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Why is Self-Compassion So Important for Recovery?

Many of us living with addiction have developed mental and emotional patterns of criticizing and judging ourselves, beating ourselves up, and inundating ourselves with feelings of guilt and shame. We hold onto our mistakes and regrets rather than forgiving ourselves. We are unkind to ourselves rather than being patient and understanding with ourselves during the very difficult healing process. We are operating from a place of self-hatred and self-rejection. We don’t love or accept ourselves. We’ve been conditioned to feel as though we’re not good enough. We’re battling deeply rooted fears of inadequacy and unworthiness, that are often a result of our traumatic experiences. We don’t value ourselves. We deny ourselves support, compassion and understanding. Why is self-compassion so important for our recovery?

When we’re being kind to ourselves, we make it easier to find solutions to our problems, rather than staying stuck in self-deprecating cycles of self-judgment and self-deprecation that keep us focused on the negative. We’re more likely to be able to find the good in a situation, which opens us up to attracting more goodness into our lives. When we’re able to think positively, about ourselves and our lives, we’re better able to focus on moving forward, on making progress, on finding ourselves. When we deny ourselves kindness, we’re telling ourselves in no uncertain terms that we don’t deserve our own self-love. We’re telling ourselves we don’t believe in ourselves. In order to recover, we have to believe we can. We have to have faith in ourselves and our ability to recover. We have to love ourselves and be kind to ourselves.

Self-compassion is as necessary for our healing as any other part of the recovery work we do. It’s just as important as our sobriety. Without it, we will always be susceptible to the self-hate that is often the catalyst for our addictions. We might always be vulnerable to relapsing, because we haven’t developed the self-love, the inner confidence and the self-esteem we need to keep us aligned with our healing. Denying ourselves compassion is like adding fuel to the fire of our already very destructive addictions. It’s like setting ourselves up for failure.

Developing self-compassion takes time, energy and effort. It’s like forging any new emotional habit. We have to practice it if we want it to stick. Start monitoring how you think about yourself and talk to yourself. Transform your inner dialogue to be full of self-love and self-appreciation. “I love, respect and accept myself fully. I appreciate and value myself. I believe in myself. I am worthy. I am deserving.” Our self-compassion is a necessary component for our healing. Start practicing today!

Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.