One essential step I often process with my counselees during personal recovery sessions is the ability to “accept your self as you are.”
Marie, whose husband is sexually addicted and unfaithful to her, often feels miserable during our weekly meetings. I’d often hear her saying how she feels so lonely, ugly, and without worth. For over 20+ years, Marie thought of her self solely as a wife and receiving her sense of value from it and nothing more.
If you have thought of your self exclusively as a wife or husband, a breadwinner, a parent, a businessman, a scholar, an athlete, a celebrity etc, and you lose that, it’s possible to also lose knowing who you really are. You don’t know what ultimately defines you.
You have to learn that you are more than your “externals” (relationships, possessions, accomplishments, etc). Your self and “externals” need to be separate from each other. That means, it’s human to grieve when you experience losses. But after awhile, you’d be ok because in the first place your self is ok even apart from your “externals.”
Your security must be “located from within you.” That’s one secret I process with counselees that’s necessary to “accept your self as you are.” It spells a big difference between survival or non-survival in personal healing and wholeness.