How to learn to finally love yourself, with Marla Goldberg and Dr. William Seeds

Dr. William Seeds
Nov 4 · 14 min read

Starting a gratitude practice is not difficult. It’s as easy as starting the day with five things you’re grateful for, and end the day doing the same. If you’re in a place where gratitude is not easy, show your gratitude for the fact that you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, a toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. After time, you will find the areas of gratitude grow.

As a part of my series about “Connecting With Yourself To Live With Better Relationships” I had the pleasure to interview Marla Goldberg. Marla Goldberg is an Energy Healer, Intuitive, Speaker, Teacher, Host of Guided Spirit Conversations Podcast, and Best-Selling Author of My F*cking Long Journey To Loving Myself: A Guide to a Shorter Path. The latter book is partially non-fiction and partially self-help. Marla’s mission for this book is to help others learn how to release anger, frustration and stress, how to forgive others and themselves, learn self-acceptance and ultimately self-love.


Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

When my life hit rock bottom, and I had nowhere to turn, I went to a women’s conference where I met my first spiritual teacher. That was my entre into my spiritual teaching. Many years after graduation from this school, I was traveling with my husband when a big booming voice declared that I need to start a spiritual practice and help others.

After a conversation with my husband about what I had just experienced, I decided to open a practice. As my business grew, I was guided to start my podcast; Guided Spirit Conversations, participate in two compilation books; Heart and Soul and 52 Weeks of Gratitude Journal, and to write my latest solo endeavor; My F*cking Long Journey To Loving Myself: A Guide to a Shorter Path.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

I am currently working on a pilot for a television show and I’m out promoting my book.

My mission for my podcast, book and pilot are all similar, to help others enhance, tweak or shift their current life experiences so that they can live the divine life we’re all meant to live. My desire is that by using the TTT’s (Tips, Tools and Techniques) I share in the back of my book, and those shared by my various guests, will allow the audience to shorten the journey, getting to what I call the “sweet spot of life” a lot faster than the journey I went on.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?

In my book I share many of my struggles and successes, as well as the many choices I made which didn’t serve me well in my life. One of the stories, which really catapulted me into a deep depression, was when I was having chest pains. They were getting worse and worse, and one morning I woke up and was really scared of what I was feeling. The pains were the worst I’ve experienced and felt I should go to the hospital. I couldn’t wake my husband at the time, so I got into my car and drove myself.

Hours into my time in the ER, my husband called looking for me. I explained to him about my chest pains and how I couldn’t wake him, and how I took myself to the hospital.

About an hour later he showed up at the hospital with the boys (I adopted his two children when we got married). They stayed about 15 minutes and left. The lack of care and concern sent me into a deep depression.

I didn’t realize how low my self-confidence and self-esteem were until I started going to my first Mystery School, where I was given many glimpses into the person I projected and the spiritual being I truly was.

Through three years of study and the over 700 clearings I did and had done to me, I began to accept who I was — as I like to say warts, wrinkles and all — and move into a place of self-love. It wasn’t an easy journey, but I’m grateful for every experience, positive and perceived negative, that I have had to go through because it was for my growth and for me to find this amazing place where I find myself each and every day.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

I feel that the dictations of society are a major cause for people, both men and women, to become unhappy and ultra-critical of their appearance. We as humans hold ourselves to standards that are not attainable. In my early days, the popularity of Twiggy and Barbie were high up there. It was nearly impossible to be so thin and waif like, or that naturally busty or get a waist that small.

I believe men also are affected by those they see in magazines, TV and movies. The pearly white straight teeth, muscular with a full head of hair. For decades, men wanted to be Sean Connery, little did they know that he wore a great toupee for most of his iconic career.

I’m grateful that today more acceptance is shown and the stars of today, for the most part, look like those you may pass in the street. They’re not stick thin, or have perfect teeth or hair. They entertain us with their talent, and not an illusion of perfection. I feel that this new acceptance shows the general public that it’s okay if you’re not the picture of perfection, and that there is beauty in the imperfections that is not only in humans, but in nature itself.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

For me the importance of loving oneself is like a multi-faceted gem. I believe that one makes better decisions for their lives because they’re implementing self-care, doing what’s in the best and highest good for themselves rather than just accepting what others may want, but that won’t serve them well. This also includes applying strong boundaries, making choices that serve one’s growth in a healthy and positive way, no longer choosing to repeat the decisions that didn’t, and won’t ever, serve them well.

