If we don’t love ourselves, it makes it very difficult to love someone else.

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Nancy Ballard is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing and education and has been a clinical instructor in community health at the University of Texas at Tyler’s College of Nursing since 2007. Her previous teaching positions included Tarrant County Junior College, Cooke County College in Gainesville, Texas, and Tyler Junior College. She is the mother of three and a grandmother of five and has been married to Herb Ballard for over half her life. She and her family reside in Tyler, Texas. (

the interview

Nancy was referred to me by Jenifer Chilton, who is conducting research on epiphanies and wellness. I had never met Nancy or Herb, her husband, before. (Even though we share a last name, we are not related.) It was pouring rain the day I went to their home in Tyler, Texas, and we conducted her interview in their living room. Herb stayed in the room while I conducted Nancy’s interview, and when we were finished, I asked him how her epiphany had affected him. He said he was just happy about her change because she seemed to feel so much better now. They had never talked about his point of view of the event before, and both started to tear up. Nancy said, “I sat there listening to what he was saying and realized a new depth of his love for me. And that’s thrilling.”