Good recovery is all about self-love. This means living with respect, reverence, integrity and intentionality. Unfortunately, many of us acquire the habit of disrespecting ourselves at a very young age, which then becomes a lifelong pattern. Ibogaine and other plant medicines provide an opportunity to reconnect to ourselves on a more authentic level and begin changing this pattern, although it is up to us to continue to develop this connection and allow it to flourish after treatment.
Self-love begins with changing the narrative we have in our heads about who we are and what our purpose is. Invariably, this internal narrative is a result of our conditioning, which tells us that we are not worthy of love and respect unless we fulfil certain criteria. We learn that our “failings”, our bad moods and our needs are unacceptable, and that we must eliminate certain characteristics and feelings. Rather than loving ourselves for all of our gloriously messy human-ness, we start to narrow ourselves, adopt false personas, and reject parts of our soul.
The purpose of plant medicines like iboga, ayahuasca and psilocybin is to lead us back to the truth that has become lost underneath all that conditioning, and to help us rediscover the value of our lives. It is about reconnecting to the inner child that we have been neglecting for so many years, re-integrating this abandoned part of ourselves and becoming whole.
In order to maintain and deepen this healing process, we must show this inner child the love that it has been crying out for in our day-to-day lives. For example:
Virtually all forms of existential suffering come down to a disconnection from a part of ourselves that we learnt not to love when we were young. This can manifest itself through a wide range of symptoms such as addiction, depression, compulsive thinking or anxiety. The western medical establishment may like to diagnose these with separate labels, but self-love is the number one remedy for all of them.