence in the child’s relationship with herself. It also generates trust, competence and entitlement in the child’s relationship with the world. Finally it feeds a perception of co-creation in the child’s relationship to life and others.

Exactly the opposite happens when you grow up with conditional love. You learn that you will ONLY be loved if you please others or serve whatever function they need from you. You become other-focused and other-centered.

It’s funny that we accuse people of being self-centered in order to express that they are selfish. If you think about it: what are you if you are NOT self-centered? Other-centered!

And how can you stand in the world when you have no center and are always leaning on others? You become co-dependent!

The second damage that conditional love inflicts is a deep-seated belief that the world is hostile and life works against us.

When they do not accept you for you you are, as a child you secretly conclude that life does not want you and that you have no place in the world.

What can you do, then? You must either betray yourself in order to be loved, or rebel against life and the world and fight for a space in the world ~a space that you do not expect to find.

Life as a Struggle

No wonder so many of us believe that we do not deserve what we want, that we are not enough and that we must struggle to have anything. Conditional love leaves us with a big hole ~like a Black Hole in space, an emptiness that hollows us, an insatiable hunger brutally captured in the novel “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.

What can you do?

Only one thing can fill the hole left in you by conditional love. Only one thing can satisfy this hunger once you are an adult.

Everything else is a placebo and will quickly fade.


The problem you face is that you did not learn how to give yourself Unconditional Love. In fact, you unlearned it. Your task, then is to teach yourself Unconditional Love.



Four Self-love Practices

Here are four practices that, done consistently, will help you develop Unconditional Self-love. I also include some resources to help you in these practices.

1. Affirm your Unconditional Love for yourself every day

Understand that an affirmation is an assertion of an intention. Intention is the directed desire of your soul, not just will power. Connect to your Basic Goodness, feeling deep in your heart that you are a good person and that God loves you. From that feeling, affirm your intention to love yourself unconditionally like this:

Inhale as you say this in silence. Exhale as you say it out loud. Do this for a year. Practice the affirmation at these times every day:

  1. First thing when you open your eyes in the morning
  2. Before meal times
  3. Last thing before falling asleep
  4. Anytime you make a mistake
  5. Anytime someone says or do something that makes you feel bad
  6. Anytime you doubt yourself or are hold yourself back because you don’t believe you deserve something
  7. Anytime you face a challenge or are afraid to make a mistake

After a year of practicing this at all these times, Unconditional Self-love becomes a lifestyle and operates automatically in your programming. I know because I’ve done it.

What I did to stick with it was that I made it my ONLY New Year’s resolution and kept affirming it in all the instances I’ve pointed above. While I was doing it at first it was hard. But then, like magic, I began to feel loved and acceptance and to stop myself when I began to judge myself. After a year, I no longer judged myself or found fault with myself constantly. After a year, I develop a deep sense of my Basic Goodness and compassion for myself as I faced challenges and made mistakes. I stopped insulting or blaming myself when I screwed up. I no longer automatically expected rejection and to be judged by others.

2. Self-mother Yourself

Your Inner Child is starving for Unconditional Love and will not be able to grow unless s/he has it. Therefore, you as an adult need to mother/father your Inner Child and give her/him what your elders did not give you. You need to stop acting towards your Inner Child and yourself with the same habits of conditional love you learned. That means releasing self-judgment and blaming. This means having compassion for your flaws and struggles. This means believing in your self and celebrating your Basic Goodness. This also means naming your value and gifts for that Inner Child to feel appreciated and loved.

What do you do when you break something?
When you mess up?
When you pull back and then realize
that you acted from fear and missed a chance?
Do you berate yourself? Blame yourself?
Judge and punish yourself?

Where did you learn to do this?

Well, you are an adult now. You can be a different mother/father. You don’t have to repeat your mother’s or father’s Shadow behavior; which in you becomes your Shadow Mother or Shadow Father (the archetype of the Evil Witch in fairy tales).

  • When you break that thing, parent your Inner Child by letting her know that it was an accident and it happens to all of us. “It’s just a thing. We can get another.”
  • When you make a mistake, parent your Inner Child to know that mistakes are the way we learn, and to focus on the lesson so s/he can get wiser.
  • When you feel stupid or a failure, parent your Inner Child by letting her know that you love her no matter what, that she is lovable no matter what and that when she fails to produce the results you expected, she is NOT a failure.

