The journey of healing is real. You may feel like you’ve outgrown certain behaviors or people just for them to reappear. Perhaps, you’ve unlearned some of those unhealthy patterns that were weighing you down, but you recognize your new healthy behaviors bring up something else that you need to work through. I say this to say, healing is continuous. It’s a journey, not a marathon. For many people, it feels like they have to win the healing race before they can rest, before they can date, and even before they can live. I don’t know who needs to hear this but waiting until you’re “healed” to live your life means you may be waiting a while. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you can’t better yourself before seeking romance or you can’t get your ducks in a row before seeking a new job. However, what I am saying is you can heal while living your best life. You deserve to do nice things for yourself, to be loved, to experience compassion. I wanted to highlight some ways you can begin healing and living, because what’s one without the other.
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Letting go of perfectionism
The desire to be perfect and to always have it right will have you unsatisfied no matter how much you’ve grown. I understand the desire for all of your past suffering to be tucked away in a tiny box and wishing you never have to deal with it again, but it’s not realistic. Perfection is not sustainable nor living. It’s important to challenge the thought that everything has to be perfect and recognize your best is good enough. Your best may look different day to day too, but it is still good enough.
Recognizing that your past does not define you
Your past may feel like it’s haunting you no matter how much work you’ve done to heal from it. It may be causing you to feel guilt, shame, hurt, and it probably feels inescapable. The thing is your past is exactly what it is – the past. This is not to say your past doesn’t define or impact you, because it can and does. Your past may be the very thing that influenced you to begin your healing or caused you to reevaluate your behaviors. However, what it doesn’t do is define who you are or who you are becoming. You are so much more than the things you’ve been through.
Find your balance
When you’re working to better yourself it’s so pertinent to find a balance between healing and living. It can be exhausting to be consumed with therapy, self-help books, and all things healing 24/7. It is okay to read books for pleasure. It is okay to follow people on social media who aren’t mental health advocates. It’s okay to listen to podcasts that are for fun. There is room to heal and find joy in your life.
Celebrate your progress
Something about celebrating people and their growth is my favorite. Maybe it’s the therapist in me, but I love when people celebrate themselves no matter the outcome. The healing process can bring up a number of negative emotions for people. The power in being able to work through those emotions and find yourself on the other side isn’t easy. Celebrating where you are, allows you to appreciate the journey. It allows you to make space for what is happening in the present and not what happened yesterday or happening tomorrow. If you haven’t done anything today, make sure you celebrate where you are today.