What’s that something inside you that you haven’t been able to fully heal from yet? How long has it been sitting in the driver seat dictating your life? I’m the first one to admit I have allowed some ugly wounds to eat away at me longer than what I knew was good for me. It’s not easy to do something about it (it’s painful, obviously), but it’s ALWAYS worth it in the end. Healing was such a breakthrough for me, and that’s what I genuinely want for you too! A breakthrough.
So let’s be honest with ourselves. What big or little ways has your wounds caused you to feel a certain way, think a certain way, behave a certain way, talk a certain way, or treat others a certain way? How have they affected your mood, energy level, sleep, relationships, and how you feel about yourself? How have they influenced your attitude, outlook on life, or your self-image? How have they hurt your body? Your spirit? Your mind? To what degree have your wounds changed you? It’s all exhausting, right? Ugh! Not cool...
The depth of pain from our wounds can last a lifetime if we keep perceiving that pain as something that is permanently apart of us. If we keep convincing ourselves that we’ll never experience freedom, never find peace, and never be healed, then quite frankly, we’re right. The flip-side though, is that we don’t have to be. We can also be right if we believe that we can experience a breakthrough from our emotional mess and live a life that is free from it all, restoring, and fulfills us. If I can do it, so can you!
When we attach ourselves to this misconception that we’ll always be unhappy and settle into the backseat, letting our wounds lead our lives, everything in our lives suffer. We become more than unhappy. We become lifeless and forever riding an emotional roller coaster or simply numbed to the point we can’t feel anything. We become consumed in empty and lonely darkness. Our minds turn against us and slowly with each passing day we gradually die. Talk about being miserable my gosh!
We find ourselves believing the lies we tell ourselves. We begin to convince ourselves that we have no say in how we feel, how our lives will turn out, and that the train of a desirable life has simply passed us by. The best we can do is become comfortable in settling inside ourselves and accepting our helplessness and mediocre life. As depressing, isolating, and damaging as it is to live this way, it is the more common option because of how emotionally exhausted people are who are hurting. The last thing they feel like doing is investing themselves emotionally into something that requires strength and energy that they do not feel they have. I know because I was this person, and can relate on many levels to the emotional and psychological toll it can take on the mind, body, heart, and spirit. Trust me, you’re not alone.
Not only was I the person who felt stuck in this dark place, but I also was the person who convinced myself (after years, mind you!) that this isn’t the way I want things to go anymore. Did everything change in the blink of an eye? Of course not. Did my wounds get up and walk away? Hell no. Did my painful memories, fears, and emotional battles vanish just because I decided I didn’t want to suffer from their consequences anymore? Ha! Nope. What changed was my decision.
I stopped deciding to keep living as a victim to my own downfall and made the decision to find a way to revive myself. I decided to take control and become my own damn boss. I made a commitment to myself to pursue healing, whatever little or crazy form it may come in, and I started pursuing it in whatever way I could. I have never in my life felt so grateful I had made this decision than I do today. My mental health, emotional state, and lifestyle wouldn’t be anywhere near where they are right now if it were not for that commitment I made to myself.
Is my life perfect now? No. Do I still face struggles, stress, and a good kick in the pants? Absolutely. Life goes on, but so do I, and in a much healthier, vibrant, and fruitful way. I’m stronger, wiser, bolder, healthier, and a heck of a lot happier. I’ve healed from things I never thought were possible. I’ve overcome personal battles I never thought I could. I’ve developed into somebody I had longed to be, but didn’t know how to be, and yes I’m proud of having looked the devil square in the face and crushed his dirty schemes. I know you’re made to crush them too.
Sometimes we just need someone who cares enough to remind us of our value so we can revive ourselves, and that’s why I’m here. If you could only fathom how much worth that you, YES YOU, have . . . you’d be mind blown. If you only could imagine how powerful, intelligent, talented, captivating, precious, loved, and gifted YOU really are, you’d be in awe. Your value is immeasurable, just to be honest with you. Regardless of how you perceive yourself or how bad you’ve screwed up or how broken down you feel, the truth is that you deserve peace, restoration, and healing because YOU are worth that much. And YES, it is POSSIBLE!
It would take an entire library for me to explain all the different sources that remedied me in my journey of healing. I’m not joking about filling my life with every little drop of healing I could muster. Today, however, I’m going to share with you seven sources of healing that especially served me, and I hope these seven will bring you as much fresh air, freedom, light, and peace as they did for me and continue to do so.
