For so many of us on the path to healing, we feel like 100% progress needs to be realized right away, ultimately only setting us up for feeling like we have failed. I just realized a couple days ago that each and every step forward is a victory. Every moment and every step we take away from the past and its hold on us is a moment to be thankful for and proud of.
Think about it – if we break down the healing process into small doable steps, is it not easier to reach our goal than trying to get there all at once and falling down hard? Here are some examples from my life and journey:
With diet and health: rather than “I need to lose 20 pounds”, what if I could take it one meal at a time, one walk outdoors at a time? And if I cheat and eat junk food, rather than getting mad at myself and going off the rails with more food, what if I can realize it’s okay and I just need to get back on board with my next meal? What if instead of weighing myself everyday, sometimes multiple times, and feeling defeated because I gained anything at all, I weigh myself once a week or once a month so that I see a steady loss?
With family estrangements: what if I just take each relationship or lack of relationship day by day rather than trying to read the future? What if I allow myself to live each moment at a time without holding onto the pain of those who cruelly walked away? And a BIG one for me, what if I let go of the anger and confusion when they reappear in my head? What if I truly let go and stop allowing the memory to haunt me?
With the abuse I suffered as a child: what if I just accept that what happened to me has somehow made me a better person now? What if when a horrific memory sneaks in, I take that moment to see how far I have come rather than allowing it to devastate me all over again by taking me back to the hellish mental state of that little girl? What if I take the negative affects it had on me and slowly start to change them and the thought process that goes with them, one at a time?
With my career: what if I could stop being so much of a perfectionist and realize everyone makes mistakes here and there? What if when I make a mistake, rather than beating myself up for it, I accept that I am human and that I can’t be perfect all the time. What if I realize that messing up doesn’t make me a bad person, or stupid, or unworthy? What if I believe in and trust myself again instead of being so very afraid?
I realize we can’t change everything all at once, but how much better could we be if we just took one moment at a time? What if we tried to be more aware of ourselves, more understanding of ourselves? I will tell you from personal experience that it first takes the ability to be brutally honest with yourself. We have to see our own faults, know when we are to blame. Only then can we take those little steps and make those little changes. I don’t want to live under the weighted, giant umbrella of my future – I want to live in the now and experience where I am now. It is most definitely easier said than done but it is something I hope I can achieve. How about you?