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333. Embracing Self-Worth and Love with Scott Stabile

the daily helping podcast Oct 30, 2023


Scott Stabile, author of "Enough As You Are" and "Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide Open Heart", is no stranger to the transformative power of love. Through his books, personal empowerment workshops, and transformational breath work journeys, he has been a beacon of hope for many, guiding them towards a life filled with love and self-acceptance.

Growing up, Stabile experienced various events and situations that shaped his outlook on life. However, it was during his early twenties when he began to recognize the profound impact of the choices we make in our lives. He observed that when he chose to act out of love, aligning himself with its energy, his life seemed to fall into place. This realization was not just about romantic love but about an encompassing energy of love that exists both within and around us. This energy, he believes, plays a pivotal role in how we approach life, others, and most importantly, ourselves.

Diving deeper into the essence of self-worth, Stabile's book, "Enough As You Are", comes at a time when the world is riddled with unrealistic expectations and beauty standards. Through a compilation of writings that reflect on self-love and self-acceptance, he introduces readers to the concept of inherent worth. According to him, our worth is not determined by our career, looks, or any societal benchmark. Instead, we are all born with it, and it remains with us throughout our lives. It is this inherent worth that dictates how we interact with the world. When we embrace our worth, we move through life with an openness that invites positive interactions. On the other hand, those who haven't recognized their worth tend to be more closed off, guarded, and hesitant.

However, recognizing one's worth is just the beginning. True self-acceptance, as Stabile points out, involves not only accepting every part of ourselves but also accepting the parts of us that struggle with this acceptance. In a society where we are constantly bombarded with messages about what is deemed 'beautiful' or 'successful', it's easy to fall into the trap of self-judgment. But instead of berating ourselves for these judgments, Stabile invites us to understand the root of such thoughts and make room for them. By shining love even on the parts of us we find hard to like, we pave the way for a healthier relationship with ourselves.

Scott Stabile's insights into love and self-worth are not just teachings but life philosophies that have the power to transform lives. As we navigate the complexities of modern life, it's essential to remember that we are enough as we are.


The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“You are enough as you are. You are worthy as you are. Trust that, believe that, and even the places within you that you have the hardest time liking, understand that you can still shine love on them. And when you do, your entire relationship with yourself is going to change.”




Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Google Podcasts to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.



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Download Transcript Here


Scott Stabile:

Because the more energy I give to bringing love and acceptance to who I am, the less I tend to internalize the thoughts of my mind that are out of alignment with love and acceptance.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Hello, and welcome to The Daily Helping with Dr. Richard Shuster, food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, tools to win at life. I'm your host, Dr. Richard. Whoever you are, wherever you're from, and whatever you do, this is the show that is going to help you become the best version of yourself. Each episode you will hear from some of the most amazing, talented, and successful people on the planet who followed their passions and strived to help others. Join our movement to get a million people each day to commit acts of kindness for others. Together, we're going to make the world a better place. Are you ready? Because it's time for your Daily Helping. 


Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Daily Helping Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Richard. And I am really honored and excited to share our guest with you today, his name is Scott Stabile and he is the author of Enough As You Are and Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. His books are sold everywhere and he is a passionate love advocate who believes there is no force more powerful than love to create real connections and healing in our world, and it's never been more needed than today. 


Scott guides transformational breathwork journeys and leads personal empowerment workshops internationally. His inspirational posts have attracted a huge and devoted social media following. He's got more than 350,000 Facebook fans alone, plus a really awesome newsletter. We're going to talk a lot about his new book, which is available everywhere. Scott, welcome to The Daily Helping. It is awesome, awesome to have you with us today.

Scott Stabile:

Thank you so much, Dr. Richard. I'm really happy to be here.

Dr. Richard Shuster: 

So, we talked a little bit on air and I'm so excited about this episode, but I want to find out your why. I want to jump into the Scott Stabile time machine and to go back in time. Tell us what puts you on the path you're on today.

Scott Stabile:

What put me on the path I'm on today? You know, in some ways it's hard to answer that with any sort of clarity, because it could be a whole host of things. It's hard to know had we not gone through what we've gone through in life where we would have landed, and perhaps we would have landed in the same place. 


What I can say with certainty is that as I was growing up, especially in my early 20s, I started to realize that we have a choice in how we approach our lives and how we approach others. And that whenever I was choosing to come from a place of love - and when I say love, I'm really just speaking about an energy, the energy of love that exists within us and outside of us - what I was noticing is that I was making choices that aligned with love. 


