You Can Heal
Louise L. Hay
Australia • Canada • Hong Kong • India
South Africa • United Kingdom • United States
First published and distributed in the United Kingdom by:
Hay House UK Ltd, 292B Kensal Rd, London W10 5BE. Tel.:T44) 20 8962 1230;
Fax: (44) 20 8962 1239. www.hayhouse.co.uk
Published and distributed in the United States of America by:
Hay House, Inc., PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100. Lei: (1) 760 431
7695 or (800) 654 5126; Fax: (1) 760 431 6948 or (800) 650 5115.
Published and distributed in Australia by:
Hay House Australia Ltd, 18/36 Ralph St, Alexandria NSW 2015. Tel: (61) 2
9669 4299; Fax: (61) 2 9669 4144. www.hayhouse.com.au
Published and distributed in the Republic of South Africa by:
Hay House SA (Pty), Ltd, PO Box 990, Witkoppen 2068. Tel/Fax: (27) 11 467
Published and distributed in India by:
Hay House Publishers India, Muskaan Complex, Plot No.3, B-2, Vasant Kunj,
New Delhi- 110 070. Tel: (91) 11 41761620; Fax: (91) 11 4176 1630.
Distributed in Canada by:
Raincoast, 9050 Shaughnessy St, Vancouver, BC V6P 6E5. Tel: (1) 604 323
7100; Fax: (1) 604 323 2600
© Louise L. Hay 1984, 1987, 2004, 2005
Reprinted 2009 (twice)
Portions of Chapter 15 are from Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay
The moral rights of the authors have been asserted.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical,
photographic or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording;
nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise be copied for
public or private use, other than for 'fair use' as brief quotations embodied in
articles and reviews, without prior written permission of the publisher.
The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of
any technique as a form of treatment for physical or medical problems without
the advice oi a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is
only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for
emotional and spiritual wellbeing. In the event you use any of the information in
this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the
publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI William Clowes, Beccles, NR34 7TL.
May this offering help you find the place within where you know
your own self-worth, the part of you that is pure love and self-
I acknowledge with joy and pleasure:
My many students and clients who taught me so much and
who first encouraged me to put my ideas down on paper.
My dedicated staff at Hay House, who share my dream of
disseminating books, audios, and videos that help to heal
the planet spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
My wonderful readers and listeners, who have shown their
loving support for my work and who continue to be a source
of inspiration for me.
All those whose hearts are opening more and more each day.
My dear friends throughout the world, who surround me
with unconditional love, laughter, and just plain fun!
Suggestions to My Readers xi
Some Points of My Philosophy xiii
Chapter 1 What I Believe 1
A Session witfi Louise
Chapter 2 What Is the Problem? 13
Chapter 3 Where Does It Come From? 25
Chapter 4 Is It True? 33
Chapter 5 What Do We Do Now? 41
Chapter 6 Resistance to Change 49
Chapter 7 How to Change 63
Chapter 8 Building the New 75
Chapter 9 Daily Work 87
Putting These Ideas to Work
Chapter 10 Relationships 99
Chapter 11 Work 105
Chapter 12 Success 109
Chapter 13 Prosperity 113
Chapter 14 The Body 123
Chapter 15 The List 145
Chapter 16 My Story 215
Deep at the Center 231
Holistic Healing Recommendations 232
Self-Help Resources 234
Also by Louise L. Hay 251
About Louise L. Hay 253
If I were cast away on a desert island and could have only one
book with me there, I might well choose Louise L. Hay's You Can
Heal Your Life.
Not only is it the essence of a great teacher, it is also the powerful
and very personal statement of a great lady.
Louise shares some of her journey to where she is in her evolve-
ment now in this wonderful new book. I resonated in admiration
and in compassion to her story — too briefly sketched here, in my
view, but perhaps that's another book.
It's all here, is my point. All you need to know about life, its les-
sons and how to do the work on yourself is right here. And this
includes Louise's reference guide to probable mental patterns behind
dis-ease, which is truly remarkable and unique — in my experience.
A person on a desert island who found this manuscript in a bottle
could learn all he or she needs to know to make this life be the one
that gets the job done.
Desert island or not, if you have found your way to Louise Hay,
perhaps even "accidentally," you're well on your way. Louise's books,
her remarkable healing tapes, and her inspired workshops are won-
derful gifts to a troubled world.
It was my own deep investment in working with persons with
aids that led me to meeting Louise and utilizing concepts from her
Each aids person I worked with and for whom I played Louise's
tape, A Positive Approach to AIDS, got Louise's message on the first
hearing — and many made playing this tape part of their daily heal-
ing ritual. One man named Andrew told me, "I go to bed with
Louise, and I get up to her every day!"
