When we are in suffering, our pain can be blinding. We focus on our failures rather than our accomplishments. We remember our embarrassment and shame rather all the positive things we’ve done. We cling to very limiting beliefs about ourselves – that we are weak, that our depression and addictions define us, that we will always be struggling. Instead we can try to change our perspective, thereby changing our energy. We can focus our thoughts on all the miraculous ways in which we’ve already gotten through painful times in our lives.
You’re alive to tell your story. You’ve survived trauma and painful experiences. You’ve made it through tremendous difficulties. Celebrate yourself. Praise yourself. Speak to yourself with love. “I’m so proud of you. Look how far you’ve come.” All the life changes, transitions, addictive cycles, times of depression, difficult experiences – you’ve survived them all. That is huge! It’s a miracle.
Even if you feel like you’re at your lowest point, like you’re hitting rock bottom in this very moment, you’ve managed to survive so much up until this point, and you can get through this too. Seeing how far you’ve come and seeing what a miracle it is that you’ve lived through such painful difficulties can help you to believe in yourself and give you the strength you need to keep fighting, to keep pushing forward, to find lasting healing.
Look back over your life story. For many of us this process can be painful, partly because we’ve become so accustomed to looking at the negative aspects of our life experiences. You can use a journaling practice to help you with this process. Write out the painful things you’ve been through. There might be a whole long list of them. Next to each experience, write down “I got through that. I survived that.” Visually see all the things that you’ve made it through. When you see it all in writing, it can help you to understand just how impressive it is that you’ve survived so much. Your strength and your survival are miraculous. Commend yourself for your fortitude. Try to allow that to give you faith that you will survive this difficult moment too.
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