3. Recognize, name and celebrate your inherent qualities

Part of the problem we all face in this society is that the only time people recognize the value in us is when we DO something in the external world that generates an effect beneficial to them.

  • You may have been praised when you got good grades, but not because you were happy.
  • You may have been praised because you won the spelling contest, but not because you were a beam of radiance that brighten your family’s world.

As a result of this bias, we learn that it is only what we do that is valuable, and only in the measure that it benefits others.

But what about ourselves? Do we have an intrinsic value? What about those things we do to be happy, healthy and fulfilled? Aren’t they also valuable?

You need to learn to name your inherent qualities; the qualities of your Essence that are visible only by the imprint of your Presence in the world.

Observe the following until you can feel it. Then celebrate it.

  • How your Presence changes the environment. You can start by becoming aware of how your body moves the space around you.
  • How your Being affects those around you. Become aware of how your Presence (without having to do anything, just by you being there) affects the moods, hopes and emotions of those around you.
  • What your Essential Gifts offer the world. Become aware of the precious gems of your Essenceand how they shine on others. Examples:
    • I have the Essential Gifts of freedom, magic and creativity and I bring them everywhere I go.
    • My business partner has the Essential Gifts of harmony, listening and BodySoul presence and she spread them anywhere she enters.
    • My best friend has the Essential Gifts of compassion, healing vision and truth and they walk with her everywhere.
    • Another friend of mine has the Essential Gifts of peace, beauty and wonder, and she also blesses us with them whenever she joins us.

4. Give yourself permission to deserve what you want

  • Give yourself permission to be happy, fulfilled and successful.
  • Give yourself permission to be who you are and to do what brings you joy.
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy the life of your dreams and to embody your purpose.
  • Give yourself permission to open your wings and fly as high as your brightest potential.

How do you give yourself permission?

A proper answer to this question would take several volumes. As a matter of fact, I am writing those volumes, beginning with the first volume, which I share in the resource section below. But for now, know this:

The pieces of evidence that show that you are not giving permission to yourself are:

  • You are not doing it
  • You do not believe it will happen for you
  • You do not feel that you deserve it
  • You expect obstacles because you secretly believe that the world/life will not easily give you this or co-operate with you on this, and
  • You cannot see its presence or
  • You cannot receive it when it shows up.

If you reverse this evidence, you begin to retrain your subconscious to give you permission. Therefore:

  • Do it. Do at least one action each week. Take that first step.
  • Believe that it will happen. Open your mind and heart to receive it.
  • See yourself as God sees you. The Divine created you for this and wants to give you this.
  • Receive life, the Universe, the world as your Creation Partners. Work with them, not against them; for they are working for you.
  • Open your eyes to see the opportunities, life lessons and bridges that move you closer to your dream or purpose, and
  • Open your heart to receive it when it shows up.









This book is a portal for women and Spiritual Creatives to walk into Authentic Success.It helps you give yourself permission to DESERVE what you want.


bullet It helps you find the Unique Essence at the core of your being that ALREADY is the success you long for.
bullet It allows you to experience right now that you are a success and were born a success.
bullet With that experience, your heart is full and you do not mistake what you have or achieve with your inherent worth.
bullet This makes you fearless and unstoppable, as you will not weaken with any failure or difficulty.
bullet This book helps you to spot and release the Prohibitions to Success and Happiness which have been laid over you, like Cinderella’s ashy rags.
bullet When you release these self-diminishing notions that hold you back, you become an Authentic Success right now.



Once you realize that what your Soul desires and what brings you joy is exactly what you came here to do, you stop denying and sacrificing yourself and start embodying your Grace by expressing your Essence in a BIG way and receiving the quality of life your soul longs for. I call this to Bless your Success.

Maria Mar



Digital book. 60 pages. Includes inspiring quotes, journal writing exercises, creative projects and clickable resources.

Only $15 USD

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Available for your Kindle:

USA Only $9.99 USD http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005KFJKTMUK Only £6.28 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005KFJKTMGERMANY Only EUR 7,10 https://www.amazon.de/dp/B005KFJKTM 

For women who want to heal Mother-daughter wounds connected to self-love, check out this book: Rewrite your Fairy Tales for Success: Step into your Greatness.

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About Maria Mar

Maria Mar is a Sacred Storyteller and shaman who champions you to change your old limiting story to create the new story of your brilliance illuminating the world. She helps you awaken your magic, express your creative genius, embody your purpose and live your potential now.

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