My respect and love for Louise grew as I observed my beloved
aids people make their transitions enriched and at peace and com-
plete — more full of love and forgiveness for themselves and every-
one else for having had Louise in their lives — and with a quiet
respect for having created that precise learning experience.
I have been gifted in my life with many great teachers, some of them
saints, I'm sure, and even avatars, perhaps. Yet Louise is a great
teacher one can speak with and be with because of her enormous
capacity to listen and to be in unconditional love while sharing
doing the dishes. (In the same way another teacher I hold as great
makes terrific potato salad.) Louise teaches by example and lives
what she teaches.
I am deeply honored to invite you to make this book part of your
life. You — and it — are worth it!
VENTURES IN SELF-FULFILLMENT
DANA POINT, CALIFORNIA
Suggestions to My Readers
I have written this book to share with you, my readers, that which
I know and teach. It incorporates portions of my little blue book,
Heal Your Body, which has become widely accepted as an authorita-
tive work on the mental patterns that create dis-eases in the body.
I have had hundreds of letters from readers asking me to share
more of my information. Many persons who have worked with me
as private clients, and those who have taken my workshops here and
abroad, have requested I take the time to write this book.
I have set up this book to take you through a session, just as I
would if you came to me as a private client and attended one of my
If you will do the exercises progressively as they appear in the
book, by the time you have finished, you will have begun to change
I suggest you read through the book once. Then slowly read it
again, only this time do each exercise in depth. Give yourself time to
work with each one.
If you can, work through the exercises with a friend or with a
member of your family.
Each chapter opens with an affirmation. Each of these is good to
use when you are working on that area of your life. Take two or three
days to study and work with each chapter. Keep saying and writing
the affirmation that opens the chapter.
YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE
The chapters close with a treatment. This is a flow of positive
ideas designed to change consciousness. Read over this treatment
several times a day.
I close this book by sharing with you my own story. I know it will
show you that no matter where we have come from or how lowly it
was, we can totally change our lives for the better.
Know that when you work with these ideas, my loving support is
of My Philosophy
We are each responsible for all of our experiences.
Every thought we think is creating our future.
The point of power is always in the present moment.
Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt.
The bottom line for everyone is,
"I'm not good enough."
It's only a thought, and a thought can be changed.
We create every so-called illness in our body.
Resentment, criticism, and guilt
are the most damaging patterns.
Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.
We must release the past and forgive everyone.
We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves.
Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now
are the keys to positive changes.
When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.
In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect,
whole, and complete, andyet life is ever changing.
There is no beginning and no end,
only a constant cycling and recycling
of substance and experiences.
Life is never stack or static or stale,
for each moment is ever new and fresh.
I am one with the very Power that created me, and this Power
has given me the power to create my own circumstances.
I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power
of my own mind to use in any way I choose.
Every moment of life is a new beginning point
as we move from the old. This moment is a new point
of beginning for me right here and right now.
All is well in my world.
WHAT I BELIEVE
"The gateways to wisdom and knowledge
are always open.'
Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give
Out, We Get Back
What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe
that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our
lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our
future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and
our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create
We create the situations, and then we give our power away by
blaming the other person for our frustration. No person, no place,
and no thing has any power over us, for "we" are the only thinkers
in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our
minds, we will find it in our lives.
Which of these statements sounds like you?
"People are out to get me."
"Everyone is always helpful."
Each one of these beliefs will create quite different experiences.
What we believe about ourselves and about life becomes true for us.
YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE
The Universe Totally Supports Us in Every Thought We
Choose to Think and Believe
Put another way, our subconscious mind accepts whatever we
choose to believe. They both mean that what I believe about myself
and about life becomes true for me. What you choose to think about
yourself and about life becomes true for you. And we have unlimit-
ed choices about what we can think.
When we know this, then it makes sense to choose "Everyone is
always helpful," rather than "People are out to get me."
The Universal Power Never Judges or Criticizes Us
It only accepts us at our own value. Then it reflects our beliefs in
our lives. If I want to believe that life is lonely and that nobody loves
me, then that is what I will find in my world.
However, if I am willing to release that belief and to affirm for
myself that "Love is everywhere, and I am loving and lovable," and
to hold on to that new affirmation and to repeat it often, then it will
become true for me. Now, loving people will come into my life, the
people already in my life will become more loving to me, and I will
find myself easily expressing love to others.
Most of Us Have Foolish Ideas about Who We Are and
Many, Many Rigid Rules about How Life Ought to Be Lived
This is not to condemn us, for each of us is doing the very best we
can at this very moment. If we knew better, if we had more under-
standing and awareness, then we would do it differently. Please don't
put yourself down for being where you are. The very fact that you
have found this book and have discovered me means that you are
ready to make a new, positive change in your life. Acknowledge
yourself for this. "Men don't cry!" "Women can't handle money!"
