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Healing means walking your talk, consistently.

by Matt Pappas

We’ve all heard these types of catch phrases before, “Walking your Talk” or “Practice what you Preach”. Of course, these mean simply to put in practice, on a daily basis, what you talk about doing. “Mean what you say and say what you mean”, if you want to add another cliché in there.

I was reminded of this in a recent conversation that I had with a mental health professional. I brought up how the inspired feeling of healing seems to be short-lived at times. To be honest, probably more times than I care to admit.

When I am actively writing a blog post, doing a podcast, interacting with the survivor community, or doing any thing “survivor” related, I feel great about healing. I’m inspired, embracing hope, encouraging others, totally gung-ho and all in. It’s a feeling of being overcome with the empowering encouragement that I give out and receive; a healthy, emotional high, if you will.

But what about the rest of the day, the rest of the week in between chats, sessions, podcasts, or blog posts. What happens then; why is that feeling not as strong? Why do the doubts kick into high gear and it seems so easy to fall back into a state of total self shame and invalidation? To almost forget about everything that transpired the night before, a few days ago. What happened tohe way you encourage others is the same you way you should encourage yourself - surviving my past that high I was on and why doesn’t it stay around?

What it comes down to is, if we’re going to be all in with healing, then we have to be all in, all the time. It can’t just be that we heal only during a therapy session, or a chat, or journaling, or any other type of validating experience. We can’t just promote self-care and self validation for an hour or two here and there, and then simply forget about it the rest of the time. It’s very difficult to move forward when you only embrace healing now and then, or at scheduled times though out the week.

Being consistently consistent is a must if we expect to make real progress. We owe it to ourselves to be conscious of our thoughts and how we treat ourselves on a daily basis.

I’m here to tell you that I know I’m not perfect at this, and I too fall into the trap of not being cognizant of my self-defeating thoughts and emotions. Old habits die hard. We weren’t born with these feelings of invalidation, they were learned throughout our lives based on the trauma we endured and other life experiences that negatively affected us on a deep, emotional level.  Just like you, I am a work in progress. 🙂

If we’re going to keep moving forward on this healing journey, we need to be consistent in the “4 Selfs”

  • Self-affirmations – Building up your own worth by telling yourself positive truths and encouraging thoughts. Write them down, put sticky notes in places you will see them often so they stay at the forefront of your mind.
  • Self-care – Doing things for you, because you like doing those activities. Doing something we enjoy makes us feel good, lowers stress, and erases anxiety. You deserve to take time out for you, to enjoy life.
  • Self-love – Realizing that we should be holding ourselves in high regard because we are worth it. We are enough, and we don’t need to live up to someone else’s standard. You are important and awesome, just as you are.
  • Self-forgiveness – Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break. Taking responsibility for your actions is a good thing, but it doesn’t require that you beat yourself up emotionally forever. Learn from it and use the lessons you learned from that situation to help you in the future.

Some other ways to embrace healing in everyday life; doing meditation, setting healthy boundaries with family, friends, or co-workers. Be authentic and real; not one way at work and another way at home. Be true to yourself.

Even by practicing the 4 Selfs regularly, it’s inevitable that rough days and tough stretches in life will happen, it’s just part of the ebb and flow of our existence. Nobody’s life is perfect and happy every minute of every day, all the time.  But the good news is, being self-aware and walking our healing talk consistently, can lessen the effects of those rough days so they don’t take over and cause us to spiral down into despair.

You can do this, you are worth it, and you deserve to feel as good as you want to feel. Walking your talk; the way you encourage others is the way you should encourage yourself.

-Matt

 

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay. Social media images created by me. 

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