Since an early age, we learn about punishment. Parents punish us thinking it will make us “better”, make us act the certain way, make us well behaved. They punish us for small and big things, for significant and insignificant. Yes, discipline is essential in our lives, and I’m not against it, but another quality that is as equally or maybe more critical is self- love. I’m not sure why no one teaches us how to love and be gentle with ourselves, how to care for our souls. I went on for years criticizing myself – how I look, speak, act in public, eat, think and even dream. I talked down at myself after every casting that went bad and every job I didn’t get, I “disciplined” myself. And do you think it worked, do you think it made me better? The answer is NO. It did the opposite: it made me sad, depressed, anxious, insecure, unsure. I forgot that I had a little girl inside me that needs love, patience and encouragement, and I was starving her of all that. Yes, I can have million people around me giving all the love and support in the world, but if I can’t provide those things to myself, I’ll never feel happy. Why? Because I “talk” to myself 24/7 and that’s why my voice is so much more impactful than any other in the world. So this year I started to learn how to love myself. I’m not talking about being arrogant or bigheaded, no, I’m talking about being gentle, patient, supportive and caring. I tell myself every day that no matter what happens, it’s ok because I’m doing my best, I encourage myself when I’m about to do something that makes me scared, I buy myself an ice-cream when I have an off day. Life is long, I will fail and succeed, I will have good and bad times, but for me to live a happy life, I need to love myself and take care of myself. And as cliche, as it sounds, if I don’t love myself, no-one will.