So often, people ask the question, "So how did you heal from all that you experienced?" I would love to be able to share a simple step-by-step set of instructions that when followed provided the outcome they were looking for within a specific timeframe. The reality is that healing takes time and grace and work and faith and...well, you get the picture.
When I speak on healing, one of the first things I like to mention is that healing is a journey. While a lot of folks know this, I think it is easy for us to be drudging through to get to this "destination of healing", all the while missing such beautiful opportunities along the path. Make sure that you truly appreciate the journey, taking in the beauty, smelling the sweet aroma of the life after abuse being prepared like a full course meal, feeling the joys, hearing the encouragement and the small laughter that is growing inside of you, and tasting to see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
I enjoy sharing tips that I have learned along my journey and have been able to witness others using. Some may work for you, while others may not. I am an "adding tools to my tool belt" type of girl. I have this mindset while managing my health after a diagnosis of lupus. I have this mindset when I am tackling challenges and problems. I also have this mindset when it comes to my healing and the healing of others, whom I have the honor of being trusted to walk alongside.
As with most other tips I provide, this list will not be all-inclusive. I am sharing some of the information I have provided in my book, Yet Still I Stand, in Chapter 10: Healthy Living.
"Remove yourself from the toxic/harmful environment(s)." I have found it to be nearly impossible, if not impossible to heal while in the midst of abuse. "It is like re-injuring a wound over and over again."
"Utilize/find your support system/your tribe." We were not meant to do this alone. If you don't have one, there are many of us who care about you. An effective support system can be small but mighty!
"Find a good trauma counselor." If you talk to one who doesn't seem to be a good fit, find another one. While this may not be for everyone, I can say that having either a professional who has been trained with various tools and/or a coach/mentor like myself and many others who have experienced abuse and are not thriving are invaluable resources.
FEEL...no, I am not yelling, but I feel like this one needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Yes, it hurts. You may feel like you want to do anything NOT to feel what keeps trying to creep up from the depths of your belly, from the hidden places in your mind, and from the most broken places in your heart...all meeting together, feeling like it is choking you out. Start with 5 minutes...let yourself feel it for 5 minutes. Then, work up to 10 minutes, etc. You can't keep it buried. It will eat you alive.
"Rest; don't quit." Healing is exhausting sometimes. Don't throw in the towel. Take a rest.