So maybe like me, you are still looking for some tools or books in order to start or continue your journey on self-healing. As I have started this interesting and liberating journey I’ve found and read a lot of books that really helped me. I’ve even tried psychotherapy which has helped me also a lot. Therefore in this article, I’ll tell you which is the first step to make in order to start self-healing and self-love and present you my favorite top 10 books on this subject.
The first step in your self-healing journey
It is important to be open to ourselves, first of all, and to connect with our being.
If you want to heal your emotional self start by being open to who you really are. Be more and more aware of yourself, your body, your feelings, your thoughts, and your behaviors.
Since we were small we have been taught to wear masks, to be accepted, and to fit in among people. We need people and we need connection with them. As we create these connections we develop all sorts of personality traits to fit in and not be rejected.
Running away from rejection is an “ancestral fear” and this process is not necessarily traumatic. It can be traumatic if we don’t have a guide to take us through the process. This process can be uncomfortable because it requires honesty with ourselves. Let’s take some time, look in the mirror and see what is not as we would like it to be. Once you do that you can start and try to change it.
One of the ways to start this self-healing and self-love journey and heal your emotional self could be using psychotherapy. Psychotherapy unmasks you and helps you determine the cause of your suffering and accept your pain because pain is necessary.
Here are the best 8 books about self-love and healing that have helped me a lot
I started my journey during a period when I was relying a lot on other people’s opinions and not mine. This period was a hard one for me as I started to have panic attacks. It was a really dark period and I was having a lot of fears. The only time I was a bit peaceful was when sleeping. Everything else was just a string of fearful thoughts after another and one panic attack after another. Also falling asleep was hard but peaceful when actually starting to sleep. So I started my self-healing journey when I was at my lowest point in life from an emotional point of view. And since I started it I observed that it is something that I really needed: personal development and emotional growth.
After a couple of months of constant panic attacks, I decided that I needed help from an expert so I appealed to a psychotherapist. So the first two books I read that really helped me were recommended by this psychotherapist which helped me to really start my self-healing journey and to start loving myself again.
1. The first book to start your self-healing journey: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams by Debbie Ford
The dark part of us acts as a repository for all those unacceptable aspects of ourselves – all the things we pretend we’re not and all the things we’re embarrassed about. These are the faces we don’t want to show the world and the faces we don’t want to show ourselves. Everything that we hate, resist, or don’t own up to about ourselves takes on a life of its own, undermining our capacity for self-evaluation. When we come face to face with the dark side of ourselves, the first tendency we have is to walk away, and the second is to bargain with it to leave us alone.
Many of us waste a great deal of time and money in order to hide these unacceptable aspects of ourselves. The irony is that we need to pay the most attention to precisely these hidden issues that we have rejected. When we lock away those parts of ourselves that we don’t like – without knowing it, we seal away our most precious treasures. They are hidden where we least expect to find them. They are hidden in the dark.
These treasures are desperately trying to get out, to get our attention, but we stubbornly push them back. When we choose not to allow parts of ourselves to exist, we are forced to expend huge amounts of physical energy to keep them from surfacing.
This book I have read and reread many times. It is a helpful self-healing book that can be read many times in our lives. Every time you will learn something new. You will see things presented in a different way and will help you a lot. So this book is not only to begin the journey to self-healing but also to continue it.
This book is a practical guide to achieving personal freedom based on the principles of the Toltec religion. The Four Agreements book guides you on how to live a life of integrity, using the 4 Toltec covenants. The 4 covenants are:
- Keep the promise you make,
- Don’t take anything personally,
- Don’t make assumptions,
- Make the best of yourself.
If you feel that you are just not true to yourself, that you are hiding a lot then this book will help you gain a new perspective. This was the second book that I read and helped me.
The next books are books on self-healing and self-love that I have read during my journey. I believe that every book that I read is like actually talking to a different person and obtaining a new perspective.
The next books I have read at different stages in my emotional growth and are the top books that I recommend on self-healing and self-love.
3. Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior…and Feel Great Again by Jeffrey E. Young and Janet S. Klosko
Although it has a commercial title, the book focuses on the very deep aspects of human suffering that manifests itself emotionally and behaviorally in different forms: addiction, the tendency to self-sacrifice, vulnerability, feeling of abandonment, mistrust of others, the feeling of lack of love from those close to you, dominant, the lack of self-control and self-discipline, the exaggerated search for social approval, the feeling of isolation, shame, the construction of unrealistic standards. The book helps us to identify the “traps” in which we are stuck and offers us ways to get out of them.
This can be a pretty hard book to read. It had many details and information but once you read it you will see how helpful it can be.
This book helps us get to our inner core, the one that is truly wounded, and makes us choose to act in a self-destructive way or have deep suffering that affects our lives. The child in you includes many awareness exercises and healthy mechanisms to overcome deep wounds.
5. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
The book imposes a much friendlier vision of the state of vulnerability. The author, following the studies undertaken on the topic of vulnerability, courage, the feeling of personal value, and shame, came to the conclusion that it is important to accept and recognize the state of vulnerability in obtaining personal well-being. The courage to be vulnerable is actually the courage to be yourself, giving up being perfect.