There isn’t a doubt in my mind that anchoring myself in God was my greatest source of healing. Developing a deeper friendship, prayer life, and richer understanding of who He is and how I am created in His image and likeness transformed me at my core. Everything else in my life stemmed from this personal encounter and day by day changed my life in depth. Valuing my relationship with Him above anything else brought me to my knees in any and every circumstance, beautiful or ugly, painful or joyful, tearful or smiling, and filled me with a healing peace that renewed my very spirit. Spending time with Him and having intimate conversations with Him, literally anywhere, lifted my mind and heart to new heights. It would make me smile knowing that no matter what is on my heart, He always loves to listen and take care of it for my good. I learned to trust, even in the pain. I learned acceptance, even in the loss. I learned to love, even when hurting. I was a beautiful mess that He didn’t want to fix, but simply love, and once my heart found this truth, it changed. I was able to open myself up to Him and give Him access to me. I was able to listen to His heartbeat against my own. I was able to feel His strength within me. I was able to see His beauty everywhere around me. This awakening deepened my desire for Him and I began to grow as close I could to the sacraments. Spending more time with Him in adoration, confession, and daily Mass nourished my spiritual life and healed me. Giving Him my all in personal prayer set my soul on fire for love of Him. I read books, prayed the rosary, attended retreats, listened to podcasts, joined groups of women who shared the same faith I did, and did anything I could to renew my thoughts, emotions, and the way I lived my life. I felt His love, graces, and blessings pour into me in bucket loads. I can’t imagine ever relapsing into that darkness after experiencing heaven in my heart.
I desired to learn. I yearned to soak up wisdom from those who could fill my mind with powerful things I didn’t know. I craved knowledge and deeper thoughts. I chose to stop trying to figure everything out on my own and began to listen with intention. I listened to the lives of others before me, the experienced, the educated, the virtuous, and the ones who committed their lives to growth. I sought out people who were successfully living differently than I was, who were healthier, happier, and living peacefully. I chased them down. Seeking guidance from those who lived lives I yearned to imitate fueled movement in my life. I sought out role models who were deeply living in health, peace, and freedom. I learned from them. I was vulnerable with them, shared my heart, and allowed their wisdom to enlighten me with new life that my mind had never known before. I soaked up new perspectives, healthier thoughts, constructive habits, and replaced whatever did not serve my development with something that did, something that moved me inch by inch in the direction I wanted my life to go. To read more about who I learned to entrust my heart with, read my article WHO TO TRUST FOR ADVICE? I believe that the moment a person stops learning is the moment they start to die. Never stop learning. Never stop growing your mind, heart, and experiencing new life that makes you more alive than the day before. Never stop improving, enhancing, brightening, and deepening your conscious self. By learning from more advanced learners your life will continuously grow, deepen, and bring about a much more knowledgeable and joyous you.
When I began to listen to what was actually going on inside me, and quit playing myself with dodging my past, distracting myself with destructive habits, and actually come head to head with the roots of what was causing everything to go so wrong, I experienced a breakthrough. Many run (like I had been) from the deeper problem, the big doozy, and are too afraid they’ll be overpowered by the cruel emotions that often come with it if they dig it out of everything they buried it under (i.e. toxic relationships, addictions, bad habits, negative life patterns). The truth can bite badly sometimes. It also can be your doorway to freedom, peace, and a much happier life. It takes a lot of emotional and psychological courage, something I couldn’t do without God’s grace, but when I began to unearth the unaddressed wounds, it was then I saw a future. I saw something I could identify, explore, understand, and find solutions for. Maybe the solutions weren’t always ideal, but they moved me out of the rut I was in and into better and healthier places. I found groundwork that I could focus on and work on. It was concrete. This brought hope. This brought energy. This brought progress. The beautiful thing about studying one’s self is that you don’t only get to know yourself more deeply or grow more knowledgeable of your weak points to strengthen, but you grow in more self-awareness of your worth, talents, gifts, and beautiful soul. You begin to experience a deeper appreciation for who you are and the powerful person God so intricately designed you to be. It’s like the lioness awoke within you. You become stronger. You become fierce. You become courageous. Self-discovery healed my mind, my heart, and my life.
When we’re in emotional or mental dark places, unhealthy outlets always come with the territory. When we’re suffering that much internally, we are not looking at ourselves, others, or life through clear lenses. It’s like they’re smudged up and we just kind of make guesses on where to go and stumble through life unintentionally and with poor judgment. You could say we hang on for dear life and just hope for the best! (We all know how that goes). We find ourselves emotionally or mentally escaping in destructive ways, although these ways may feel relieving at the time. What appears as relief in these misjudged moments oftentimes work against our good and sink us deeper into a dark lifestyle. When we can begin replacing these unhealthy outlets (i.e. toxic relationships, addictions, bad habits) with healthy outlets, (faith, healthy relationships, extracurriculars, travel, new hobbies, self-development) we are able to experience healing and real freedom. Don’t just try to quit an unhealthy outlet without a game-plan. We are human so we must have emotional outlets when we’re dealing with stress. To avoid relapsing back into that old pattern of living it is better to always replace the unhealthy outlet with a healthy one and commit your energy, time, and attention to something that’s good for the soul, something better for you that is life-giving, brings out a better you, and is constructive. When I did this, my world lit up. I felt deep joy, like I could breathe, belly laugh, and make much more beautiful and meaningful memories. I also discovered a whole new meaning to happiness.
