If you’re like most guys, you want to feel loved and accepted by other people. The need for approval is quite common among mankind. This is one reason so many people succumb to peer pressure or doing things they might not be comfortable with; they simply want to feel liked and included.
Gaining acceptance and love from others is one thing, but what about love for yourself? Of course, you want others to love you, but do you actually like or love yourself? Do you think you’re an amazing person worthy of your own love? Do you treat yourself like it?
Sadly, far too many men don’t really like themselves that much – especially after they’ve been struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs. Often, they come into recovery or rehab struggling with low self-esteem and low self-worth. These negative feelings, whether they realize it or not, can affect every area of their lives.
Take a moment and really think about this. Do you really like who you are? Can you go so far as to say you love yourself? If so, what do you love? If not, what do you dislike?
The good news is that no matter what you’re feeling about yourself right now, you can boost feelings of self-worth and self-love with some intent and time. Whether you’re new to recovery or you’ve been on the recovery path for a while, you can create a version of yourself that you enjoy being. The past is that past and you can let it go, creating a better present and future – and that’s exciting!
If you’ve got some negative thoughts or emotions about yourself, the following is a short guide to help you begin letting go of the negativity and cultivate some big love for yourself.
First, let’s begin with taking a brief look at self-worth.
Self-worth is essentially how worthy you think you are. It can be low, high, or anywhere in between. If you have low self-worth, you don’t think you’re really worthy of your own love or anyone else’s. You may tend to struggle with receiving compliments, taking good care of yourself, and your thought life may be filled with negative thoughts.
If this sounds like you, today is your opportunity to begin to think differently about yourself. No matter what your past has been or what you’ve done or haven’t done, you are worthy just because you’re here. Your path may have led you through some rough stuff, but just by being on this planet as a human being, you are worthy of unconditional love. Today, begin to entertain that kind of thinking.
If you want to begin to feel amazing about who you are, it’s time to begin a new journey. If you’ve been feeling low, pause for a few moments and go within. See yourself when you were a toddler or young child. See the innocence, curiosity, and joy that your inner child embodied.
That little boy, as I’m sure you can agree, deserves abundant love, right?
See yourself giving him a big hug and then laughing and playing together. Feel big love for him in every part of your body.
Then, feel that kind of love for yourself now, as an adult. Practice this as often as you can, as this can boost your self-worth. It might not happen overnight, but it will happen. In fact, many men and women have traveled the road to loving themselves successfully. There are certain lessons that we learn throughout life that propel us toward that destination if we allow them. Go ahead and look in the mirror today and look deep into your eyes and declare: I love you. Do your best to mean it.
As an adult, it’s quite easy to have inner wounds from the past that need to be healed. Things happen in life that can cause quite a bit of pain. If those wounds are not healed, the pain can interfere with the ability to love yourself.
Take some time to contemplate if you’re carrying around inner wounds and if you are, forgive yourself and/or the person who caused that pain. You may even have to forgive yourself. As you release this, you should feel relief and a new love for yourself. You’re worthy and you shouldn’t have to carry around a bunch of pain or negative feelings, so go ahead and let them go.
Positive affirmations are positive statements about yourself or other things. If you want to love yourself more, make a list of positive affirmations about yourself and declare them out loud every day. Even if you don’t think much of yourself, write down how you want to feel about yourself and declare it.
As you continue to do this daily, you’ll be building your self-esteem and self-worth. Sometimes it’s just your thought life that keeps you down and positive affirmations can retrain your brain to go from negative to positive over time.
Here are some affirmations you can recite daily to help you learn to love yourself.
As you navigate addiction recovery and life in general in or out of rehab, here’s your permission to begin to have a better relationship with yourself. Get to know who you are by spending some time alone with yourself. Engage in activities that you like. Take care of yourself. Every person is worthy and this includes you. Go ahead and declare that right now!