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Love: The Greatest Gift of All in Recovery

Struggling with addiction can often leave us feeling unworthy of love, isolated on a path marred by our past mistakes. However, it’s crucial to remember that these intense feelings don’t define our true worth. 

The reality is that no matter our mistakes or who we may have been in the past, embarking on a journey toward self-love can be the most transformative experience. By embracing self-compassion, we find the strength to break free from the chains of shame and guilt, opening our hearts to the possibility of a life filled with love and connection.

In this episode, Dr. Jason Powers is joined by George Joseph, CEO of Positive Recovery Centers, as they chat about the role of love in overcoming addiction and how self-compassion allows us to break free from shame. From the warmth of self-love to the challenges of emotional growth, this episode unpacks the role of love in overcoming addiction and cultivating a healthier, happier life.

Love: The Profound Healer

To quote George, “Love is a large and vast word as it fits into many categories for the recovery journey. Although recovery isn’t always easy, it’s a loving path and journey. It’s a path of loving yourself and loving others. Love is a profound healer.”

In truth, love meets us exactly where we are. It reaches into our deepest wounds and nurtures us back to health. The journey of embracing love isn’t defined by a single moment in time because it’s a verb, an ever-expanding action. It encourages us to embrace acts of self-love and extend self-compassion through things like daily affirmations that build our sense of worth and silence the self-critical voices that hold us back from true healing and restoration. 

When we actively choose love over all things, we’re actively choosing to love our past selves and any mistakes we might have made towards others. Love is also an active choice to forgive others who may have caused us hurt or pain. The beautiful thing about love is that its impact goes far beyond us as individuals. Although much of love begins with learning to love ourselves, love is a building block for others. It connects us with those who understand our struggles, creating a community where experiences and strengths are openly shared. 

Am I Worthy Enough for Love?

When it comes to love, George shares that, “For addicts, it’s about the journey of feeling worthy enough for self-love and to be able to accept love.” So many of us struggle with identifying with love – be it love for ourselves or others loving us – because we feel unworthy. We believe that our past mistakes inhibit us from fully connecting with others due to shame or guilt. The initial step towards answering the question, “Am I worthy enough for love?” is understanding that worthiness is inherent, not conditional upon one’s past actions or successes. It’s this fundamental shift in perspective that forms the very foundation of recovery.

This realization acts as a beacon of hope, illuminating the often daunting path of recovery with the light of self-compassion and acceptance. It encourages us to dismantle the barriers built around our hearts from years of self-doubt and criticism. By acknowledging our inherent worth, we open ourselves to the possibility of love—loving ourselves, loving others, and receiving that love back. 

However, this process is not without its challenges, as it requires us to confront and release the deep-seated beliefs that have previously held us back. Yet, as we embark on the journey towards love, we start to experience its transformative power,  witnessing firsthand how it can heal, restore, and renew our spirits.

How Love Gives Us Strength in Vulnerability 

“The bravest thing anybody can do is to ask for love. The reason this scares a lot of people is that it’s a risk of vulnerability.” This powerful quote by George reminds us that there is strength in vulnerability, not weakness. So many of us struggle with asking for help because we fear it may make us look weak. Or, we’re worried that it will make us look as if we don’t have everything together on our own.

But the truth is, we weren’t meant to carry that heavy burden by ourselves; we were meant to do life with one another and to carry each other through challenging times. Asking for help means pushing our ego aside and allowing ourselves to be loved in various ways.

While asking for help may be one of the riskiest and most challenging things, it’s also one of the most courageous and rewarding questions we could ever ask. As Dr. Powers shares, “The antidote to addiction is connection”. The beautiful thing about love is that it connects us to those who have walked similar paths. While you may not be able to see it now, there is healing on the other side of addiction. When you ask for help, people are in your corner, rooting for your success.

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