Human connection is food for the soul! The company of a good friend can bring so much joy, laughter, and fun into one's life. Spending time with healthy people who are positive influences bring out the best in us. We become more. We become better. Our greater qualities are drawn to the surface and we become the best version of ourselves. I have found that good friendship can cure almost anything. Having someone there to share an emotional connection with, talk to and listen to, be understood by, adventure with, and build lasting memories with, stirs the soul more than any educational degree. Friendship is everything. Through friendship, the heart, the mind, and one’s life grows in abundance. When I began cultivating these healthy friendships with people who were investing themselves in growth and healthy living, my social life blossomed in a much more fruitful and healthier way. It took on a whole new life, something much deeper and more meaningful to me. My friendships reflected how I felt inside. When someone awakens to their true worth, walks with self-respect, and cherishes their dignity, their social circle changes, and it begins to evolve into people who value their worth and dignity as well. It’s beautiful and refreshingly life changing.
Who doesn’t love a person who laughs a lot? Their personality just pops like champagne all over the room whenever they come in! It brightens the atmosphere, uplifts everyone’s spirits, and immediately makes people start smiling and feeling happier. I love people who laugh. Their energy is so contagious and their joyful spirit bubbles over into me. Laughter is definitely a source of healing that awakened my inner child. When we are low and hurting, however, the last thing we usually feel like doing is having a good time. Since we’re being honest here, smiling is usually even out of the question. You know what’s amazing though? You can’t force a genuine laugh. Genuine laughter escapes from you whether you want it to or not. It comes out when you place yourself in situations that spark that sense of humor in you. Laughter is automatic. So find things you know will make you laugh! Watch comedy shows with a glass (or two!) of wine. Hang out with that hilarious friend more often and make some funny memories together. Whatever makes those giggles come out of you, pursue it, because if you’re anything like me, you love to laugh and enjoy yourself. It’s good for us. The more we laugh the more we heal! It’s about being intentional with feeding ourselves sources that will bring laughter into our lives, and not making decisions based on if we’re in the mood to laugh or not. Trust me, once you’re laughing, you’ll be in the mood.
Giving ourselves the liberty to just have fun again is such a powerful emotional breakthrough! I personally love to have fun by traveling and exploring the world. Seeing new places, adventuring with new friends, and experiencing different cultures has brought healing in leaps and bounds! There’s something thrilling about stepping out of what’s familiar and into the unknown that does something magical to your soul. You always come back a better and happier person. Traveling doesn’t always fit into the budget (I get it!), so fill your life with as many other healthy fun things as you can that will serve your healing and nurture your well-being. It could be dancing, socializing, experimenting with a new hobby, joining a sports team, or maybe it’s reviving an old childhood passion. Do more of what you love and is FUN for you, and you’ll be able to start enjoying life more fully.
These seven sources of healing changed my life for the better ever since I began pursuing these areas intentionally. I learned that if I wanted to experience something different in my life, then the simple solution to that was I needed to try something different or try something in a different way. If we keep doing the same thing over and over hoping to get different results, we'll just exhaust ourselves. We need to become intentional with the outcomes we desire so that we can become specific about the steps needed to be taken to achieve the life we desire.
If we desire to live the life we daydream about, where we are thriving and peaceful, then we must learn to first address the root (or roots!) that are locking us down. We must unearth the wounds we have buried and purify them. We must give them the care and love they need to heal if we want to experience wholeness, peace, and happiness.
If we can't let go of the life we're living then we will never be able to open our arms up for the life of abundance that is waiting right at our fingertips! To be free from our past and fully live in the present, we need to pursue what it takes to unchain ourselves from what holds us back.
I know you want to be happy, laughing, and living a life of joy. I know you want to create beautiful memories, make an impact, and cultivate lasting relationships. These are all in your future if you only give yourself the love and commitment you need to bring out that champion within you. If you can imagine yourself living your dream life, your healing will be your starting point to transforming that dream life into real life.
See you at the top! I'm rooting for you.
Related articles: WHO TO TRUST FOR ADVICE? / INTENTIONAL FRIENDSHIPS THAT LAST / FORGIVING THE UNFORGIVABLE / WHY SAYING NO IS ONE OF THE BEST FORMS OF SELF-CARE / HOW TO SAY YES TO JOY WHEN YOU DON'T FEEL JOYFUL