Are You Brave Enough to Love Yourself?

are-you-brave-enough-to-love-yourselfLove can be terrifying. Sometimes, it may feel easier to avoid love, yet you cannot fully recover without it.

___

Love can be amazing, inspiring

It can be a weapon or a drug

It can become a backlash or

The reason for a whole new beginning

Love in recovery is, well, difficult. You need to learn to love yourself while also holding onto the truth that you have done some pretty embarrassing things. You may even think of yourself as awful, unlovable or worthless. Understanding that you are worthy of love, of happiness, of a life worth living can change your mindset. For more on the topic, “You. Are. Worthy. Of. Recovery.”, click here.  To get there, you will have to work through a lifetime of pain, hurtful messages and habits.

Love both terrifies and it soothes. It can be weaponized or it can heal. It involves risk, vulnerability and can take you to the heights and to the depths, sometimes all in one relationship… and sometimes all in the same day.

It is easy to write off your need for love, yet it is important to underline that you cannot fully recover without love. Without love, you stay in a cage with walls made out of nothing but fear and memories.

If love is so full of prickly porcupine quills of risk and emotional danger, why bother? Because if you cannot recover love, then you cannot recover. If you cannot feel love, you will never love yourself. Loving yourself is the step before all of the other steps of recovery (Step “Zero”) and it is the powerhouse that gives each of the other steps their impact.

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

There is a type of love that is free and unique and faithful. This love makes room and includes. Yet it is elusive, it cannot be earned and certainly never owned. And you deserve that kind of love, we all do.

For you, growing up love may have been talked about, but it may not have felt real. Maybe you could never feel love and certainly not love for yourself? Because of this, love may feel uncharted and untouchable. It is easy to write off your need for love, yet it is important to underline that you cannot fully recover without love. Without love, you remain in a cage with walls made out of nothing but fear and memories. It may be safe, but the walls will become your cage. Your feeling of unworthiness may be undermining your happiness.

It is said that love is high, long, wide and deep. Love may be surpassing and unfettered, but it can be felt and it can be known. And love is found in the company of friends.

Love is far safer to write about than it is to get into the arena and battle your way to love. Trust me, I’m a writer and it is easy to hide behind written words. We can all create walls that keep love out.

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Sometimes the shadows win. Your shadows may be addiction to food/drugs/alcohol/porn/video games, they may be your moods, your pain, your avoidance, or your gossip. We each can have days when our life becomes small and we fall. But love is still nearby.

You don’t have to be thinner, richer, more attractive, cleaner, less messed-up, smarter or have more education to be more worthy of love.

You don’t have to be thinner, richer, more attractive, cleaner, less messed-up, smarter or have more education to be worthy of love. How do I know this? I don’t know you, but I know that love is both unearned and it is unowned. Love is still here for you and it won’t go away. Begin by letting the love in. If you cannot love yourself, how can you love another? It takes bravery to look in the mirror and love yourself.

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

Love is high and long and wide and deep – it can be felt and it can be known, but it is wild and it is messy. Today and every day, recovery is about embracing the wild and the messy.

All quotations in this piece are either paraphrased from, or direct quotations from Sara Bareilles’ brilliant song “Brave.”

You may also enjoy and be inspired by a few more articles that I have written:

Your Feeling of Unworthiness is Undermining Your Happiness

Why Do You Go to War Against Yourself?

To Heal, You Must Become the Art

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing. If you like what I have to say, please share my work with your friends.

Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real

Photo by Bengt Nyman

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