Healing is a very unique, bizarre, complicated, and personal experience with more aspects than can ever be completely or accurately identified. It involves so many different processes that it become difficult to know where to start, which in turn, makes in difficult to start healing. Even the first step required, to recognize one's need to heal, can be enormous.

Healing one's mind is quite similar to healing one's body. Both require recognition, acceptance, identification and treatment, and while there may be standardized processes, they aren't always smooth or effective. There are classic situations just as there are separate individual cases, each so personal and complicated, so painful that it becomes an impossible task expecting others to understand, make exceptions or allowances. Healing also requires a great deal of strength, something that is usually not plentiful at the time it is needed.

The first step is recognition.  True realization and acceptance that something is wrong directly attacks one's ego. Why would you voluntarily or eagerly venture into a task that you know is going to really, really hurt at a time when you are hurting already? When one is in need of healing, one can rarely see this fact before the alarms are sounding. Rather like not being able to see the forest for the trees. Once the alarms have woken the neighborhood, family and friends, it's time to start. Then you have to accept that it's time.

Alcoholics do not begin to seek help honestly without the recognition and acceptance that they are indeed, alcoholics. Cancer victims do not seek medical attention if they refuse to look at the possibility of the presence of something fatal. Mental illness of every kind are rarely as apparent as medical illnesses in that the illness hides itself well, another aspect of the illness.

Denial is another building block placed in the road of healing.  Denial takes many shapes and forms, apparent to others around you far before its existence becomes acceptable to you. Acceptance must be achieved before the healing can start. If you deny your position, how could you possibly move away from it? Acceptance is acknowledgement.  It is ok to be where you are.  It HAS to be okay, because it IS where you are, like it or not. To change anything, you must accept your present position.  You cannot possibly remove yourself from a prison if you refuse to believe you are imprisoned.  Only then can you become free to move on.

Healing can also be painful. Denial is our way of hiding that pain and covering it up so we don not have to deal with it, nor feel it. Know this, before you start any major venture in healing, that is might very well hurt, alot. You have to open/acknowledge a wound in order to heal it. It will be worth it, and with any luck at all, the pain washes away. The relief, however, is umlimited.

Healing is an adventure. An adventure is what you make it.  It can be exciting, a challenge or a drag.  If an adventure is seen as a long and tedious journey you don't want to make, you certainly won't go, or even start. Procrastination can last for as long as you wish, just as denial can. If a journey is seen as a progression, the first step will be a victory to be cherished and celebrated. Every adventure, every process, every change starts with a first step.  Every journey is completed one step at a time.  Every journey can include side roads, rest stops, delays, roadblocks, and getting lost or stuck in the swamps.  But, if you have a goal, even if it is the next step or the next road, you can keep going.  How badly did you want to get there?

In every aspect of life you are on a road, a journey. You encounter choices, a fork in the road, crossroads, intersections. You will have the following choices, and the choices will always be the same: take road A, B create C, stay where you are or go backwards. Returning to where you have been is rather counter productive, but a road taken more often that anyone should like to admit.  Now, road A looks cool, sunshine and flowers, B is dark and stormy with lightning and thunder.  You could make a new path, C, but the landscaping appears solid as a rock. You pick road A, logically thinking this is the best choice.  Unfortunately, there were lions beyond the first turn.

As you are being eaten you think "If only I had taken road B!"  How could you truly know that road B would have been a better path? You simply cannot know what that path held at that point in time because you did not go that way!  Road B doesn't exist anymore, because you took road A. You made the best choice at the time based on what information and input you had. Move on to the next choice.

God is a large part of healing.   Note: insert what ever word you like when I type the word "God" whether it be karma, fate, nature, the powers from above or nothing at all, our own fate without the existence of any outside influence. God is just as personal and individualized as pain and healing.  Each person feels his own concept, reality and acceptance of God, whatever they perceive Him to be. God is a constant, whether our hearts feel him constantly or not. God, faith, strength and endurance needs to be renewed in each of us from time to time. God is with us throughout all our journeys, and being aware of His presence and love makes each journey far easier.  Ask for guidance and help along your journey, who ever you ask it of.  Ask to keep your faith strong. Know what is happening is intended.  The "why" may not be apparent or may not be within your understanding, but there is a reason for everything, a positive aspect to all things, a learning somewhere in every thing, time and motion in our lives.

'Why' can be helpful if you have the luxury of being able to see it, understand it or even the time to look for it. Sometimes 'why' is hopelessly buried and actually irrelevant.  It can make us lose track of the important issue of acceptance, change and healing.  If you do not like the colour red because of an incident when you were two years old, you could go digging until that memory came up, it you recognized it.  Or, you could accept the fact that you just don't like red and decorate in greens.  If your husband (other life players) cannot live without red, then start searching for a solution today.  Learning why you cannot tolerate red will certainly not pay for another house to decorate red, or a divorce.  Start with the fact, the 'what', not the 'why' of it.

Change what can be changed.  Accept what cannot be changed, and what can not be changed, today. Tomorrow, you start with another game and oft times, things are a bit different. Accept those things as unchangeable, or accpet them until they can be changed. Seek and develop the wisdom to know and understand each concept, their limitations as well as their capabilities. Change is relatively easy, as long as you have the recipe, ingredients, instructions, courage and persistent to finish the job. Not a small job, but within this life the tools, the support and the methods ARE available. Keep looking. Help is out there, in some form or another.

Acceptance is not always as easy, and it can be down right ridiculously difficult. The choice, is, and always will be, yours. It takes a true understanding that if change is not possible, acceptance is the only method of dealing with it so that life can continue without the issue remaining so large of an obstacle that you can't move around it. Keep in mind you always have a choice. You could stop, you could give up, you could die, in many ways. It's always your choice. Do you want this? Really?

Faith is an undying, everlasting companion throughout every healing journey.  Faith, if kept warm and alive, will nourish, comfort, calm and strengthen.  Faith is belief, no matter how unbelieving you may want to feel, that all is ok, all is as it should be, that all will work out, that there is a way.  Faith is trust, no matter how dark or scary it is, how dismal or doomed you feel, that there will be light again.

Written by Sharry Anne Stevens 1995, all right reserved

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