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the true destination of a healing journey from abuse - surviving my past

What is the true destination of a healing journey?

by Matt Pappas

Healing is a Journey, Life is a Journey, Trauma Recovery is a Journey; as survivors and well, as human beings, the idea of embracing the journey is very common. The key is to keep in mind that not every journey has an actual end, in the traditional sense.

Wait, what? You mean there’s no destination in this recovery from abuse? Well then why do we call it a Journey? For that matter, why are we doing it anyway if there isn’t an ending to focus on?

The very definition of the word Journey, according to Dictionary.com – a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather longtime; trip. Passage or progress from one stage to another. 

So it’s a two-fold type of scenario here. The first of course is traveling from one place to another, with the expected destination being an actual place. Since healing from abuse does not necessarily take us from physical place to another (although a move can sometimes be very beneficial and necessary depending on the situation), we must be sure to keep our perspective of healing on the latter…

The passage or progress from one stage to another.

Easy enough right? If we aren’t physically going anywhere, then embracing that healing takes us from one emotional place to another, should be a no-brainer.  Well….not so fast, there’s a bit more too it than that.

Not only are we healing our mind and emotions, healing our ability to love ourselves, and to be our own champion, but we also need to embrace the journey within the journey.  I mean, what’s a trip without stopping to take it all in and experience the experience to the fullest, right?

All too often we are in such a hurry to heal, to start feeling better, and to rid ourselves of the misery that has plagued us forthe true destination of a healing journey - does not have an end - surviving my past so long, that we try to move it along as quickly as possible. There’s nothing wrong with healing at an exponential rate, and in fact that is a very good thing. It’s also important to take some time and focus on not only the big picture, but the little details too.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “well that seems odd” (or insert your own expletive).  After all, trauma recovery is hard and digging up old emotions isn’t fun. Why in the world would we want to take time to smell the roses in this case? Why would I want to focus on it any more than I already am?

This whole, embracing the journey, is something that I try to focus on as much as possible in my own life, but I was reminded of it in another way when I came across this video on my Twitter feed not long ago, Why Your Life Is Not A Journey.

The video is less than 5 minutes, and I so encourage you to watch it and really embrace the message. I did, and what I took from it is a reminder that my healing journey doesn’t have an actual end like other journey’s do. There is no  official destination that I need to be shooting for.  I’m not going to wake up one day and have this magical feeling of “I’m healed”.

Recovery just doesn’t work that way; rather it’s a sense of self-advocacy that we develop over time and with a lot of hard work, but we can’t forget to pause now and then and take in what’s really going on in our lives. Those pauses and reflections work hand in hand with the writing assignments, weekly sessions, and support groups.

There is no magical potion we can drink that will take us from victim to thriving. The journey in between those two mentalities is where we learn who we really are, gaining confidence with each step that the victim mindset need only be temporary.  It may be temporary for a long time, and that’s okay, because this is your journey at your own pace.

I know it can be hard, believe me I know, to wake up each day and embrace that doing the hard work of recovery is going to pay off. It would be so much easier to just shove our past to the side and move on with life. To listen to those that say, “that was in the past, just move on and forget about it”.

embrace every win and learn from every trail - inspiring quote - surviving my past

Guys and Gals, I encourage you to embrace every good thing about this healing journey that you’re on. Embrace every hard, painful, memory and explore it so you can learn from it.  This doesn’t mean that we dwell on them constantly, because that would mean that we aren’t moving forward. Instead, throw yourself into this world of healing, self-advocacy, and self-compassion. Embrace the awesomeness that is inside you, the bravery that it takes to even consider starting down this road of recovery.

Stop every now and then and take a break to reflect on how far you’ve come. Smell the roses of your amazing ability and resiliency; because even if you don’t feel like you are amazing and resilient, you are. The fact that you are here right now, reading this, shows that you have a willingness to keep fighting and not to give up on yourself.

Remember friends, there is no official “end” to this journey of healing, this road to recovery from trauma. There is however, a gradual shift that occurs over time, where we start to see the fruits of our labor. You start to wake up each morning no longer dreading the outcome of the day, but rather embracing the possibilities.

You begin to enforce healthy boundaries,  give yourself a break, and advocate for yourself. You begin to see that, even when tough times come along, you aren’t as stuck as you used to be, or for as long. You are no longer spiraling into depression like you used too. You are able to see the problem from a non-emotional state; instead seeing it from the outside in, using your wise mind to work through it.

See, this whole Journey that we are on, while it may not have an actual destination per say, is about a mindset and a confidence that is built along the way. Each step in the right direction of embracing our self-worth, building up our self-confidence, and leaving the victim mentality behind in favor of an attitude of “I can, I will, and I Won’t Give Up Because I Am Worth It”.

That is the destination we should be shooting for.

And that is life changing.

-Matt

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay. Social Media images created by Matt Pappas. 

 

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