6. Breaking Negative Thinking Patterns: A Schema Therapy Self-Help and Support Book by Gitta Jacob, Hannie van Genderen, Laura Seebauer
Do you sometimes feel empty and sad, like you don’t make sense, or like others can’t really meet your needs? Do you have difficulty trusting people? Or you may find yourself lost in thought and anxiety that others will abandon you. Do you have moments when you feel like running away from everything and everyone? Or you may feel a strong need to cling to others, even though you know somewhere that doing so is not beneficial in the long run. Even if, looking into your personal history, such behaviors actually created the reality you least wanted.
I have chosen this book because it sheds light on dysfunctional ways of thinking and behaving and comes up with a number of life-saving solutions. I recommended this book to those who are looking for answers and solutions for moments in life when they feel stuck, or experience difficulties such as anxiety, depression, procrastination, self-sabotage, addictions, etc. Or for those who want to experience healthy, balanced relationships characterized by the feeling of safety.
7. Heal Your Wounds & Find Your True Self: Finally, a Book That Explains Why It’s So Hard Being Yourself! by Lise Bourbeau
The book talks about the 5 categories of wounds – rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, and injustice. These wounds lead us to the same physical, emotional or mental difficulties. These have led us to the creation of “masks” that have the role of making us feel, apparently, less emotional pain, but which in fact only maintain the symptom. The book supports the identification of one’s own self and the discovery of the inner strength that helps in self-healing.
The author, who himself went through a trauma that seemed to affect his entire life, teaches readers how to face their own health problems so that they can overcome them, teaching them to heal through the power of thought.
Your thoughts and sensations come from your past memories. If you think and feel a certain way, you start to create an attitude. An attitude is a cycle of short-term thoughts and feelings experienced over and over again. Attitudes are states being abbreviated. If you bring together a series of attitudes, you create a belief. Beliefs are longer-lasting states of being and tend to become subconscious. When you add beliefs, you create a perception. Your perceptions have everything to do with the choices you make, the behaviors you display, the relationships you choose, and the realities you create.
The placebo reaction refers to healing through the power of thought alone. However, the thought itself is an unmanifested emotion. Once we embrace that thought emotionally, it begins to become real, and thus lies dormant, waiting to be made known out of the unknown. As we introduce a thought into an experience and then into wisdom, we evolve as human beings.
How to start your emotional healing journey. A couple of helpful steps to start this wonderful journey.
At one point in our life, we start realizing a feeling that we are a stranger to ourselves, that this version of ourselves is not a true one to ourselves. Usually, this happens when a situation of illness or suffering arises in our lives. In order to start healing it is necessary to follow the following steps for self-healing and psychological, mental, and emotional balancing.
1. The first and perhaps most important step is: the Revolution where we ask ourselves questions like What happens now? How did we get here?
This step is in fact a moment that contains essential questions because when we ask them within our being, we make room for our conscience to bring to the forefront the reason or cause of why we have reached that moment of suffering. Through these questions we turn our attention inward, avoid blaming the outside, and thus allow truth and understanding to make their way into our minds and then bring acceptance and release into our hearts.
The moment we accept that we are the reason for that suffering by not loving ourselves, by ignoring the body’s signals, and by showing up as a savior in the lives of others, we are able to move towards the process of forgiveness and self-love.
Forgiveness brings release and unlocking of energy stagnant for some time in a past moment. Self-forgiveness is the key to moving to the next step.
2. Step two is when we ask ourselves two more questions, this time about taking action. These are: What do I really want now? What am I willing to do to get what I want?
At this stage, it is very important to use our discernment to see the necessary active resources that we can use to get what we want now. For example, if I want physical healing I think about what I can actually and concretely do for healing and whether the physical body has the resources for a drastic regimen or less. If it’s the emotional side I see if I can manage with the resources I have or I need some therapeutic remedies or essences, or I need specialist support (psychotherapy, personal development workshops, expressing myself through art, etc), or I simply need to contemplate nature and travel to get out of the toxic environment I’m in.
There are many supportive methods, the important thing is to want and seek the one that is right for you. Sometimes if this is still not clear starting reading some books on self-healing and self-love can make this a bit clearer. It’s a journey after all and it’s quite possible you won’t have all the answers at the beginning.
3. Step three is about Changing Attitudes, namely: how we behave and what intention we have within our being for what we want to heal or balance. That is, the inside creates the outside.
When we understand this, we are free from guilt. We are free from projecting our shadow onto others. In this step, it is very important to be an observer of oneself. Here I am referring to some simple actions: how we behave when we have an argument, whether or not we judge others, how we stand with gossip, how we stand with negative ruminations about ourselves and those around us, and what words we use when we are out of self-control. All these self-observations will reveal where we need to work and what attitudes to actually change in order to achieve the goal. If we observe ourselves we will immediately make connections between certain events or situations we have brought into our reality and the way we have thought, felt, and spoken.
4. In step four we turn our attention to a law of evolution: I will always see in others what is in me.
It is said that when you point your index finger at another three are pointing at you. That is why I recommend that when you judge or see in another outside of yourself a certain trait or characteristic that is not conforming, ask yourself on what dimension of life – personal, relational, professional, social, or spiritual – are you exhibiting it and to whom? In this way, we discover that all the conflicts we have stem from emotional wounds activated between 0-7(12 years old). These conflicts come from problems interpreting a lack of love.
5. In step 5 of the self-healing journey we can talk about a law of creation, namely: I become that to which I direct my attention.
Attention is the most psychic energy tool we can generate and it is our most precious resource. So I urge you to become aware that where your attention is you are also. So if I turn my attention to illness or fear of illness I will end up living it. If I turn my attention to remedies to overcome suffering or illness I will end up overcoming it.