And I also see that as an umbrella term which encompasses kindness, forgiveness, compassion, empathy. And that those types of choices and playing with love and acting in love always made me feel better. It always made me feel more aligned. It always made me feel like I was more at home, in myself, and in my being. One thing that accentuated that, I will say that in my early 20s I also happened to join a cult.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

No. Well, listen, when somebody says they've joined a cult, we can't go beyond that. So, what cult did you join and how did you get out of the cult?

Scott Stabile:

The cult really didn't have a name. I was in San Francisco at the time, and I started working at this new age gift store in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco. And most of the people who were working there and who owned the shop were all disciples of this guru, unbeknownst to me initially. But they were also people who were incredibly beautiful and loving, and I was becoming friends with all of them. 


And I was, at the time, had just left a job, my first job out of college as a file clerk in a law firm, thinking I might want to become an attorney. And that job showed me that that wasn't the path for me. So, I got this job at this new age gift shop, was befriending all these people, and they're talking about peace and love as their commitment and devotion. They weren't talking about a career path. 


And this was all very new to me. In my senior year in college, I was in a house of ten people, and I think seven out of ten of us either became doctors or attorneys. So, I was very much surrounded by people who were career driven in that way, very ambitious. 


So, it was really lovely to be around people who were just like "I want to be a more loving individual and a more peaceful individual." And that ultimately led me to meet the man that they credited with this mission and saw as their teacher. So, anyway, that's how I got involved with this cult. And it didn't have a name. It was very small. It wasn't salacious. It didn't make any of the headlines. We weren't doing any crazy stuff. 


But it was very cultish because it was very much about the guru and the guru's path, and what he said was what was true. And my goal became at that point was enlightenment, to become enlightened. And he was professing himself as the pathway to enlightenment. But what we also were focused on was love and it was a path of love. And it was very powerful for me. 


I mean, I don't regret not being a part of that cult anymore and I'm happy not to be a part of that group. But I also credit a lot of my time there, 13 years, with my devotion to love as the guiding force in my life and the benefits that come from that. So, of course, when I left, when I told him I didn't want to be a student, he had everybody in the community delete me from their lives overnight. It wasn't a very loving thing that happened in response to my choice.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

You got cult canceled.

Scott Stabile:

I totally got cult canceled, Dr. Richard. Yeah, absolutely. Which happens in cults when you decide to leave them.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Oh, that's wild. So, you flee - well, you didn't flee, but you left the cult, but you still had this foundational piece that you took from it of love. And so, take us through what happened next as your career kind of moved forward to what you're doing today?

Scott Stabile:

Sure. And what I feel called to say is, I think when there's a lot of talk about love and that word gets thrown around a lot, it can land in a way that might feel very woo-woo or ungrounded. And what I want to make really clear is my connection to that energy feels very grounded and not woo-woo. 


And I think when we reflect on the world around us and if we're honest about what we desire most in the world, or at least one of the things we desire most, I think, in all humans, it's to give and receive love. And if we pay attention to how we feel when we're on the giving end or the receiving end of love, it's typically really good, which is why we have this desire, it's innate within us. 


So, when I'm speaking about this, it's really just about paying attention to our innate desires and understanding that when I'm operating in alignment with that energy, how I show up in the world is much more centered, much more grounded. The connections I make with others are much deeper, much more vulnerable and open. And all of these things, ultimately, I believe, lead us to living a life that feels incredibly meaningful and incredibly aligned. 


So, after I left the cult, nothing in me changed. My desires were all the same - well, that's not true. Something changed. I was no longer chasing enlightenment, and that created for me a lot more peace and a lot more freedom. Because when we're chasing after something that is not ours to achieve - enlightenment, for me, is not something you can put enough hours in and then suddenly you're going to be deemed enlightened - all we can ultimately do in our lives and on our path is choose to be as loving or as compassionate as possible, if that's part of our path. And trust that by making those choices, we're going to be led where we're led. And our relationships will unfold and our life will unfold as it does. 


So, for me, what I've consistently seen is that when I am choosing my heart as the leader over my mind, along with my mind, I'm going to be led into some beautiful circumstances and connections. And when I'm allowing my mind and my ego - and I don't say that to turn our egos into an enemy. I'm not about making an enemy of any part of myself - I am about recognizing the ways in which my mind directs me from fear, from self-abuse, from insecurity. And the more that I'm connecting to my heart and the energy of love, the less inclined I am to be led by fear and insecurity and self-abuse, and the more I'm likely to be led by compassion and empathy and kindness and all of these things. 


