Our addictions are often fueled by our inner feelings of self-worth – how we feel about and perceive ourselves, what we feel we deserve, how much we think we’re worth. Very often we feel unworthy and undeserving, of love, happiness and success, of having the lives we want. We don’t love or respect ourselves. We don’t accept ourselves for who we are, and we are burdened by the weight of our shame, regret and disappointment in ourselves. This self-loathing and self-rejection can cause us to seek solace in destructive things outside of ourselves – drugs and alcohol, unhealthy relationships, excessive gaming and gambling, and other addictive behaviors. We develop patterns of self-destructiveness that fuel our addictions. How can we shed this self-destructiveness and grow to love ourselves?
Let’s explore why we are feeling so unworthy in the first place. Have we internalized the unkind things people have said about us to be true? Have we held onto our painful experiences as proof that we are bad, wrong or to blame? Many of us subconsciously come to believe that our trauma, abuse and pain are evidence of our unworthiness. The healing process requires that we forgive ourselves, release all the shame we’re carrying, and detach from the misconception that we’re at fault for the bad things that have happened to us.
Shedding our self-destructiveness means changing our self-image. When you think about yourself, what adjectives would you use? When you look in the mirror, what do you think and feel about yourself? When other people give you a compliment, how do you respond? Let’s work to focus on our positive qualities and our strengths. Let’s build up our self-image to be one of self-love and self-acceptance.
List some qualities about yourself that you admire and are grateful for. Maybe you’re a good friend and a good listener. Maybe you’re creative. If you can’t think of anything, perhaps because you’re feeling particularly depressed, take some time over the coming days and weeks to give energy to this practice. You’ll discover things you love about yourself, perhaps things you never thought of.
Practice looking in the mirror, making eye contact with yourself, and repeating affirmations such as “I love you. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are brave. You are powerful.” You are all of these things, and the more you work to believe them, the more you will transform your self-image and heal your self-destructiveness.
Call (575) 613-4810 for information on our holistic treatment programs.