The Hunger Games Guide to Self Love

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Written by Jennifer Harbaugh

The Hunger Games is wildly popular for many reasons. Author Jennifer Harbaugh explains how we can use the structure of The Hunger Games to our advantage in “The Hunger Games Guide to Self Love.”

The Hunger Games is wildly popular for many reasons. Author Jennifer Harbaugh explains how we can use the structure of The Hunger Games to our advantage in “The Hunger Games Guide to Self Love.”

If you haven’t read the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, that’s okay. I only have read the first book in the series so far. So, there will be no major spoilers here. However, the goal here is to give you a visual picture of how you can get to Self Love by using the structure of the games in the series.

As Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls would say,

“Picture this”:

Split yourself, not literally, in several emotional identities:



The location of the games is in your body. As the bells ring for the games to begin, all of your emotional identities are running from each other in opposite directions away from your brain. The goal is to get to your heart first and win the “SOUL” games, after all SELF LOVE is in your heart. Keep in mind, I’m not following The Hunger Games, literally.

Optimism sees Negativity creeping up in the ego of your brain. Optimism decided to use her powerful magic to make Negativity vulnerable so Optimism can go in for the kill. Negativity becomes weak and Optimism destroys Negativity by having a constant source of positive thinking replacing every negative thinking that comes out of the brain. Optimism survives, Negativity dies.

Sadness/Depression starts to creep to your heart. Happiness fights through the jungle of blood veins, left and right, to get to Depression before it attacks your heart.

Happiness is telling your inner soul to do activities that makes you happy from writing a song or dancing in the rain. Once, your heart feels happy, Depression disappears gradually as you do something that makes you happy everyday. Depression dies, Happiness survives.

The final horrible and long battle is between Anger and Forgiveness. Most of the time, the main reason for not having Self Love is because you are not able to either forgive yourself or forgive someone else for the pain they have caused you. You are still holding that pain inside you.

Consider the pain/anger as toxins in your body. Now, your body needs to be detoxified. That’s where Forgiveness comes in. Release your pain by telling yourself to let it go. Let the Anger go. What is done, is done. Remind yourself that it was not your fault that someone hurt you. Remind yourself that some people hurt others because that is the way they know how to live. It is you, not them. Do not take it personal. Let it go. Forgive them for hurting you, and then forgive yourself for holding the pain inside too long. As Forgiveness spreads it’s kryptonite in your body, pain is gone. Anger dies, Forgiveness survives.

The remaining survivors in the “SOUL” games:


They all couldn’t kill each other since they complement each other and need each other in order to survive together completely.

Together, they march to the heart saying that they will not leave each other if the heart doesn’t accept any of them. It’s all of them or none. Your heart gladly hands them the trophy of Self Love.

Happiness, Forgiveness, Optimism, and Self Love becomes whole.

That is when the journey of self-discovery and falling in love with yourself all over again begins. Do the “SOUL” games every time you feel you have taken a step back in your healing journey.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
It took me a while to finally accept that I’m different from everyone else and I should not adapt myself to the society norms. So what if I am not thin? As long I am living a healthy lifestyle. So what if I don’t want to wear a dress and heels? As long I have clothes to wear everyday. I should be living the life I want, not the life the people want me to live.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate the fact I am still alive and being given a second chance to reclaim myself. Not many people are lucky like me and I am grateful for that.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
My most rewarding achievement is that I exceeded everyone’s expectations of what a Deaf person can do. I have many goals, still…but, if I have to pick one goal and that is educating the world about the most important things in life.

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
Do I really have to tell? Okay, procrastination is my “not-so-perfect” way, probably the reason why it took me long enough to finally realize I need to start reclaiming myself at age 26. My imperfections are: biting my nails and being a worry wart.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my mind, I cannot believe that I came up with this article. So eternally grateful for that creativity part of my brain doing the hard work for me.

About the author

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Jennifer Harbaugh

Jennifer Harbaugh's passion of reading and writing started when she was a junior at Maryland School for the Deaf. She got her BA in English from Pennsylvania State University in 2008, and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from Goddard College in 2014. She just returned to graduate school, McDaniel College, for the second time to get a MS in Deaf Education after falling in love with teaching.

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