05/28/2015 03:52 pm ET Updated May 28, 2016

Self-Love Saved My Life

It was 2012 and my life had just completely shattered in front of my eyes. I had just ended a four-year relationship after finding out my partner had been cheating the entire time. I felt lost, betrayed, hurt, and on top of it all I was dealing with an 18-year battle with depression. During those four years, I created a horrible habit of numbing out: masking my emotions with drugs and alcohol. I never realized how bad things were until I ended that relationship. I began to spiral out of control, yet I felt as though I was in control. I was angry with my ex. I kept asking myself how he could do such a thing to me... and that's when a voice inside me spoke and said:

"You accepted this relationship."

Whoa. Major truth-bomb. I did accept that relationship. I accepted the emotional and verbal abuse. I accepted the cheating. I accepted it all. Why? Because that's what I felt I was worthy of. The life I lived -- the partying, the numbing out -- was all created by me, because that's the life I felt worthy of living.

Let's fast forward to today. I am happy, loved, supported, and I honestly and truly feel connected to my purpose. How did I get here? How does one go from a life of self-destruction to a life of love? The answer: Self-Love.

Self-love saved my life. Yes, I accepted that horrible relationship. Yes, I created my destructive life. And yes, I was blaming the world around me for my hardships when I should have been looking within. Simply put, I didn't love myself enough to create a good life. I honestly didn't believe that I was worthy of living a good life and anytime good things came my way, I would sabotage them. I realized that I had the power to change my life; I had to take ownership and begin building the type of life I wanted to live, and it all started with self-love.

It IS possible to change your life. It IS possible to rebuild after hitting rock bottom. But it takes work, dedication and commitment. Loving yourself unconditionally will positively change every single aspect of your life, and THAT is worth the commitment.

It's time for you to learn to love yourself unconditionally...

Step 01. Forgiveness
Anger and resentment are the two strongest emotions that can keep you tied to your past, preventing you from moving forward. It's time to forgive... Forgive others, and forgive yourself. Let go and give yourself permission to move on.

Step 02. Take Ownership
Stop feeling ashamed or guilty of your past by taking ownership for all your past experiences. When we feel ashamed of our experiences, those experiences gain power over us. But when we own our experiences, we become empowered by them.

Step 03. Detoxify
It's time to detox your life. Rid yourself of anything that is not serving you in the highest good: relationships, friendships, habits... get rid of all that is holding you back. Like any detox this may feel pretty shitty at first, but you will feel exceptionally better afterwards.

Step 04. Create Positive Shifts
Post­-detox is a great time to fill yourself back up by creating positive shifts in your life. Adopt healthy habits, partake in activities that you enjoy, spend time with people who lift you up...Focus on the things that make your heart smile. The happier you feel, the more you will love yourself.

Step 05. Be Grateful
Gratitude is an attitude that can change your life. Be grateful for every moment in your life, because each of those moments led you here. Find gratitude in every experience, and in everything you do. By focusing on what you're grateful for, you become reminded of your abundance, and not what you lack. That voice inside that's been telling you you're not good enough, is wrong. You are good enough, and by learning to love yourself unconditionally, you will know that to be true.

Self-love is a game-changer. It will elevate you to live a life that feels purposeful and aligned with what you truly want. It will improve your relationships with others and boost your self-worth. So ask yourself... Aren't you worthy of your own, unconditional love?


Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.