The more work we do in our recovery, the more we learn that our emotional issues are at the root of our addictive patterns, and if we’re to heal from our addictions, we need to heal from these issues in our lives. One of our most common issues, practically a staple in human nature, is our lack of self-love. Deep down we feel a self-hatred and self-rejection that makes us choose self-destructive behaviors, abusive relationships and unhealthy coping mechanisms. We’re deeply insecure and lack self-confidence. Our self-esteem, our self-image and our self-perception are all based on negativity. We dwell on our mistakes, we beat ourselves up for our wrongdoings, and we bury ourselves in so much shame and regret that we can’t focus on moving forward. Self-love is the gateway to our healing. Without it, we stay trapped in cycles of self-deprecation. We continue to feel unworthy, undeserving, inadequate and inferior. We don’t believe we deserve to be happy. We don’t have faith in our ability to heal. We literally become our own oppressor, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. To free ourselves, we have to learn self-love.
Our emotional patterns take root with years of practice. We are practicing thinking the same things day in and day out. For many of us struggling with addiction and mental health issues, we’re constantly thinking about how much we hate ourselves. We’re beating ourselves up, being unfairly harsh with ourselves, and inundating our minds and hearts with criticism and judgment. Our self-talk becomes punitive, and we subject ourselves to our own form of punishment. We convince ourselves that we’re shameful, immoral people. We refuse to forgive ourselves, to have compassion or understanding for ourselves and our issues, and we lack patience with ourselves as we learn and grow.
To love ourselves, we need to start practicing new thought patterns that are self-loving, uplifting, encouraging and kind. We need to learn how to support and nurture ourselves. We need to feel what it’s like to have self-acceptance, to accept ourselves as we are, including not despite our perceived flaws. We need to allow ourselves to be the imperfect beings we are. We need to see our lives as an evolution. We’re not going to start out perfect, nor are we going to always have all the answers. We are going to mess up. Mistakes, regrets, even shame are inevitable, but we can heal from them.
Start taking notice of your inner dialogue. Catch yourself when you’re saying and thinking self-hating things. Turn them around and lift yourself up with self-love. Practice creating a new self-perception, and over time it will take hold. “I love myself unconditionally. I accept myself. I forgive myself. I am worthy. I am loved. I am deserving. I believe in myself. I have faith in myself. I am destined for wonderful things.”
Recovery is about unlearning our destructive thought patterns and creating healthier ones. Bayview Recovery is here to help you learn to love yourself so that you can live the life you were meant to. Call 888-570-7154 today for more information.