How do we turn away from self-destructive behaviors and slip into a healthy space where these behaviors are not our natural reaction? We have all heard the term “the cycle of abuse,” which refers to our connections with people in abusive relationships; it is actually very common for people to experience this #self-abuse internally.

Feelings of inadequacy can cause a person to self-destruct or abuse. They feel shame and guilt and when they fall short because they cannot stop the self-abuse they sink even lower. They may punish themselves in a variety of ways with varying severity. One person may degrade themselves both inwardly and outwardly. Others may physically self-harm (gauge their skin, cut, burn), take drugs or drink alcohol as a way to abuse themselves yet remain numb.

4 tips: You can break the cycle of the self-hatred

1. Cultivate Compassion

We often perpetuate war with ourselves, within our own hearts.

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Compassion for our own selves can help us achieve inner harmony. Just as we would offer compassion to a loved one in need, we must do to ourselves. Healing does not occur in an environment of hatred and judgement; so, keep good friends and company around. If they judge you or make condescending comments, consider cutting off those toxic relationships—they do affect your inner being. #love yourself.

2. Self-Inquiry

Once we accept the emotions we can then begin some introspect—we can start to figure out what our negative belief systems are and how they affect us. Often, our negative belief systems cause us to turn on ourselves—our own human nature.

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Always remember that you are doing the best that you can. Make peace with the fact that some things in your past are just terribly difficult; offer yourself a “parent/child” relationship with your own heart: offer acceptance and compassion for your past decisions.

When we tend to our own wounds we begin to feel love instead of judgement and our internal processes transform own their own, through love—the best medicine.

3. Forgive yourself

Being stuck in state of constant self-hatred and never letting go of pain can hinder us from self-growth and moving forward. We have all done less than honorable things in the past; some of us have even made the same mistakes repeatedly and often made the wrong decision. It is human. We have the strength to forgive: love you for being strong enough, love you for even having the self-awareness to begin healing, love you for getting a bit stronger every day.

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Seek help and turn self-hatred into self-love

It is acceptable to reach out for help. If you have a therapist available, then that is a good place to start. Some people enjoy yoga or other spiritual activities. Ensure you are surrounded by supportive loved ones that can sympathize and help you through your journey to achieving #self-love. Know that you are not the only one that suffers from internal self-hatred or self-abuse and that when you turn your negative self-perspective inside out, your love for yourself will emanate into all aspects of your life.

“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.” – Andrew Matthews