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“You are not selfish for wanting the same energy and love you give.”
“It’s okay to let go of those who couldn’t love you. Those who didn’t know how to. Those who failed to even try. It’s okay to outgrow them, because that means you filled the empty space in you with self-love instead. You’re outgrowing them because you are growing into you. And that’s more than okay, that’s something to celebrate.”
“The people you will always remember are the ones who made you feel loved when you were at your lowest.”
#7 Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.
Staying was easier because I didn’t know how to leave. Unaware that I could trust my decisions, or believe in myself, I stayed. Then, somehow, deep down within, love said “Leave. Leave now.” I left. The world as I knew it was shattered and in pieces but I was alive. Love changed the course of my world in an instant.
Sobriety and Statement #7 create a portal for love to expand and grow. Love is always there, sometimes covered up and hidden from years of pain yet that love exists. By practicing the WFS Statements each day, giving special attention to Statement #7, I uncovered and discovered the healing and beauty of love.
Embracing sobriety is an act of love. Affirming self is an act of love. Enforcing boundaries is an act of love. Maybe you are afraid to believe it or trust it, but love makes a difference every day. In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Giving and receiving love can change our world. They change how we feel about ourselves—we feel increasingly alive, appreciated, important, necessary, wanted and worthy. There are no words as therapeutic as ‘I love you.’” You are deserving of love!
Here are 4 ways to begin to love yourself from Maria Stenvinkel from Tiny Buddha
Focus on being someone who loves.
If you’re in a place today where you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to take a quantum leap and become someone who does. Just like when you’re building muscles, self-love takes consistent practice.
Instead of loving yourself, focus on being someone who loves. That is, allow love to flow through you as often as possible. Focus on what you love about the people you meet. Focus on what you appreciate while going to the store, sitting in a meeting, or speaking to someone. Simply, adjust your body to positive emotions by finding as many things to love and appreciate as possible.
2. Tap into what it looks and feels like to be loved.
It’s easy to be loving toward ourselves when things go as planned, when we succeed and people like us. Not so much when stuff falls apart, we screw up, or get rejected. When we struggle the most, that’s also when we tend to be the hardest on ourselves.
In those moments, ask yourself how someone who loves you deeply would act. What would they say? What would they do? How would they behave? Odds are, they wouldn’t criticize, judge, and berate you. They’d offer you kindness, compassion, and acceptance. If you can’t think about a specific person or memory, imagine how the most loving human on this planet would be toward you. Then practice being that toward yourself.
3. Stop comparing yourself.
Comparison is a killer to self-love. And we aren’t usually very nice when it comes to comparisons, right? Instead, we take our greatest flaws and compare them to someone else’s greatest success. In short, you’re doomed to fail.
Instead, realize that you write your story. Realize that you can’t compare your life to someone else’s because no matter how well you know them, you never know how they feel or how they perceive their life. Instead, spend your time and energy nourishing and building your path.
4. Take baby steps to create the life you long for.
Desires are powerful. And so, to take action to turn those dreams into reality is to honor and care for yourself. By taking daily actions, you signal that you’re worthy of living the life you desire.
It doesn’t have to be big action—just small and consistent steps in the direction that stirs joy, care, and excitement. This demonstrates that you care and respect your dreams and thus yourself. Has there ever been a better time to do that than now?
Hi 4C Women,
Powerful, phenomenal message from Karen. Wonderful tips for learning how to begin the journey of self-love and accepting love from others. Living in pain, feeling unworthy, and never feeling that you are enough is more than challenging to overcome yet it is absolutely possible, actually necessary, and deserving. I was so fearful of rejection in giving love yet I was rejecting the most important person in my life – me! It took a while yet I learned to turn off the negative messages from the past. The messages we received growing up and into young adulthood – even adulthood. As empowered women, we now get to choose the words we speak to ourselves. I have an inner critic that I have named who sometimes sits on my shoulder, spewing nasty, old, outdated messages that I no longer accept. So, when he/she appears, I turn my head and flick the critic off as I tell them to shut up and stop lying. I am in control of my thoughts which in turn makes me in charge of my behavior. I will not allow these negative messages to make me question who I am today. I will no longer punish myself by believing even slightly that these are truth-based messages. I will instead continue to work on healing.
I have a 3×5 card in my purse that has STOP on the front as an alert when negative messages start to ramble through my mind. On the back is a listing of positive characteristics, changes I have made, what I value about myself, and whatever challenges I have gone through and stayed sober. I get that card out whenever I question my worth and the negative messages start creeping in. I encourage you to do that as self-love will change the course of your world in amazing ways. I’ve been blessed to see so many women turn their lives around in self-love when they thought it was impossible. Be courageous – practice self-love every day and see what happens.
I hope you will take the time to reflect on the questions Karen has asked and begin or continue the journey of self-love. You deserve it.
Bonded in learning to love yourself and accept/give love to others, Dee
Virginia Tech is recruiting adults in recovery from addiction, including alcohol, for a long-term online study to learn about diverse recovery pathways. Participants in this research study (IRB# 21-697) will complete 4 surveys per year over 3 years and will be compensated for their time (up to $1,280 over 3 years).
Help us help others (Phone: 540-315-0205 | Email: email@example.com)!