Women are complicated creatures. We cry and we laugh (sometimes all at once), we feel things deeply (sometimes struggling to express our emotional states but not for lack of trying), we are innately instilled with a deep-seated sense of compassion and nurturing that allows us the unique ability to fill the roles of mother, wife, sister, and daughter. We are beautiful and we are all perfectly unique, and we have the exceptional capability to support our fellow women in a way that leads to lifelong bonds and interminable friendships.
However, for whatever reason, it is often far easier for us to love one another than it is for us to love ourselves. We see the beauty in the women around us. We see the intrinsic benevolence in their hearts and admire their strength and perseverance. We compare, sometimes. We see physical beauty and wish it was ours. We see success in interpersonal relationships and wonder why we have not yet been so lucky. It is easy to compare – it is easy to envy. It is difficult (almost impossible) to recognize that we too are children of God, perfectly imperfect and stunning beautiful and blessed beyond measure in all the right ways. How do we learn to relate? How do we learn to love ourselves?
Many of us unwittingly spend the majority of our lives battling a poor self-image, fighting to accept ourselves as we are and in the process losing months and years of valuable time. Substance abuse and disordered eating patterns tend to go hand-in-hand with self-loathing and underlying feelings of inadequacy, many of these feelings which we as women adopt in early adolescence. We grow up in a society geared towards making us feel as if we are not quite good enough – maybe if we were a bit thinner, maybe if we wore nicer clothes or had cooler friends, maybe if we smoked a little more pot or drank a little more beer, maybe then we would be pretty enough, trendy enough, or cool enough to get the guy or impress our peers. Maybe then we would be happy.
Recovery for Women – Love Yourself
What we don’t learn until we enter into a program of recovery is that we have all of the happiness we have ever needed or desired deep down within us, we simply need to learn how to successfully tap into it. We must do so, firstly, by fostering a solid sense of self-love.
There are many ways in which we can do so. Here are some of the most beneficial:
– Nurture your physical body.
Take up yoga, begin working closely with a nutritionist and taking cooking classes, head to a farmer’s market every weekend and pick up some nutrient-rich, freshly farmed foods to try. Go for a deep-tissue massage once a month, get your nails done – pamper yourself and begin treating yourself and your body with the respect it deserves.
– Help another woman in need.
There are few things as rewarding as recognizing that you are uniquely qualified to help another woman. Work through a 12-step program and begin sponsoring right away. You will soon come to realize that you are an essential component of the decade-long chain of altruistic gesture that is Alcoholics Anonymous. You matter, and you were innately instilled with the ability to help save the lives of others.
– Build your self-esteem.
How is self-esteem built? Through estimable acts! Do things that make you feel good about yourself. Go grocery shopping for your elderly neighbor, paint a picture, call your grandmother just to check in, buy a sandwich for a homeless stranger – the list of potential altruistic gestures is infinite! Bust self-esteem through estimable acts. Smile.
Contact Us Today
For more information on supplemental methods of recovery and for more ideas on how to build self-esteem, please feel free to contact one of our trained representatives at Willow Place for Women today. We look forward to speaking with you soon!