Understanding Self-Love

Self-Love is the value we place in our own happiness and well-being. It can be drained or taken from us through negative or traumatic experiences; but, we can also grow it through action.

Why Self-Love?

Having love for self is extremely important for a number of reasons.

Healthy levels of self-esteem:

  • Helps to combat anxiety, depression, and other mental health symptoms.
  • Allows us to have healthy relationships, not just with self but with others.  

We must first love ourselves before we can love others. 

  • Helps us cope with negative life events and trauma.
  • Assists us in healing from past negative events and trauma.
  • Provides us greater overall life satisfaction.
  • Helps us maintain an overall positive outlook.

The Effect of Trauma on Self-Love

When we experience trauma at any stage of our life, it violates our safety and often makes us question the things that make us, us. 

Experiencing trauma makes us feel unlovable, or unworthy of love – even from ourselves.

When trauma is left unresolved, there is a continued impact on our ability to love, and this can be detrimental.

It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health symptoms & behaviors.

Because a lack of self-esteem and self-love can cause general discontentment, it can severely impact our happiness and emotional wellbeing.

It can impact our boundary system.

If we do not love who we are, then we often struggle to set boundaries for ourselves that protect us. This further violates our safety and impacts our ability to live a healthy and happy life.

It can prohibit us from forgiving.

An inability to forgive ourselves and others prohibits us from being able to move forward. It holds resentment and animosity inward, filling us with those negative emotions. Love for ourselves allows for compassion and empathy, understanding humanness – that those that hurt us causing us to hurt ourselves stems from being wounded and being human.

It can prevent us from living in the present.

An inability to love who we are can keep us trapped in the past, making it difficult to live in the present. This can have toxic effects on our ability to heal.  

It blocks our ability to get what we need.

Lack of self-love impacts our self-confidence and ability to ask for what we need. This can lead to an ongoing pattern of not getting our needs met.

Learning to Love at The Bridge to Recovery

Self-Love is key to healing, and healing is what we do at The Bridge. Thus, we help our clients learn to love themselves again so that long term healing can take place. We do this in the following ways:

  • Restorative Work: examining who we were before the trauma and restoring those pieces of ourselves back together.
  • Forgiveness Work: learning to let go and have compassion for ourselves and others.
  • Shame Reduction Work: leaning to let go of shame that was not ours to begin with.
  • Safe & Loving Environment: research shows that when we are in a place of unconditional love and acceptance, our own self-love grows.

Once we begin to break down the barriers we have built against loving ourselves, the path to healing opens. To learn more about how The Bridge to Recovery can help, please give us a call today.