Principle: Love

Love is not the reward, goal, or dream. Love is where it all begins.

Love yourself, first and forever. Everything begins with love, and your life’s great story starts with the love for yourself.

Love yourself because you are human, and by that simple fact alone you are worthy of love and belonging.

Love yourself like you would love the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, because there is only one person for whom that’s true: you. The most important relationship of your life is the one you have and cultivate with yourself.

Love yourself because your capacity for loving others flows from the love you have for yourself, first. Without loving yourself, the well you draw from in life will eventually run dry, leaving you strained and exhausted mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Love yourself when you feel like you deserve it the least, because that’s when you’ll need it the most. We are fiercely powerful beings who can be devastatingly hard on ourselves, to the detriment of our own well-being. Own your actions, admit your mistakes, seek growth and improvement, but continue to love yourself nonetheless.

Love yourself no matter what your family, friends, community, culture, or society may have convinced you of otherwise. Our world today operates on a manufactured culture of scarcity, of lack, with the unintended consequence of making us feel insufficient, incomplete, or inadequate. A culture of making us feel like we are not allowed to love ourselves, unconditionally.

Imagine a better world for tomorrow, where people are actively taught to love themselves instead of fearing others. Where children are taught to be respectful of others not for being elder, or an authority figure, or successful or wealthy or whatever else, but simply because all humans are worthy of love, respect, and belonging. A world where kindness, compassion, and supporting one another are the virtues we value most, and extend those to our foes as well as our allies. A world where we build bridges of love instead of walls of isolation.

That world begins with reimagining our own way of thinking, about ourselves as well as others. It begins with treating self-love as the highest virtue from which we grow our capacity to unconditionally love family, friends, our community, and society at large. But, “self-love” can have different meanings to different people.

Love First defines self-love as: the unconditional acceptance of who you are and your worthiness of love and belonging. It is the practice of cultivating a happy, healthy, nurturing and constructive relationship with your inner self, your ego: the spiritual self-image not represented by a physical body.

Self-love means knowing and remembering, whenever necessary, that you belong with us as one brilliant and beloved part of the human race. It means cultivating a healthy balance between self-worth and self-critique, where there is room for the latter to help you grow and develop yourself further as a person, without diminishing your self-worth for what is, essentially, a universal trait amongst all human beings: being flawed.

We are all flawed.

You are not alone.

You are loved.



Faruk Ateş

Faruk Ateş

Faruk Ateş is a comedian, story coach, and time traveler (in reverse). A recovering software engineer and product designer, he now helps people unlock the power of their story with Love First.

About Love First

Love First is a more conscious way of living that centers personal development through storytelling, and cultivating healthier, happier, and more meaningful relationships with others. Going Love First is where Faruk Ateş chronicles his journey in developing and practicing this modern way of life.

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