Self-love, what is it? How do we get it? Where do we find it? And how do we
put it into practice?
So let’s start off by answering the first question. What is self-love?
The dictionary defines self-love as “regard for one’s own well-being and
happiness.” But what does this mean to us besides just the dictionary’s
definition of it. Self-love to me has quite a bit to do with
self-acceptance. I think once you can practice one the other becomes that
much easier to practice. Self love can also have a lot to do with having a
good sense of humor about yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously and
that can help you tremendously.
I also personally think that we need to start with simple things like
grooming and self-care, eat a healthy diet, and always be looking out for
your mental well-being. Many of us as we start to slip or are on the verge
of a relapse have a tendency to stop caring for ourselves properly.
Our next question is how do we get it? Some of us naturally have this and
don’t have to put as much effort into this as compared to us who are
lacking in this department. Many of us will have to find alternative ways
to help develop a healthy amount of self-love and then maintain it. One
way of also taking care of yourself is to take a look at you’re mental
health and decide if you need some help. You can reach out to a therapist,
phycologist or psychiatrist for help. This would absolutely fall into the
category of self-love.
Another way of developing more self-love towards yourself
So what should this mean to us? And one of the most important questions is
why is this important to us addicts.
I think what this means for most of us is just keeping up with a basic level
of physical and mental upkeep. I think self-love is something the entire
world needs to practice a little bit more of, not just us addicts. But for us
addicts, this can be especially important. Self-love and self-care can
also be an indicator of a pending binge or relapse. Many people that have
stress in their lives tend to neglect themselves and when we neglect
ourselves we are way more likely to seek out things that are no good for us.
So for many of us keeping track of these things can be a major factor in our
recovery.
Another question asked at the beginning is where to we find it? Well,
that’s a simple yet complicated answer. What I mean by that is that if you
were to ask me this question I would answer it you find it deep inside
yourself. So it might seem so easy to find it but it’s not. It’s going to take
a lot of hard work to find it, for some it might be more difficult than
others. I would suggest a lot of meditation and self-reflection. These
things are not easy to accomplish but once you can the fruits of the labor
you put into this are immense.
Self-affirmation can also be an invaluable tool in the process of
recovery. Many of us in active addiction had extremely low self-esteem
which lead to depression and then that depression led to more abusing
your addiction of choice. Being able to look in the mirror and face
yourself can be something scary in early sobriety. Now you’re expected to
look into your own eyes with kind words about yourself. This takes a lot
of strength coming from deep inside.
But we must address what to do if we are having low self-esteem issues. I
think practicing self-affirmation can be a vital tool for our recovery.
It’s been shown that people battling with self-esteem issues may have
trouble overcoming negative thoughts or feelings and therefore turn to
outside substances or compulsive activities to change the way they feel.
Some people with low self-esteem also typically will have issues with
depression and anxiety. This leads to our addictive behavior returning.
And the next question is how do we put this into practice? As stated
earlier it starts with simple things such as simple self-care and
grooming. Many people may not understand how hard these simple tasks
could be when you’re in the throes of addiction or maybe going through a
period of depression.
I think an absolutely great way to practice self-love is through prayer
and meditation. I myself am not a religious man so to speak so I do not pray
but that does not mean it does help countless others around the world that
are religious and do pray. I myself meditate and use that to reflect on
myself and get in touch with my inner self. Both of these tools are vital
for self-reflection and I think self-reflection is vital to self-love so it
all relates in the end.
Also, the way we go about our daily lives has to change if we want to start
living a more self-loving life. We must look at all aspects of our life and
the way we were treating ourselves and see if that life was conducive to a
life filled with self-love. If you look over the things in you’re daily life
that you are currently doing and see that they are not helping you then
you need to cut out the habits from your life.
All in all, self-love is an extremely important part of our recovery.
Without this, in essence, there isn’t much of a reason to get better. We need
to care enough about ourselves to want to get better. It is essential. And
once we learn to care for ourselves is when we can than care for others