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As we work to recover, our lack of self-acceptance can cause us to believe that we’re incapable and undeserving of recovery. We may hate and reject ourselves because we’re addicts and feel ashamed of our addictions. When we’re self-hating, we often don’t know how important it is that we learn to accept ourselves. We don’t necessarily think of our emotional health and our self-perception as being important to our recovery. We might associate recovering from our addictions with achieving sobriety, without realizing how important it is that we simultaneously learn to love ourselves. We’ve become so down on ourselves and so self-rejecting that it seems impossible to think we can get to a place where we actually feel good about ourselves.  

What Is Radical Self-Acceptance?

Self-acceptance isn’t just being okay with the things about ourselves that we used to be unhappy with. It is also learning to embrace the parts of ourselves that we used to consider shameful – the things we used to think were evidence of our unworthiness. We might never be fully happy or pleased with these elements of ourselves, but we can learn to embrace them as part of who we are. 

When we love ourselves unconditionally, we love all of ourselves. We see that our weaknesses have actually contributed to our strength and taught us resilience. Our mistakes and regrets have taught us important truths about human nature. Our faults and imperfections are teaching us how we want to improve upon and develop ourselves as individuals. Everything that we once rejected about ourselves actually adds to our growth. It’s all a part of our evolution. We wouldn’t be who we are without those things. Our journey wouldn’t be what it has been, and we might not be as fully healed and transformed without everything we’ve learned from them.

Part of self-acceptance is learning to shift our self-talk so that we can change our self-perception. How we talk to and about ourselves is critical to how we see and feel about ourselves. Radical self-acceptance takes our self-hatred and turns it completely upside down. 

Below are some radical ways to shift the self-rejecting, self-deprecating thoughts we have about ourselves.

“I Hate Myself”

When we hate ourselves, it’s often because we’re carrying limiting beliefs that tell us we’re inadequate, unworthy, and inferior to other people. We compare ourselves to other people relentlessly and tell ourselves we don’t measure up. We aren’t compassionate with ourselves about our faults. We aren’t understanding with ourselves about just how hard it is to struggle with addiction. We beat ourselves up. 

Let’s transform our self-hatred into self-love by choosing our thoughts more carefully and more mindfully. “I am growing in self-love. I am learning to love myself for who I am. I am good enough, just as I am. I am learning, healing, changing, and growing. I love myself. I am special, unique, worthy, and of value. I am strong. I am powerful. I have incredible gifts, strengths, and talents. I am capable of huge self-transformation. I am destined for amazing things.”

“I Can’t Forgive Myself”

Our self-rejection often stems from a lack of self-forgiveness. We feel as though we don’t deserve to be forgiven. We feel that we’re past the point of redemption. We think the things we’ve done wrong make us unlovable and unworthy. When we can’t forgive ourselves, we feel a deep sense of shame and disappointment. We might obsess about our past mistakes and beat ourselves up repeatedly for them. Sometimes we’re holding onto past memories, clinging to events that happened years ago, still unable to show ourselves compassion and self-forgiveness. We keep ourselves stuck in emotional patterns of shame and self-condemnation, using our drug of choice to numb our feelings. 

Let’s practice self-forgiveness and radical self-acceptance for the things we regret most, the things we’re having the hardest time forgiving within ourselves. “I forgive myself. I accept my mistakes. I accept that I was meant to go through certain experiences. I accept that I was meant to feel this pain. I accept my regrets, my feelings of shamefulness, and my disappointment. I accept myself and everything I’ve done. I am learning to forgive myself. I am growing in self-forgiveness. My mistakes have made me stronger. I am learning from my past what kind of future I want for myself. I am learning from my mistakes what kind of person I want to be.” 

“I Am a Failure”

Our past mistakes, our missteps, and even our failures are not actually failures – they’re steps on the path to success. Our past failures at recovery, for example, are not predictors of future failure. Our relapses have helped to prepare us for sobriety and strengthened our resolve to get better. 

Let’s use radical self-acceptance as a catalyst for self-healing and transformation. “I am destined for success. Everything difficult I’ve experienced has helped me grow and made me stronger and more resilient. I accept that I’ve relapsed in the past, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get sober. Recovery is possible for me. Sobriety is possible for me. I am capable of recovering. I am destined to heal. I am getting better, every day. I accept my challenges, and I keep moving forward. I accept my shortcomings, and I am getting stronger every day.”

The first step to radical self-acceptance begins now. At The Guest House Ocala, our recovery programs offer many experiential modalities including traditional therapy, conscious connected breathwork, equine therapy, somatic experiencing, art in healing, grief therapy, mindfulness, and other forms of therapy. Call 855-483-7800 or visit today to get started.