“Being happy is a very personal thing and it really has nothing to do with anyone else.” – Abraham
Even when we’re severely damaged or hurt our happiness still depends on us, as impossible as it may seem, it is still possible.
If we’ve been severely damaged or hurt we’ve shut down many of our pleasure receptors or the ability to feel positive feelings, out of our survival mechanism to try to avoid more hurt or pain.
To switch the survival mechanisms off we need to work on our own inner healing.
As weird as this may sound, trying to delve in-depth into raw pain at this point would be counter-productive because there’s no reserves of positivity built up yet.
Teaching ourselves to love ourselves
From my own experience of healing from abuse, I discovered that my self-loathing was a product of the years of abuse I had endured, and this was blocking me from feeling anything positive about myself and consequently my life.
My inner damage was better dealt with when I methodically set out to teach myself to first like myself and later I progressed to being able to love myself.
Teaching ourselves to love our self is possible, we just need to start slowly.
Accepting ourselves and suspending judgement
When I decided to just suspend judgement of myself in order to be able to accept myself, right now where I am, (and not where that negative inner voice demanded I be) I discovered the first glimmering of hope – that I could do this!
That negative inner voice is a result of the abuse which has been internalized, for the pretzel-logic of our brains processed the lies we were told (verbally and by how we were treated) to rationalize the abuse that we were deserving of the terrible treatment we received.
The internalized negativity created a powerful mechanism which dominated our brains and which drowned out any positive inner feelings, because they didn’t fit in with the rationalized narrative our brains had created in order to survive.
Step 1: Realize the lies aren’t real!
Step 2: Actively work on suspending judgment, even if it is achievable just for short bursts in the beginning.
Step 3: Start speaking kindly to yourself!
Step 4: Keep getting back up, dusting yourself off and keep working on suspending judgement and speaking kind words!
How to speak kindly to yourself
When I started to try to speak kindly to myself, anything I tried to say sounded fake and very unreal.
So, I had to start from an even gentler place and focus my thoughts on one or two positive quotes.
In the beginning of this process, my favorite one was:
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen,
Start slowly and keep trying. You can do this!
You have more strength than you know and you will heal, thrive and become ready to step into your new inner space you create for yourself!
You have a right to be happy! You deserve to be happy! The universe loves you and wants you to be happy!
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