Many of us are taught at a young age that certain parts of us, certain behaviors and certain feelings are acceptable, and others aren’t. We grow up learning to reject these “unacceptable” things – the things that we feel ashamed of, the parts of us we haven’t come to terms with yet, the feelings that we find difficult. When we reject these things about ourselves, we’re rejecting who we are. This is a form of self-hatred, and it very often can fuel our addictions and spiral into mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Recovering emotionally has everything to do with learning to love ourselves unconditionally.
Let’s start mindfully looking at the things we’ve previously conditioned ourselves to want to avoid, all the things we haven’t wanted to look at. Instead of turning away from them, let’s turn towards them. Visualize them being incorporated into the light of your inner being, the same light that you would feel towards the things that you love and admire about yourself. Try to extend that same love to your dark parts, to your shame and pain, to your regret, to your insecurity and self-doubt. All the things we would normally want to run from, all the things we would use our addictions to try to avoid feeling, we’re going to give those things our mindful attention instead. This can feel uncomfortable at first. We might feel pangs of anxiety. Let’s sit with any feelings that come up. As we feel them, we’re healing them. The more we can sit with them, the more we can take back the power they held over us.
Practice having acceptance for all the things you consider to be your flaws. Try writing them down, and really look at them. Facing them head on starts to desensitize us to what used to feel scary and painful. Ask yourself what it would feel like to accept your flaws as part of who you are. What would it feel like to love yourself anyway, to not let your imperfections, even your regrets, change how you feel about yourself? What would it feel like to be unconditionally accepting and embracing of all your parts? It would probably feel freeing. You’d probably feel liberated after years of angst and shame. It might feel comforting and reassuring, like you’re finally giving yourself the gift of your own understanding and compassion. It might feel like a total relief. Try it out. Give energy to this practice. Learning to love ourselves unconditionally gives us the foundation we need to heal.
Our personalized treatment plans, which include multiple kinds of therapy, can provide you with the support and care you need to have a successful recovery. Call 888-570-7154 for more information.