Lack of self-love can result in many depriving patterns. Whether you are filling yourself up with food; filling up that hole inside with your drug of choice or choose to engage in meaningless sex. Whether you turn to your work and fill your days with to-do lists or whether you start taking care of everyone else but yourself. There are so many varieties to how you can deal with a lack of self-love that the list would be endless.
And the tricky thing is that a lot of these can be disguised as actually doing something good. Working too hard or taking on too much responsibility can look really positive, on the surface. But once you start looking deeper you will see that it is only a way to keep yourself busy, to fill your calendar up so much that you don’t have the time or the energy left to worry about what you are really doing in your life. If you numb yourself out with your drug of choice, you won’t have to feel the pain you have inside.
Just to be clear, your drug of choice can be anything. From food to alcohol or substance abuse, from overworking, over sexing and pretty much over-anything. You can distantiate yourself from your life and what is going on by placing something in between you and your feelings. As long as you feel anything but the pain.
Now before you go and think “Oh Iris, but that is not me” I would like you to take a moment and be really honest with yourself. Is this really not you?
Perhaps you are very sophisticated in how you avoid the pain. Perhaps you are so smart in dealing with this that on the surface it looks like you have it all together. And it doesn’t mean you need to be a raving mad mess, but I truly believe that most of us find it difficult to truly love ourselves. To truly and fully accept and appreciate ourselves for who we are.
All too often we skip over the hard parts and make ourselves believe that we are all right. That it is ok. But it isn’t. Every time you deny who you truly are, every time you make excuses for yourself or someone else, every time you hold back you die a little more inside.
I know I still don’t love myself fully. It is a work in progress. I love and appreciate myself so much more than several years ago but there is still room for growth. And that is ok. As long as I am aware of that and alert to where I get myself stuck.
To get clear on where you get yourself stuck I invite you to do the following: set an alarm on your phone or computer twice per day for the coming week. Pick times when you most likely have a few minutes to yourself; e.g. your lunch break and before you go to bed. At these times take a moment to ground yourself, place your feet firmly on the floor and ask yourself the following questions:
- Did I numb my pain today?
- How did I do that?
Make sure that you let the answer bubble up from inside you, don’t try to make anything happen and try not to judge yourself.
By bringing your own awareness to the possibility that you might be numbing your pain you take an important step. Allow yourself to get clear on where you numb your pain and the stories you are telling yourself. You can start shifting things from there.
What does reading this article bring up for you? Do you have a sense that you may be numbing your feelings? And perhaps an idea as to how?