When we don’t love and accept ourselves, we set ourselves up for the mental and emotional vulnerability and fragility that can easily lead to addiction and mental illness. Rejecting and hating ourselves keeps us locked in patterns of self-destruction and self-sabotage. We hold ourselves down, limit our potential and sabotage our well-being. We suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of low self-worth, inadequacy and inferiority. We reject ourselves and the parts of ourselves that we don’t think are good or acceptable. We feel ashamed of and disappointed in ourselves. Learning self-acceptance is one of the most important things we can do for our emotional development and recovery from addictions and mental health issues. Without it, we’ll continue to fuel the cycles that are perpetuating our unwellness, our inner turmoil and our self-hatred.
How can we develop self-acceptance, especially for the parts of ourselves that we’ve gotten so accustomed to rejecting and hiding? Part of the process is taking an honest look at ourselves, and taking an inventory of the different parts of us we’re uncomfortable and unhappy with. What issues are fueling this unhappiness? Is there unresolved trauma we have yet to heal from? Are we still believing limiting beliefs about ourselves? Why do we feel so inadequate? Why are we carrying so much shame? Where did we learn this self-rejection? The more we examine all of our parts and the issues fueling them, the more we can work to dismantle the self-hatred that is stopping us from having self-acceptance.
As we undergo this process of self-examination, we can start to learn to be more accepting of our imperfections and perceived flaws. We can try to stop striving for perfection but instead for healing, growth, expansion and personal development. Our goal can be to improve upon ourselves, to be better, happier and healthier than we were yesterday, rather than to strive for perfection which is unattainable. We can work on becoming comfortable with our multiple parts, including the shadow parts of us, that we might be tempted to think of as negative but which we can explore as part of our growth and allow to contribute to our healing.
We can practice thinking and speaking about ourselves with more self-love and acceptance. Rather than beating ourselves up, judging ourselves or speaking ill of ourselves, we can work on building ourselves up with self-compassion, understanding and encouragement. We can start to uplift ourselves rather than constantly knocking ourselves down. We can commit time to practicing self-love, actively and consciously, every day.
Your new life can start today. Let Riverside Recovery be your support system as you do the work to heal. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our addiction recovery. treatment programs.