Learning to Love Yourself
Love is the most powerful emotion a human being can experience. Yet, for many of us who have experienced addiction, and witnessed the havoc our disease has caused in our lives and in relationships with others, we can be left with feelings of low self-esteem caused by shame and guilt.
For this month of February, embrace these steps to help discover self-love:
Embrace that your actions while active in addiction do not define you forever.
First and foremost, remind yourself that addiction is a disease. This insidious sickness may have led you to act like a bad person, but it’s important to remember that you are not a bad person. If you are working a solid 12-Step program, your days of poor behavior are a thing of the past. Make an effort to do one good thing for another person today. Helping others helps yourself more than you can know.
Make amends to people you have harmed.
The benefits of making amends far outweigh the anxious feelings and fear of rejection you may be experiencing. Making amends allows us the possibility of peace, freedom and closure from something that you may have done to cause harm to another human being.
Feel good about yourself.
Every morning, write down one (or more) positive things about yourself or something you are good at and place this where you can see it throughout the day. Despite your addiction, there are certain things about you innately that have never changed. Those are the things that you are going to celebrate TODAY.
Be aware of your self-talk.
We are our worse self critics and often the harshest on ourselves. We beat up on ourselves with statements like, “That was so stupid! I can never do anything right!”. As you go about your day, be mindful – every time you have a negative thought, replace that negative self talk with a positive statement.
Practice does not make perfect.
One of the greatest ways to develop self-love and self-worth is to recognize a great truth: no one is perfect. Perfection is not attainable for anyone, and when we place the imaginary measuring stick up to the notion of perfection each day, we most certainly feel like failures. Rather, focus on the word progress. Don’t worry about doing every single little thing exactly right. Instead, go easy and be less self-critical. Progress not perfection is our mantra.
What are some ways you practice self-love? We’d love to hear from you!