Are you ready to love yourself?

ABOVE: As she curls up on the couch in her townhouse on the outskirts of Christchurch, Lilia Tarawa looks every bit the successful businesswoman… Click to read full article on

This August I published my memoir, Daughter of Gloriavale: My life in a religious cult. It was a massive learning curve for me.

I realised how much I’ve held myself back for fear of judgement. I learned that people will say both good and bad about me. I learned that self-esteem derived from the praise of others is only a fraction as potent as self-love that pours from the deepest parts of my soul.

Everything shifted. I learned that worthiness and my level of ‘deserve’ is determined not by how much others love me, but by how fiercely I love myself. My self-love protected me like a suit of armour through what has been one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

I stripped back the layers and let the world look at me for the person I really was. I learned quickly which people in my life loved me for me, and which people loved me for who they wanted me to be. The experience polarised my relationships. It drew authentic people closer and pushed frauds further away.

Learning to stand in my integrity in spite of judgement deepened my self-love. My sense of belonging was derived from how authentic I was to the woman I was created to be. She was not fake. She was not phoney. She was the warrior spirit of ancient women that lived on inside me. She was the spirit of my grandmother and my mother.

If you’re struggling to find something to love about yourself here’s a gentle nudge.

I believe in you.

You are worthy.

You are loved.

You deserve happiness, health and success.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Love, Lilia



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Photo Credit: Kerry Ferigo

Self-esteem derived from the praise of others is only a fraction as potent as self-love. Click To Tweet Stand in your integrity in spite of judgement. Click To Tweet

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