Healing from abuse really is a journey. At times, it can be hard work, and often brings up a variety of painful emotions: frustration, fear, catharsis, ecstasy, rage, and panic. But it also brings with it the beautiful feelings of release, joy, lightness, connection, and empowerment. As Liz Smith of The Connected Life says, “You can’t let the good in without the bad.” Essentially, to be full-rounded people, we’ve got to be open to feeling everything. Not just the pleasant things. But no matter what you’re feeling just remember that making a commitment to heal from abuse is absolutely worth your while.
Whoever tells you that abuse ends when the relationship ends is either lying or ignorant. But so is anyone who says that there’s no hope. Healing and recovery after abuse is a long and winding road—it can even feel like a never-ending one. But long-term effort leads to long-term results, which is something I know to be true from my own personal healing journey, and from having the honor of working with other survivors for the last 5 years as the director of SwanWaters.
Healing myself after experiencing psychological abuse in my Family of Origin—as well as surviving an abusive boss—has shown me that this journey isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. I’d say it’s butterflies, rainbows, spiders, and hurricanes. I get frustrated, I rage at the injustice and the pain of yet another anxiety attack, I despair at finding yet another trigger, and weep over yet another newly recovered memory. These instances become less frequent, but they never seem to truly disappear. The pain of abuse has changed us forever. But change can lead to good things if we let it!
For example, owning my journey and meeting the SwanWaters CEO Wanda Goodman led me to be where I am today. I’m now married to the man I’ve loved for the best part of 15 years, am the proud mama of two fur babies, and am the director of an organization that supports people to heal! Accepting that bad and good feelings must both be a part of this process is a huge part of having The Healing Mindset.
We mustn’t get bogged down in negativity, but we also need to make sure we’re not buying into some sugar-coated idea of positivity. It’s about being realistic with a healthy dose of optimism. If you believe that you’re forever broken, then chances are that’s what will happen. Yet if you keep reminding yourself that you have what it takes to build a life you love, you’ll be unstoppable!
The contents of this module about The Healing Mindset are
- Healing is a Verb
- Four Big Truths about Healing From Abuse
- What Is Holding You Back?
- Positivity Without Repression
- Stay Positive By Embracing the Negative
- Define Your Healing Mindset (download)
- Can Resilience Be Learned? You Betcha! (Bonus)
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