The Road To Recovery
Yesterday a fellow Minister asked a question that got me thinking. “How do you personally know that you have transcended a challenging or stressful situation?”
I interpret the question of transcended to mean, when do you know you have overcome the situation where real deep healing can begin and take place? What’s the point where you can forgive, let go and move on to heal yourself from within?
I think it’s different for each person. We all go through Trials, Trauma and Grief in our own way. But the healing process or phases of healing are generally the same regardless of the challenge or situation. Whatever inspires us to move through those phases can be as varied as the number of people on the planet. Real healing isn’t a moment in time, it’s a process that can take years. but it does have an end point of sorts.
I wrote an article many years ago that goes into much greater detail about this process: Dealing With Trials & Grief: Trials, Trauma & Grief (on SpringsHaven.com) in case you’re interested.
Basically the phases can be summed up as:
Shock / Acknowledgement; Denial / Acceptance; Guilt / Depression / Anger; Forgiveness; Hope / Action and Letting Go
When you’ve lived through the struggle and found yourself out the other side, that’s when the real healing begins. How long we spend in each phase of the process is up to the individual. But it can also aide or slow down the overall healing if we rush through or dwell too long in one healing phase.
I think however that the inspiration of the Divine in one’s life is a pretty powerful component to the overall healing process. No matter how you view Divinity in your life, a belief that you’re not alone can be a very powerful asset to helping improvise, adapt and overcome trauma and tragedy. Holding a feeling that a greater Divine force is at work helping you along the way, holding you up when you feel you can’t go on any longer can help a person get up off their knees and take another step or endure and survive.
One thing I’ve learned through my own experiences and through providing counseling on a Spiritual/Ministerial level is that each individual recovering from any form of trauma simply reaches a point where they no longer want to give power over their lives to the event of the past. They find a sense of wanting to be empowered and to take control back over their own lives. That can be a feeling that develops over time, or even an instant when something happens and they simply say “enough”.
Let me add a side note:
As a society we often judge situations and put them in a hierarchy of not so bad to totally terrible. But to the individual going through the struggle, their perspective is devastating to them no matter what it is. And in the healing process, that’s all that matters. How they view and think of the road that lays before them is what they face on the road to recovery. It’s important as Ministers offering Spiritual Counseling that we don’t judge their struggle.
A person who has lost their spouse could experience similar devastation as a person who has been raped, or one who has survived a holocaust. As people on the outside looking in, we can see the variation in struggle. But then again, we’re not the one who is going through the event or trying to recover from it. And I guarantee you will never know all the intricate details of the individual victim went through.
Back to the question:
In my experience once the phase of Guilt / Depression / Anger has subsided, the individual is ready to move on. They become tired of always being angry, or always being fearful or always being whatever they feel that they simply want to move on. That’s when forgiveness can take place. Forgiveness isn’t the end of the road for many. But rather the beginning where real deep healing can take place.
That’s when you know, you’re able to overcome and let go. That’s when the victim becomes the survivor. They take control back from the event or person or people who they feel took it from them. It’s one of the reasons I’m so big on empowering others in every facet of their lives. It’s the empowerment that let’s us heal from within. The past no longer holds control over your life, which allows you to stand up on your own two feet and walk forward to a healthier and happier you.
© 2015 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.