Where one person experiences physical wounds, another might experience spiritual or emotional wounds. This can come from past trauma, being a veteran at war, or physical injury of some kind. The emotional work can often take longer to heal than the physical, depending on the challenge.
Working to heal wounds is hard, sometimes taking years to discover the layers of pain, peel them back and work them out so they don’t continue to affect recovery. Even when nothing seems to shift or change, people can continue doing the small, healing work of moving the mind, body, and spirit one small step at a time.
How Change Happens
Change is incremental. It is not big leaps and bounds. By the time it ‘takes,’ a person may feel like they’re a completely new person inside and out. Circumstances don’t often change, but a person’s attitude toward it can shift away from resentment and bitterness toward positive energy. People move forward because forgiveness focuses on the positive future rather than regrettable past. The present does not lie. A person may think they cannot make it but they will not succeed if they hold to the past or negative thoughts about being able to move forward. To move forward in recovery, it takes some intention and focuses on key steps.
People don’t like to look back and see where they fell short. It is easier to say ‘been there, done that,’ then look ahead. The truth is, the past informs the present and the future. To move forward, people can take one step at a time in finding peace. It takes emotional energy and resources to create the future a person wants in recovery. Trying to fix the past or overanalyze it won’t help. Looking too deeply at the past can keep someone mired to the things that happened. Acceptance looks a lot like grace, forgiveness, and self-honesty that looks at a situation and strives toward faith and hope in the aftermath of a difficult past. To look ahead is to accept what happened and know the present and future still hold promise, anyway.
A confident, strong attitude is going to take people further in recovery than being negative. A positive attitude focuses on not letting past circumstances control the future. Negative situations or circumstances of the past do not control the future. If a person is to move forward, they have to think about what they want recovery to look like and how to get there. Setting goals can build positive energy for the journey ahead.
Ability to Choose
The ability to choose is one way people can heal from addiction and their past. Old wounds are not always because of choices. Often, other people decide to cause harm or pain to people and this leads to difficult circumstances. Poor choices have lasting consequences. When this principle is known, a person can learn to deal with the challenges that result. When a person increases their independence, they can expand their life. If a person needs to get a job, there are choices to help them get there. If they need to go to more counseling, there are choices to help them get what they need. With support, they are able to make better choices if they make the best choices they can when provided with the opportunity. If a person needs to move forward from the past, there is a way to do that. People will work to help someone who wants to get past the past. It simply means moving forward one step at a time and working toward healing as much as they are able.
Difficult Work of Transformation
There is no easy journey to transformational healing and growth. It is a day by day, step-by-step process. The truth is, people cannot move forward and heal while they old onto old wounds. As a person gets healthier, they learn to stand for what is right and defend themselves. This helps them enable their creative life and achieve a long-term goal in recovery. The work of transformation rests in knowing that every step is one away from the past and one step closer to the future. There is no complete healing and cure for past or present trauma. There may never be a full cure for mental health concerns a person has. The only way to grow is alongside the challenges, facing them one at a time. In recovery, it helps to:
- Attend regular meetings
- Meet with sober companions and mentors
- Seek additional treatment
- Find hobbies and outlets
- Get enough rest
- Eat healthy foods
When people are struggling with their journey of recovery, it is difficult to find hope. The past cannot be changed, but it can be made to feel less difficult and easier to navigate. A better attitude, along with hope, can truly help a person feel better about their circumstances. There is healing on the other side of the challenges a person faces. Old wounds can’t heal when the present mind and body are not healthy. The more a person practices overall health, the better off they will be in the future. To grow is to find hope and healing on the other side of the challenges a person faces. There is hope for better days ahead if a person is willing to face it with a positive attitude.
April 30, 2021
7 mins read