No one is very comfortable with change. We find the schedules and rhythms in our lives that we lean on to bring us a sense of comfort and peace. It is so easy for us to find a way to live each day the same as the last. We find ways to bring a sense of balance and cohesion to every part of our lives, whether it be in our morning routines or the way we drive to work. These formalities we instill in our lives bring us a sense of safety and comfort, and practicing these usual habits can do a lot to bring us out of low emotions and mindsets. There is something beautiful about understanding and appreciating the things you do and the way you are. There is power in accepting yourself for who you are, and the world is steadily becoming a place of self-love and empowerment, as it should be. But there is also a point that goes too far.
This point is when you become so focused on not letting yourself view yourself as anything but perfect that you grow stagnant. You see, we have come to associate change as meaning that something is wrong and that if something is wrong that we are responsible and should feel guilty for it. So we don’t even consider the prospect of changing; we allow ourselves to stay who we are, imperfections and all, and disguise it as a sense of self-love. It is self-love, in some way, but it is also denial and ignorance for things that we can change. Changing who we are is a necessary part of life, and recovery especially. We have to enter recovery with the desire to change, to improve ourselves, and become better people. This doesn’t mean that who we are right now is not enough or wrong; it just means that we want to be the best us that we can be. Admitting that we need to change ourselves physically, mentally, or emotionally is not a bad thing. There is no shame in realizing that reality and doing something about it. It is far worse to admit you have an issue than maintain an ignorant mindset around denying it. We, as humans, are not wrong, but we are flawed. Admitting that is a true display of strength, not weakness.
Finding the Balance Between Self-Acceptance and Self-Improvement
Beneath it all is our collective fear of being wrong. We are all so afraid of being shown to be flawed because we have been taught that our flaws are irregular. We are told that being wrong is a sign of being a bad person and that any moment of being flawed or showing weakness is an automatic label of being lesser than others. Why we all feel the need to constantly be judging ourselves and others to show that we are doing enough is beyond us. There are no comparisons or races that we need to win to be good people. We are not ever going to be perfect and to try to act like we are anything other than flawed is ignoring the beauty of being human. The world is going to continue on whether or not we are acting perfectly through every part of life; life does not derail because you didn’t act the best way in a conversation or say the right thing. You are going to have moments of falling short and that is absolutely okay. We love you for who you are and we will love you through every stumble you make. We know what it’s like to be human and we know that there is room to change.
We always want you to love yourself and accept who you are, but we don’t want you to let that cause you to become stuck. We know that there is always room to improve and we don’t want you to lose sight of that or admit when you have room to grow. Practicing self-love in spite of what the world around may tell you is an absolutely powerful tool to have but you shouldn’t confuse it with denying the things that need to be changed. There is a limit to which you can let yourself be happy before those issues come to bite you. Life is too short to let yourself suffer from self-loathing and it’s too short to let yourself remain in an unhealthy place. Our lives are a constant journey to seeking a better way of living and a better lifestyle. We are all on a path of recovery, in some way. If you want to change something then go out there and do it. We can find ways to encourage each other without loading that encouragement with shame. If we all keep working to improve ourselves, then the world can change as well. We can make the life we want to live in.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us today at (866) 399-6528.