I find that by standing in the power of self-love, that life is more joyful, freer, and that you feel more of that joie de vivre. I personally have found myself bringing more gratitude into my life as I feel more love when I live in that gratitude state.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

I don’t believe there is one answer as to why one stays in a mediocre relationship. From my experience, personally, and from the clients I have worked who are or were in those relationships, I find that one big reason is fear. Fear of the unknown. Will they ever find another partner? Will they be treated worse than the current relationship? It’s about the devil they know rather than the angel they don’t know. What I have found in these cases, including my own, is that once you can get through the “veil of fear” you’ll find that the outcome is so much better than you thought it would be.

I have found another reason people stay in relationships that no longer feel good or lifts them up is the fact that they don’t want to change their financial circumstances, especially if the kids are grown and out of the house, many don’t want to live on half or less of what they already live on.

My guidance to those who are finding themselves in a less than satisfactory relationship is to take a look at yourself many years in the future. If you see yourself regretting your choice to not make a change in your situation, then I would propose you take action to make a change. I’m not suggesting that you do anything drastic, at least not initially.

I always suggest taking small steps to begin with, such as having a heartfelt conversation with your partner where you share your feelings about what’s happening for you in the relationship, and being open to what your partner has to say.

If that isn’t working and you feel that a mediator or a couples’ counselor can help, then I invite you to try a few sessions. I have found that having an unbiased opinion can make a world of difference in one’s perspective.

If you try all viable options and your relationship hasn’t changed for the better, or if there is so much damage to the relationship that there’s no way to save it — and after much consideration and thought — I would suggest taking the steps necessary to dissolve the relationship.

These are the steps I took when I was in my first marriage. I made every effort possible to make the relationship better, stronger, happier. When nothing I did brought change to our situation, I made the conscious decision to end my marriage rather than look back at my life with the regret that I didn’t do what I needed to for my happiness and well-being.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

During the darkest time in my life, when I was at my lowest ebb, I was at a loss as to what to do to get out of this dark place. I had to ask myself if what I had to go through for the life I was leading, was it worth it?

When I finally woke up and acknowledged to myself how horrible and abusive my marriage was, I stalled. I was stuck in fear; fear of the unknown. How much damage would I withstand by taking the steps to divorce? How will I fare financially? Could I land on my feet? I felt like a deer in headlights.

With the help and guidance of a few confidants, I came to the realization that I would rather start over and rebuild my life, than stay in a marriage that was so damaging to me mentally, and emotionally through the daily abuses I had to withstand. It took me a while to build up the courage, but I eventually bit the bullet and took the steps to leave my marriage.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

This is a great question and something I faced head-on in my early twenties. Back then I was never home. I was either working or playing. I would only be home to shower or change my clothes, or sleep for the few hours I would allow myself. I didn’t realize that I was running away from many things. I didn’t want to be alone in my own company.

I had gone on a date or two with this man. One day he called my home, and of course, I wasn’t home. My mother answered the phone and when she told him I was out, he went into a long rant about how I didn’t like myself, I was afraid to be alone and that’s why I had to be out all the time. Then he went on to tell her how she failed me by giving me no guidance or direction.

When I saw her the next morning she relayed the conversation to me. I became angry at the idea that this person thought he knew me well enough to say those things to my mother. But instead of confronting him, I confronted myself and challenged myself to stay home more. I did this for about six months.

I learned a lot about myself in those months, with the biggest lesson being that I was okay being home in my own company. I learned to accept myself and to face my fear of being alone with myself.

