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Those of us struggling with addiction tend to be quite self-rejecting. We hate ourselves for being addicts. We’re filled with shame and self-loathing. We feel inadequate, worthless, and inferior to other people. We don’t know how to make peace with the things about ourselves we don’t like, the things we feel ashamed of, the things we’re uncomfortable with. We allow these things to haunt us and bring us down, making our everyday lives and the realities we’ve manifested for ourselves a reflection of our inner pain and self-rejection. How can we heal ourselves from these harmful patterns of rejecting and hating ourselves? How can we learn to accept ourselves instead?

Self-Love, Compassion, Forgiveness

Radical self-acceptance is the concept of applying self-love, compassion, and forgiveness to the parts of ourselves we normally would reject. We take those elements of ourselves, sometimes called our shadow parts, and we give them more love rather than less, even when our instincts are to turn our backs on ourselves out of shame. We’re inclined to want to ignore these parts of ourselves, to pretend they don’t exist, because of how uncomfortable they make us feel. What are these parts? They might be memories of traumatic experiences. They might be the mistakes we’ve made. They might be our list of regrets, the things we’ve done wrong over the years, especially when we were entrenched in our addictive patterns and not operating as our true selves.

How do we learn to love and forgive ourselves, and to treat ourselves with compassion, when our instinct is to reject ourselves? One answer is to start being gentler and more nurturing with ourselves when we’re looking at those parts of ourselves we’re inclined to reject and hate. Can we look at our mistakes and see them not as evidence of our shamefulness, but as the growing pains that were a necessary part of our evolution towards our highest selves? Can we look at our wrongdoings and recognize the pain that was at the root of them? Can we forgive ourselves by reminding ourselves that when we hurt other people, we were usually in pain ourselves, and that hurting others was simply a reflection of the ways in which we were hurting? Can we learn to appreciate ourselves for the fact that we’ve actually grown stronger and more empowered because of those challenging parts of ourselves?  

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation. Call 855-823-5463 today for more information.