What limiting ideas to live with.
What I Believe
When We Are Very Little, We Learn How to Feel about
Ourselves and about Life by the Reactions of the Adults
It is the way we learn what to think about ourselves and about our
world. Now, if you lived with people who were very unhappy fright-
ened, guilty, or angry, then you learned a lot of negative things about
yourself and about your world.
"I never do anything right." "It's my fault." "If I get angry, I'm a
Beliefs like this create a frustrating life.
When We Grow Up, We Have a Tendency to Re-create the
Emotional Environment of Our Early Home Life
This is not good or bad, right or wrong; it is just what we know
inside as "home." We also tend to recreate in our personal relation-
ships the relationships we had with our mothers or with our fathers,
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 the way our parents treated us. We scold
and punish ourselves in the same way. You can almost hear the
words when you listen. We also love and encourage ourselves in the
same way, if we were loved and encouraged as children.
"You never do anything right." "It's all your fault." How often
have you said this to yourself?
"You are wonderful." "I love you." How often do you tell your-
However, I Would Not Blame Our Parents for This
We are all victims of victims, and they could not possibly have
taught us anything they did not know. If your mother did not know
how to love herself, or your father did not know how to love himself,
then it would be impossible for them to teach you to love yourself.
YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE
They were doing the best they could with what they had been taught
as children. If you want to understand your parents more, get them
to talk about their own childhood; and if you listen with compassion,
you will learn where their fears and rigid patterns come from. Those
people who "did all that stuff to you" were just as frightened and
scared as you are.
I Believe That We Choose Our Parents
Each one of us decides to incarnate upon this planet at a particu-
lar point in time and space. We have chosen to come here to learn a
particular lesson that will advance us upon our spiritual, evolution-
ary pathway. We choose our sex, our color, our country, and then we
look around for the particular set of parents who will mirror the pat-
tern we are bringing in to work on in this lifetime. Then, when we
grow up, we usually point our fingers accusingly at our parents and
whimper, "You did it to me." But really, we chose them because they
were perfect for what we wanted to work on overcoming.
We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we
move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look
back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through
the same experience. Well, I believe you created those experiences
over and over because they mirrored something you believed about
yourself. It doesn't really matter how long we have had a problem, or
how big it is, or how life-threatening it is.
The Point of Power Is Always in the Present Moment
All the events you have experienced in your lifetime up to this
moment have been created by your thoughts and beliefs you have
held in the past. They were created by the thoughts and words you
used yesterday, last week, last month, last year, 10, 20, 30, 40, or
more years ago, depending on how old you are.
However, that is your past. It is over and done with. What is
important in this moment is what you are choosing to think and
What I Believe
believe and say right now. For these thoughts and words will create
your future. Your point of power is in the present moment and is
forming the experience of tomorrow, next week, next month, next
year, and so on.
You might notice what thought you are thinking at this moment.
Is it negative or positive? Do you want this thought to be creating
your future? Just notice and be aware.
The Only Thing We Are Ever Dealing With Is a Thought,
and a Thought Can Be Changed
No matter what the problem is, our experiences are just outer
effects of inner thoughts. Even self-hatred is only hating a thought
you have about yourself. You have a thought that says, "I'm a bad
person." This thought produces a feeling, and you buy into the feel-
ing. However, if you don't have the thought, you won't have the feel-
ing. And thoughts can be changed. Change the thought, and the
feeling must go.
This is only to show us where we get many of our beliefs. But
let's not use this information as an excuse to stay stuck in our pain.
The past has no power over us. 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 realize! We can begin to be
free in this moment!
Believe It or Not, We Do Choose Our Thoughts
We may habitually think the same thought over and over so that
it does not seem we are choosing the thought. But we did make the
original choice. We can refuse to think certain thoughts. Look how
often you have refused to think a positive thought about yourself.
Well, you can also refuse to think a negative thought about yourself.
It seems to me that everyone on this planet whom I know or have
worked with is suffering from self-hatred and guilt to one degree or
another. The more self-hatred and guilt we have, the less our lives
YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE
work. The less self-hatred and guilt we have, the better our lives
work, on all levels.
The Innermost Belief for Everyone I Have Worked with Is
Always, "I'm Not Good Enough!"
We often add to that, "And I don't do enough," or "I don't
deserve." Does this sound like you? Often saying or implying or feel-
ing that you "are not good enough"? But for whom? And according
to whose standards?
If this belief is very strong in you, then how can you possibly have
created a loving, joyous, prosperous, healthy life? Somehow your
main subconscious belief would always be contradicting it.
Somehow you would never quite get it together, for something
would always be going wrong somewhere.
