The Vehicle for POSiTiVE Change

The beauty that was, Louise Hay

Posted on Sep 5, 2017 |

The beauty that was, Louise Hay

YOU can heal your life! was the self-help book that sold an astonishing 50 million copies, first published 33 years ago. It is a must to have on your bookshelf to help you on your healing journey.

Now, after the death of this inspirational author Louise Hay, here is the best of her advice.

The founder of the modern self-help movement inspired such devotion that her followers called her a ‘living saint’.

Louise Hay, who died last week aged 90, claimed she could treat any emotional problem and even alleviate illnesses with positive thinking.


Life is really very simple. What we give out, we get back. What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us.

I believe everyone is responsible for everything in their life, good and bad.
Every thought we think forms our future. Each of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and feelings — or what I call our ‘pattern’.

When we create peace and harmony in our minds, we will find it in our lives. No matter where we have come from, we can change our lives for the better.

I am living proof. When I was 18 months old, my parents divorced. I’ve never been able to determine if my mother loved my stepfather or whether she just married him in order to provide a home for us.

But it was not a good move. He had been brought up with much brutality, and had never learned another way to manage a family. We were stuck in a home of violence.
Then a neighbour sexually assaulted me when I was about five. All in all, my childhood was spent enduring physical and sexual abuse, with a lot of hard labour thrown in.
She became a counsellor to develop her theories about mental patterns.

When I was 15, I could not take the sexual abuse any longer and ran away. Being starved of affection, I willingly gave my body to whoever was kind to me.

Just after my 16th birthday, I gave birth to a baby girl and felt it was impossible to keep her. I never experienced the joys of motherhood, just the loss, guilt and shame.
The violence I had experienced, combined with my sense of worthlessness, attracted men who mistreated me.

Gradually, however, through positive work experiences, my self-esteem grew. Those kind of men began to leave my life.
My old pattern of unconsciously believing I deserved abuse was gone, and they did not fit any more.

I don’t condone their behaviour, but if it were not for my ‘pattern’ they would not have been attracted to me.

I moved to New York and became a model. I married a wonderful, educated English gentleman (the businessman Andrew Hay).

We travelled the world, met royalty and even had dinner at the White House. But though I was a model and had a lovely husband, my self-esteem remained low.

Then, after 14 years of marriage, my husband announced his desire to marry another, just when I was beginning to believe good things can last. Of course, I was crushed.

Eventually I became a counsellor, and developed my theory that your mental patterns cause illness and traumatic events.

Then I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and at that point I decided to take responsibility for my own healing. I expressed all of my old, bottled-up anger by beating pillows and howling with rage. This made me feel cleaner.

Then I began to piece together the stories my parents had told me of their own childhoods.
I began to have compassion for their pain and, with a lot of work, the blame dissolved. I changed my diet to a strict one with lots of green vegetables. Six months after my diagnosis, I was cancer-free.

Now personal experience had shown me that disease can be healed — if we are willing to change the way we think, believe and act.

Sometimes what seems to be a big tragedy turns out to become the greatest good in our lives.
Emotional happiness and great personal and financial success has come to me through the power of positive thought. I value life in a new way.

Louise says we tend to treat ourselves the same as the way our parents treated us
With my help, you can heal your life too.

Let’s start with a simple exercise. Which of these statements sounds like you?
‘People are out to get me’ or ‘Everyone is always helpful’.
Each of these beliefs will create quite different experiences. What you choose to think about yourself and life becomes true. When we know this, it makes sense to choose ‘everyone is always helpful’ over ‘people are out to get me’.
If I want to believe nobody loves me, that’s what I will find in my world.

However, if I am willing to affirm for myself that ‘love is everywhere, and I am loving and lovable’, and to hold on to that new affirmation, it will become true.
The fact is that when we grow up, we have a tendency to recreate the emotional environment of our early home life.

We also tend to recreate in our personal relationships those we had with our mother or father, or what they had between them. Think how often you have had a lover or a boss who was ‘just like’ your mother or father.

We also treat ourselves as our parents treated us. We scold and punish ourselves in the same way. ‘You never do anything right.’ ‘It’s all your fault.’ How often have you said these to yourself?

But we can also love and encourage ourselves in the same way, if we were loved and encouraged as children. ‘You are wonderful.’ ‘I love you.’ How often do you tell yourself this?

With this knowledge comes an opportunity to change. The only thing we are ever dealing with is a thought. Change the thought, and the bad feeling must go.
The past has no power. It doesn’t matter how long we have had a negative pattern. The point of power is in the present moment. What a wonderful thing to realise. We can begin to be free this moment!
It’s vital we do so, because our thoughts are creating our world — and our physical state, too. As I’ve already discussed, long-held resentment can eat away at the body.
All disease comes from a state of unforgiving. Whenever we are ill, we need to search our hearts to see who we need to forgive.
Forgiveness means letting go. It has nothing to with condoning behaviour. We do not have to know how to forgive. All we need to do is to be willing to forgive. The Universe will take care of the hows.
But before you can forgive, you must learn to love yourself. Then love, health, happiness and success will flow your way.
‘Loving yourself creates organisation in your mind, happier relationships in your life, new jobs and even enables your body weight to normalise’ she says.