To this day, I am grateful for that conversation that this person had with my mother, for without it, it would have me a lot longer to realize that I like being in my own company. After that experiment I found I would take much more time alone; whether with my thoughts, or doing little things around the house, that my time with me could be just as, or even more enjoyable, than the times I had when I was being a social butterfly.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

From my experiences learning to understand, accept and love myself, the shield of protection that I held so tightly around my heart opened and, instead of my being fearful of others seeing my vulnerable side, I embrace my vulnerability. I have become a secure, loving and supportive friend, wife, sibling and collaborator.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

I feel that if both society and people practiced the art of kindness — to people, animals, our planet — then we wouldn’t have to bear witness to some of the heinous acts that are happening around our globe.

I would just love to see a world where people care about each other’s well-being rather than how they can gain the edge over them.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

Strategy 1

Gratitude

I start and end each and every day with gratitude. When I began to fall in love with myself, my gratitude for absolutely everything grew. That includes the situations in my life that are “perceived” negative. I say perceived because what I may view as negative, someone else may feel is not so bad, so it’s all in the perception.

Starting a gratitude practice is not difficult. It’s as easy as starting the day with five things you’re grateful for, and end the day doing the same. If you’re in a place where gratitude is not easy, show your gratitude for the fact that you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, a toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. After time, you will find the areas of gratitude grow.

Strategy 2

Mirror Work

I do mirror work. I stand in front of my mirror and look at myself naked, then I move in to look directly into my eyes and I will tell my reflection how much I love myself. I forgive myself for the words, thoughts or deeds that may not have been for the best and highest good for myself or another. I make promises to myself of things I want to do better for myself and others. I share my appreciation for people or situations that I come across that are a part of my growth. There is no limit to the areas I touch upon while looking into my own eyes.

Strategy 3

Prayer

Every morning I start my day with a prayer practice. My practice is very detailed. The first part of my prayers is my gratitude piece, I then move into asking my High Self (you may use, Universe, Spirit, God, or whoever you pray to) to guide me, to show me the way. The next piece for me is clearing work, clearing my blocks, programs, imprints or challenges. In the fourth part of my prayers I let my HS know what I am open and ready to receive. And in the fifth and final part of my prayers I send out light, love and healing out to all and to those who are having medical challenges.

This is what I do. Yours might be as simple as bless and protect me. Whatever your prayer practice is, know that you are being heard, and that you’re never alone.

Strategy 4

Meditation

I love my meditations. When I first learned how to meditate, it was really hard. I learned TM and trying to get my mind to stop was a true challenge. What I’ve learned since then is that you can sit quietly for one minute or 60 minutes. In that time, you can truly clear out the cobwebs coming out clear and refreshed.

I also love the guided mediations, especially if my mind is especially active. For me by focusing on the words that are being said allows me to surrender and float with the intention being set by the person guiding that specific meditation.

Strategy 5

Self-Care

Self-care is one primary way that a person can maintain their connection to self and support their love of self. What is self-care? Self-care is any way that an individual focuses on their continued growth — mentally, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually. This could be achieved by way of continuing education, healthy eating, mediation, workouts, relaxing times with friends, epson salt baths. Another way to phrase it is a healthy and positive way to recharge one’s batteries.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

I love my spiritually-educational books. Currently I’m listening to The Sophia Code, Success Is For You. For podcasts, I like Becoming Your Greatest Possible Self, The Gratitude Show, Cosmic Creating Show, to name a few. I also go to YouTube for a number of my favorite meditations. I was recently turned on to Ros Place meditations and love them.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

I am actually working on an event for collective consciousness. It’s amazing how we can bring our intentions and energies together to change and support this planet and what’s happening on it at this time. We are looking at this event to take place in 2020.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more” — Oprah Winfrey

It’s about gratitude. When you are grateful for what you have, the Universe will conspire to bring more of it to you.

When I was on my knees asking why, my life didn’t change, as a matter of fact I seemed to get more of what I didn’t want. When I began incorporating gratitude into my life, my life began to open and blossom like an amazing lotus.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Marla Goldberg Links:

Website: www.marlagoldberg.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mghealing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarlaGoldberg9

Instagram: www.instagram.com/marla.goldberg

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Dr. William Seeds

Written by

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon and physician, with over 22 years of experience, specializing in all aspects of sports medicine and total joint treatments

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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