As humans, we want some way to measure or insure our progress. The results from exercising are shown by adding strength and building endurance. When studying a subject, we gain greater knowledge and understanding in that topic. Eating healthy helps us feel better. The rewards don’t always have to be spectacular, but the slightest improvement is all we need to show our efforts weren’t in vain.
Likewise, entering a competition, we would expect the prize for winning would be worth all the time and effort we spent preparing for this contest. Although sometimes the reward is in the journey itself, in most cases we prefer to have evidence – tangible or not – that indicates, growth, advancement, or success.
Life seems to be set up this way. We don’t receive accolades simply by growing older, they come through effort and diligently improving ourselves. Should we be forewarned that spending an inordinate amount of time and energy on a particular task would result with no advantage, profit or benefit, chances are we would never volunteer to put ourselves in that position.
When we reflect on our lives, is there something we do or would like to do but are not sure what measures its success or highlights its victory?
Not so sure
Personal victories can happen in various ways and with most of them there is something we can point to measuring those triumphs. However, the one matter which may evade any sign of progress is that of emotional healing. How do we know when traumatic experiences from our past have shown any progress much less heal? Perhaps there have been terribly detrimental events from the past that continue to this day to cause feelings of anxiety or unease.
When our physical bodies heal, the evidence is easily recognizable. A cut on our skin grows back together or a bruised muscle slowly stops hurting and regains its strength. Emotionally, it is more difficult to witness or feel improvement because of the lack of what we may perceive as evidence. There is no X-ray machine that reads our brains and documents healing from emotional trauma.
There is, however, plenty of evidence showing how one’s mindset greatly enhances the physical healing process. Perceiving improvements, whether we see or feel them, improves our attitude and promotes healing. When that evidence is missing in our emotional healing, it can deny or even reverse any progress which originally occurred, indicating that one’s mindset plays a valuable role in the emotional healing process.
One of the most important and perhaps overlooked actions we have as humans is that of faith. Not only is it the bedrock for nearly all religions, we use it frequently. We have faith in many insignificant encounters throughout our day which is perhaps why it is often taken for granted.
Faith is also one of the most important actions we can take in emotional healing because the healing takes place in our minds. Overcoming adversity begins with our attitudes. When we experience a mental victory over a past struggle, we must hold on to that moment and not allow doubt to weaken or dismiss it. We must embrace our progress and do our best not to deny it.
There will be times when that progress is tested but as in any other area requiring our faith, self-doubt becomes our enemy. Setbacks to our progress are the biggest Achille’s heel. When we suffer a relapse or encounter an obstacle from the past, sometimes those are interpreted as failures causing us to question any healing up to that point.
“How could I have allowed myself to be in that situation again,” we might ask ourselves. The continual questioning adds more uncertainty and fuels the propensity to diminish any success. This is why it is vital to have confidence and remind ourselves that some healing or progress was made. Faith is one of our biggest signs in keeping and maintaining our emotional healing.
Flip the Script
When facing our fears, often we confront what it is we are afraid of. Some have been able to laugh at those fears any time they attempt to control them. In many ways, emotional healing includes the same actions. We can take that traumatic experience and use it as a springboard to our success. When that trauma no longer holds us hostage and instead, we use it as inspiration to help others and/or better ourselves, it transforms into a phenomenal sign of emotional healing.
As a child, feelings of unworthiness grew out of the shame I experienced. Believing there was something innately wrong with me was a constant thought and a huge stumbling block for emotional healing to occur. But after my healing journey began, I realized that seeing something in me that needed work was easy to admit. It was no longer shame. It wasn’t something innately wrong with me but rather an error needing to be corrected.
I flipped the script because the shame that once caused me to think poorly of myself now became a tool of introspection and having a greater ability to be honest and scrutinize myself. Shame, which once told me I was unworthy, mutated into a tool for personal growth and development, and was now a way to measure success.
Flipping the script can also be rewriting our story, becoming an invaluable tool to overcome the hurdles once holding us back. We never have to follow the constraints and restrictions which our own past shackled us with.
Learning to flip the script and combining it with the faith and confidence in our healing will enhance, strengthen, and prove to ourselves that our emotional healing has and continues to progress.