As we’re working to heal ourselves and recover from our addictions, an important part of the recovery process is developing our ability to admit our mistakes. For years, many of us were resistant to admitting when we felt we had done something wrong or hurt someone. Our pride, our fear of being criticized, and our own guilt and shame kept us from doing what we knew was right – admitting our mistakes and trying to make amends. Now that we’re working so hard to recover, we don’t want to let pride, fear or shame hold us back any more than they already have. We want to be strong and courageous. We want to face our fears and take the necessary corrective steps to acknowledge when we’re wrong and do something proactive about it.
Many of us have been conditioned to never show weakness of any kind. We’re taught not to cry, not to show when we’re suffering, and never to admit defeat. We associate our mistakes and wrongdoings with feeling ashamed of ourselves, disappointed in ourselves and defeated. We feel as though we’ve failed. We can try to think of our mistakes differently now and see that they are actually an important part of our growth. If we never made mistakes, how would we learn, grow and evolve? Transformation comes from reflecting on our inner selves and our life experiences, and mistakes are a part of that experience. Trying to deny our mistakes and pretend they didn’t happen is essentially rejecting entire parts of ourselves, parts that could help us develop and improve ourselves if we allowed them to.
Part of the process of admitting our mistakes is learning how to have both self-forgiveness and self-acceptance. We have to learn how to be able to forgive ourselves when we felt we’ve made a mistake, and also how to accept ourselves fully, including not despite our perceived flaws, shortcomings and imperfections. We want to get to the point where we love ourselves so much that our mistakes don’t cause us the same level of angst, turmoil, shame and regret. This is not an attempt to excuse or justify hurtful behavior – we still want to hold ourselves to the same high standards of how we treat others and handle situations. On the contrary, rather than excusing or justifying our mistakes, we want to try and develop more understanding around them so that we don’t keep repeating the same mistakes and following in the same destructive patterns. Self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and self-love actually help us to self-correct, to change direction when we’ve gone off course and to make necessary changes to our perspective, our behaviors and our choices. When we’re coming from a self-loving, self-forgiving place, we’re much more likely to make these important changes, to learn and grow, and to become the best, kindest version of ourselves that we can be.
Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and are here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.