I mean, look, we see our world, you can be a wildly insensitive and unfeeling human being, and you're still going to be affected by all of the violence and insanity that's happening on our planet. So, for me, the question I ask myself is whether I see our world as imploding or flourishing, how do I want to show up within it? And the answer I always come back to is I want to be an example of someone who is loving and compassionate and kind. And because I want to set that example and live into that example, it's incumbent upon me to look at the ways in which I'm not aligned with that, and as often as possible get myself back into alignment with those choices.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

I love this, Scott, for a lot of reasons. You mentioned a couple of minutes ago how your position on this is not love from a woo-woo standpoint but love from a grounded standpoint, and there's a lot of science that supports the things you're talking about. Number one, we are - and I preach this - biologically predisposed to feel good when we do kind things to other people. And so, we don't talk about that a lot as a society. We're taking selfies and we're focusing on us. But God, it feels good to do good things for other people. 


And the other piece that you mentioned that I think is so vitally important for people to understand is that research has shown us over and over and over again, across decades, across cultures, across ethnicities that individuals who believe that they have some measure of control over their life - you said whether the world is flourishing or imploding, how you choose to show up is up to you - those individuals who feel that they have an internal locus of control, that is they control the way they show up in the world and how they react to it, versus those individuals who believe that everything is happening to them. The people with the internal locus of control are consistently happier and healthier. Time and time again the study shows that, so I love that you mentioned that.

Scott Stabile: 

Yeah. Thank you for everything you just shared. And I love that there is scientific support to it. And, also, if we just pay attention, Dr. Richard, honestly, to how we feel in relation to the choices we're making, we would be much more inclined to make choices that are naturally aligned with compassion and kindness and service and all of these things, because we would see in the moment "My goodness, right now I'm feeling so much better." 


And I've said this a lot in the workshops I give, if you did no other thing in your life but paid attention to your choices and make more choices that align with those good feelings sensations, and start eliminating the ones that you feel like crap about when you're making, you would change your life overnight simply by doing that one thing, bringing more awareness to the choices you're making and how they make you feel.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

I have a feeling we're going to circle back to that, but I want to give space for you to talk about your newest book, Enough As You Are. Because, again, I mentioned this before we hit the air, I think the world really needs this book right now. Tell us what was the impetus for writing this? What inspired you to create this book?

Scott Stabile:

Well, Enough As You Are, actually, it's a compilation of the type of writing I've been doing for many years and sharing on social media now. These short prose pieces and poetic pieces that reflect on many things, and among them, very often, self-love and self-acceptance. And you know what I'm seeing for myself, a core aspect of my path in the world is about not only making noise for love, but for self-love and self-acceptance because I really do believe that everything begins within. 


And we've seen that and heard that all the time, and what that means for me is understanding that the relationship I have established with myself is going to form as the foundation by which I experience everyone and everything in my world. Which is to say that when I'm in a loving relationship with myself, I am much more inclined to show up in a loving way for the people in my life, and for our planet, and for the world on the whole. 


And conversely, if I'm in an antagonistic relationship with myself, if I am consistently abusing myself and shaming myself, it is much more likely that the way I show up in my relationships is with that energy as well. So, the reason I feel self-love and acceptance is so important is because it's affecting how we're acting in the world. And I'm telling you, you're not going to find a person who has a very loving relationship with themselves, yelling at people in the streets and being consistently mean. It's just not how it works. 


And part of that journey for me has really been to understand that there is no place within me that deserves shame. That every part of who I am is worthy of love. And if we can really come to understand that, that our worth is inherent, which means that you're born worthy and you will die worthy, and it's not predicated on your career or your looks, or how beautiful your children are, or anything you're doing in your life, when we can really come to understand that we are worthy as we are, we don't have to work for that. It changes energetically how we show up in the world. 


Like, for me, a person who is connected to their inherent worth is moving through the world with more openness. You're can't see me now, listeners, but my arms are out, I'm open, I'm expansive. Versus a person who is moving through life deeply insecure and shameful and feeling unworthy, they're closed down, their shoulders are up, they're hunched over, and that energetically invites a very different response. 