I Find That Resentment, Criticism, Guilt, and Fear Cause
More Problems Than Anything Else
These four things cause the major problems in our bodies and in
our lives. These feelings come from blaming others and not taking
responsibility for our own experiences. You see, if we are all respon-
sible for everything in our lives, then there is no one to blame.
Whatever is happening "out there" is only a mirror of our own inner
thinking. I am not condoning other people's poor behavior, but it is
OUR beliefs that attract people who will treat us that way.
If you find yourself saying, "Everyone always does such and such
to me, criticizes me, is never there for me, uses me like a doormat,
abuses me," then this is YOUR PATTERN. There is some thought in
you that attracts people who exhibit this behavior. When you no
longer think that way, they will go elsewhere and do that to some-
body else. You will no longer attract them.
Following are some results of patterns that manifest on the phys-
ical level: Resentment that is long held can eat away at the body and
What I Believe
become the dis-ease we call cancer. Criticism as a permanent habit
can often lead to arthritis in the body. Guilt always looks for pun-
ishment, and punishment creates pain. (When a client comes to me
with a lot of pain, I know they are holding a lot of guilt.) Fear, and
the tension it produces, can create things like baldness, ulcers, and
even sore feet.
I have found that forgiving and releasing resentment will dissolve
even cancer. While this may sound simplistic, I have seen and expe-
rienced it working.
We Can Change Our Attitude Toward the Past
The past is over and done. We cannot change that now. Yet we can
change our thoughts about the past. How foolish for us to PUNISH
OURSELVES in the present moment because someone hurt us in the
long ago past.
I often say to people who have deep resentment patterns, "Please
begin to dissolve the resentment now, when it is relatively easy. Don't
wait until you are under the threat of a surgeon's knife or on your
death bed, when you may have to deal with panic, too."
When we are in a state of panic, it is very difficult to focus our
minds on the healing work. We have to take time out to dissolve the
If we choose to believe we are helpless victims and that it's all
hopeless, then the Universe will support us in that belief, and we will
just go down the drain. It is vital that we release these foolish, out-
moded, negative ideas and beliefs that do not support us and nour-
ish us. Even our concept of God needs to be one that is for us, not
To Release the Past, We Must Be Willing to Forgive
We need to choose to release the past and forgive everyone, our-
selves included. We may not know how to forgive, and we may not
YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE
want to forgive, but the very fact that we say we are willing to for-
give begins the healing process. It is imperative for our own healing
that "we" release the past and forgive everyone.
"I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I forgive
you and I set you free."
This affirmation sets us free.
All Dis-ease Comes from a State of Unforgiveness
Whenever we are ill, we need to search our hearts to see who it is
we need to forgive.
The Course in Miracles says that "all dis-ease comes from a state
of unforgiveness," and that "whenever we are ill, we need to look
around to see who it is that we need to forgive."
I would add to that concept that the very person you find it hard-
est to forgive is the one YOU NEED TO LET GO OF THE MOST.
Forgiveness means giving up, letting go. It has nothing to do with
condoning behavior. It's just letting the whole thing go. 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.
We understand our own pain so well. How hard it is for most of
us to understand that THEY, whoever they are we need most to for-
give, were also in pain. We need to understand that they were doing
the best they could with the understanding, awareness, and knowl-
edge they had at that time.
When people come to me with a problem, I don't care what it is
— poor health, lack of money, unfulfilling relationships, or stifled
creativity — there is only one thing I ever work on, and that is LOV-
ING THE SELF
I find that when we really love and accept and APPROVE OF
OURSELVES EXACTLY AS WE ARE, then everything in life works.
It's as if little miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we
attract more money, our relationships become much more fulfilling,
and we begin to express ourselves in creatively fulfilling ways. All
this seems to happen without our even trying.
What I Believe
Loving and approving of yourself, creating a space of safety, trust-
ing and deserving and accepting, will create organization in your
mind, create more loving relationships in your life, attract a new job
and a new and better place to live, and even enable your body weight
to normalize. People who love themselves and their bodies neither
abuse themselves nor others.
Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the main keys to
positive changes in every area of our lives.
Loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves
for anything. Criticism locks us into the very pattern we are trying to
change. Understanding and being gentle with ourselves helps us to
move out of it. Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years,
and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
In the infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole, and complete.
I believe in a power far greater than I am
that flows through me every moment of every day.
I open myself to the wisdom within,
knowing that there is only One Intelligence in this Universe.
Out of this One Intelligence comes all the answers,
all the solutions, all the healings, all the new creations.
I tni5t tftis Power and Intelligence,
knowing that whatever I need to know is revealed to me,
and that whatever I need comes to me
in the right time, space, and sequence.
All is well in my world.