When people come to me with a problem, I don’t care what it is — poor health, money, unfulfilling relationships — there’s only one thing I ever work on, and that is loving the self.
I find when we really love and accept ourselves exactly as we are, everything in life works.
It’s as if little miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we attract money and our relationships become fulfilling. All this seems to happen without even trying.
Loving yourself creates organisation in your mind, happier relationships in your life, new jobs and even enables your body weight to normalise. I’m not talking about vanity, arrogance or being stuck-up, for that is not love, but fear.
I am talking about having respect for ourselves and a gratitude for the miracle of our body and mind.
If we deny our good or potential in any way, it’s an act of not loving ourselves. The lesson here is that love is the cure for everything.


Louise says its important to accept yourself and recommends practicing looking into the mirror saying that you love yourself regularly.
Try this exercise: Look into your own eyes in a mirror, say your name and ‘I love and accept you exactly as you are’.
This is so difficult for many. Some cry, some get angry, some belittle their features, some insist they can’t do it.
I even had one person throw the mirror across the room and want to run away. For years, I remember it used to frighten me to look into my own eyes.
With practice, this is no longer the case.


Sometimes we need to experience a physical letting go.
Experiences and emotions can get locked in the body. Screaming in the car with all the windows rolled up can be very releasing. Beating the bed or kicking your pillows is a harmless way to release anger.
A while ago, I had a pain in my shoulder. I tried to ignore it but it wouldn’t go away.
Finally, I sat down and asked myself: ‘What is happening here? What am I feeling?’
Then I realised: ‘It feels like burning. That means anger. What are you angry about?’ I couldn’t think of anything I was angry about, so I said: ‘Let’s see if we can find out.’
I put large pillows on the bed and began to hit them.
After about 12 hits, I realised what I was angry about. It was so clear. So I beat the pillows harder and made some noise and released the emotions from my body. When I got through, I felt much better. The next day my shoulder was fine.
She also recommends taking the time to forgive others and letting go of negative experiences.


Learn to think in positive affirmations. Affirmations can be any statement you make. Too often we think in negative affirmations.
Negative affirmations only create more of what you say you don’t want. Saying ‘I hate my job’ will get you nowhere. Declaring ‘I now accept a wonderful new job’ will open the channels in your consciousness to create that.
Continually make positive statements about how you want your life to be and always make your statement in the present tense, such as ‘I am’ or ‘I have’.
Your subconscious mind is such an obedient servant that if you declare in the future tense ‘I want’ or ‘I will have’, that’s where that idea will always stay — just out of your reach and in the future.


I have given this exercise to hundreds of people. For the next month, say over and over to yourself: ‘I approve of myself.’
Do this three or four hundred times a day, at least. No, it’s not too many times. When you’re worrying, you go over your problems at least that many times. Let ‘I approve of myself’ become a walking mantra, something you just say almost non-stop.


Sit down quietly with your eyes closed and say: ‘The person I need to forgive is (say their name) and I forgive you for (what they’ve done).’
Do this over and over. Imagine the person you’re forgiving saying: ‘Thank you, I set you free now.’
Do this for at least five minutes. Search your heart for injustices you still carry. Then let them go.
Turn your attention to yourself. Say out loud: ‘I forgive myself for (what you’ve done).’
Do this for another five minutes or so. Some experiences are easy to let go and some we have to chip away at, until one day they dissolve.
‘Remember: you are the power in your world. You get to have whatever you choose to think’ says Louise.


Sometimes clients get angry with me as I explain how simple it is to change their lives. They may feel I do not understand their problems.
One woman became very upset and said, ‘I came here to get help with my job, not to learn to love myself.’
To me it was so obvious her main problem was a lot of self-hatred, which permeated every part of her life. She could not succeed at anything as long as she felt so worthless.
She couldn’t hear me and left in tears, coming back a year later with the same problem plus a lot of other problems. Some people are not ready, and there is no judgment for this.
We all begin to make our changes at the right time for us. I did not begin to make my changes until I was in my 40s.
But remember: you are the power in your world. You get to have whatever you choose to think.
The webs we create around ourselves just need to be unwound. If you have ever untangled a ball of string, you know that yanking and pulling only makes it worse. You need to very gently unravel the knots. Be patient with yourself as you untangle your own mental knots. The willingness to let go of the old is the key.


I had a client who would eat a pound of butter and anything else she could get hold of when she could not bear to be with her own negative thoughts.
When she was little, she would walk around the family dinner table finishing everyone’s leftovers. The family would think it was cute. It was almost the only approval she got from them.
This story goes to show that weight loss isn’t about willpower. Because trying to eliminate the symptom without working on dissolving the cause is useless. The moment we release our willpower, the symptom crops up again.
Excess weight is only an outer effect of a deep inner problem. To me, it’s always fear and a need for protection. When we feel frightened or insecure or ‘not good enough’, many of us will put on extra weight for protection.
So I refuse to focus on excess weight or on diets. The only diet that works is a mental diet — dieting from negative thoughts.
Clients will often tell me they can’t love themselves because they are fat or, as one girl put it, ‘too round at the edges’.
I explain that they’re fat because they don’t love themselves. When we begin to love ourselves, it’s amazing how weight just disappears from our bodies.


She was indeed an astonishing woman, one who shall be remembered through her teachings for many years to come.

With much Thanks and  L❤️VE Louise on your contribution to helping heal so many souls X


Extracts from You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay, published by Hay House Inc.

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