So, Enough As You are is, for me, a reminder that everything about you is worthy of love. And if you can come to understand that and believe that about yourself, your life is going to change. And I mean everything, even the things we don't like and even the parts of us that are unable to like other parts of us. Real self-acceptance isn't just that I accept everything about myself. It is also am I willing to accept the parts of me that are unable to accept everything about myself? That is an expansive view of acceptance. That is a full view of love. 


Because, Dr. Richard, I can't honestly say that when I get out of the shower, I'm in the mirror, I'm standing there naked, I'm not loving everything I see. I am judging aspects of who I am. And the invitation I'm putting out there to people is that's okay. We are conditioned within an inch of our lives around our physical appearance. And it makes total sense that you would look in the mirror and judge parts of yourself, because we're told that this standard of beauty is the only thing that is beautiful. So, can we make room not only for the possibility of loving our bodies and ourselves in a bigger way, but can we make room for the part that is unable to love ourselves and our bodies and say you, too, are welcome here? Does that makes sense?

Dr. Richard Shuster: 

What you're talking about is forgiveness, too, right? It's forgiving ourselves for having beliefs that we might have had for a really long time and letting go of them.

Scott Stabile:

And forgiving ourselves for the beliefs that we still have and our unable to let go of. I don't know if I've met many people who love themselves as much as I do. I'm proud to say that I have a lot of love for myself, and I still struggle with all of the things we all struggle with. I still have a mind that is hell bent on abusing me for choices I'm making, and a mind that says, "Hey, your stomach could be smaller, and this, and this, and this." All of those things are still going on. They're just not as loud because the more energy I give to bringing love and acceptance to who I am, the less I tend to internalize the thoughts of my mind that are out of alignment with love and acceptance, if that makes sense.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

It does. You know, something I was thinking about, too, when I read your introduction, you refer to yourself as a love activist, which I've never heard anybody refer to themselves as a love activist. So, tell us about kind of how that came to be and why do you go by that title? Why do you refer to yourself as a love activist?

Scott Stabile:

You know, a friend called me that. And I do the kind of work. I've never had a very clear career path and I hodgepodge a bunch of different things together. Whenever someone would ask me what I do, I would always struggle through the answer. Yes, I'm a writer. I do writing. And, yes, I give workshops. But I never had a clear response for that. And then, a friend referred to me as a love activist, and that was a title I was like, "Yeah. I make a lot of noise for the power of love. That actually is something that I feel like I can title myself with if I'm inclined to give myself a title." 


And all that means for me is doing what we're doing here in this moment, which is really hammering home that in my opinion, my understanding, based on my lived experience, there is no force more powerful than love for creating real healing in our world. And there are a lot of energies and forces that create change. But if love is not a part of those energies, healing cannot happen as I see it. 


So, that's really what I'm talking about when I'm a love activist, is anger is a beautiful, powerful catalyst for change. And if that anger at some point is not supported with the energy of love and forgiveness and compassion, that anger will get us nowhere. It will change us into a reality that just has more and more anger connected to it. So, at some point, the changes we're making have to be supported with love for healing to be created.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

So, I want to kind of take that theme and ask you a two part question. So, your book is kind of a collection of prose and anecdotes and things that you have written over the years on social media, pick one or two that is kind of your favorite. And the second part of that is, how can we use that wisdom to stay peaceful in the world today which, unfortunately, is anything but peaceful?

Scott Stabile:

Oh, I should be prepared for a question like pick one that is my favorite. I have no idea. But you know what I would love to do, if you're open to it, is for you just to pick a number between 2 and 219.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Okay. Seventy-four came to mind, I don't know why.

Scott Stabile: 


Dr. Richard Shuster:


Scott Stabile:

Okay. That must be the page that needs to be shared. So, 74, oh, that's funny. Okay. "It's so strange to not know how I feel sometimes, unable to decide if I'm pretty peaceful or maybe going insane." And I do like this because what this reflects for me is sometimes there are moments when I feel like I am deeply okay with the world, and my mind has me questioning if are you really deeply okay or are you just completely numbed out to everything that is happening on the planet. And I don't always have the answer for that, but that isn't one that I feel like answers your question.  


So, I'll say, for me it is about understanding what I said earlier, the more we can come into harmony with who we are, the more we're going to be an expression of that harmony in our world. I believe our world as much as ever and always needs for us to love ourselves so that we can love one another more wholeheartedly. And it's not that we can't offer love to people when we're not loving ourselves. I don't believe that. It's just that when we are more deeply connected to love, we have a deeper reservoir of love to offer the world. 


So, I feel called to share with you because you brought up forgiveness earlier, and maybe this is an example of what you're saying. I lost my parents when I was 14, and I lost them to murder. A man shot and killed my parents. And as a young kid, I was not thinking about forgiveness and I was not thinking about love. When I would think about the man who took their lives, it was with rage and hate and imagining awful things for him. 


And in my 20s, when I shared with you I was starting out in the cult and coming into this understanding of the power of love more deeply, I started to think about this man and I understood that every time I think about him, what I'm feeling in my body is this hateful rage still. And I need to find a way to forgive this man and I had no idea how. But what I thought I could do, at the very least, was seek to empathize with him. 


And so, the conscious choice I made back then was to try to imagine what it might be like for this man who took my parents' lives in his life, and without knowing the circumstances in his life, what I felt like I could confidently say was this was a person who felt very lost, and very angry, and potentially unloved, and confused. And I couldn't relate to taking people's lives, but I could relate to feeling lost and angry and unloved and unseen and confused. 


And then, even when I started to get really honest with myself, I thought, "Well, I could never imagine killing someone," and yet I had imagined killing him in my head. Not that I would take action on that, but I had pictured horrible deaths for this man. So, even the violence that I thought was something beyond my imagination wasn't at all beyond my imagination. 


And when I started to connect to all of these ways in which I could relate to this man, he was no longer just a murderer in my eyes. He was another human being. And what that did for me is it allowed me to open my heart to him as another human being struggling and in pain on this planet. And the more and more I empathized with him, the more compassion and love I felt in my being. 


And then, suddenly, what I realized, Dr. Richard, was I have forgiven this man because when I would think about him, it was no longer with rage and hate. It was with love. And I couldn't connect to him through this tether, this toxic tether of he's just a murderer and that's all he is and all he did was create this horrible pain in my life. 


And so, I'm sharing this because I believe in the power of forgiveness. I don't believe there are acts that are beyond forgiving. And love and forgiveness for me are interchangeable. So, you asked me how do we apply what I'm talking about to the nature of our world today? This is how I apply it. I apply it by remembering there is not a single human being no matter what they have done that is not worthy of love, and in my opinion, not worthy of forgiveness. 


And if I can live into that example, and if I can show up and remember - I am a gay man, so I understand what it's like to be dehumanized - even those who seek to dehumanize me, I am not interested in dehumanizing them. I may not stay in their presence if how they're showing up is with disrespect and rage toward me. It's not about that, but it's about understanding that the love that lives with inside me, I believe, is more powerful than anything anyone could project onto me. 


And I believe in the power of love, so how do we change our world? We remember that no matter what's going on in the actions of another human being, there is a whole lifetime of experiences that led them to do and say those things that they're doing and saying, and can we not as much as possible hold on to compassion for them no matter what choices we're making in relation to them.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Beautifully said, Scott. I think in today's world, that holds truer than ever. Our time together has flown by, I knew that it would. It's been such a pleasure talking to you today. As you know, I wrap up every episode by asking my guest a single question, and that is what is your biggest help? That one most important piece of information you'd like somebody to walk away with after hearing our conversation today.

Scott Stabile:

Well, really, this isn't intentionally to pitch my book, but it is going to be my answer. You are enough as you are. You are worthy as you are. Trust that. Believe that. And even the places within you that you have the hardest time liking, understand that you can still shine love on them. And when you do, your entire relationship with yourself is going to change.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Beautiful. Scott, tell us where people can find out more about you online and get their hands on your book, which is available everywhere now.

Scott Stabile: 

Yeah. The book, you can find online or in stores. And you can find me at my website, You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook, which is where I share a lot of the types of writings that I share in Enough As You Are.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Perfect. And we'll have everything Scott Stabile in the show notes at Well, Scott, this has been a delight and so important. Thank you so much for coming on The Daily Helping today.

Scott Stabile: 

Dr. Richard, thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

Dr. Richard Shuster:

Absolutely. And I also want to thank each and every one of you who took time out of your day to listen to this conversation. If you liked it, if you're inspired, if you're going to go forgive somebody, go give us a follow and a five star review on your podcast app of choice, because that is what helps other people find the show. But most importantly, go out there today and do something nice for somebody else, even if you don't know who they are, and post it in your feeds using the hashtag #MyDailyHelping because the happiest people are those that help others.


There is incredible potential that lies within each and every one of us to create positive change in our lives (and the lives of others) while achieving our dreams.

This is the Power of You!