Finding Hope Healing Moving Forward

15 Things to Remember for Your Healing Journey

Things to Remember for Your Healing Journey | Hopeful Panda

While healing, you may often get caught up in being perfect, happy, fixed, or healed that you end up neglecting and forgetting the most important thing – yourself. That’s the whole reason you’re on this healing journey in the first place.

Whether you just started or you’ve been at it your whole life, here are some things to remember for your healing journey.

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Healing is your journey

I continue to remind myself and my readers that healing is your journey.

Since it is your journey, there’s no need to compare it to someone else’s because, well, you’re not them. Just because someone else is healing faster or from something more traumatizing than you doesn’t mean you’re weak or inadequate in any way.

Besides, you don’t know their journey. Just like they don’t know yours. They might seem like they’re doing “better”, but you don’t truly know for sure.

Healing isn’t a competition or race. Healing is an open-ended journey with no destination. It is a process and a life to live. So live it your way.

Also, don’t wait for permission to heal. You will likely never get the apology you deserve and you can’t make anyone give you the closure you want. The decision is yours and yours only and the only person you can control is you.

Your healing depends on you and only you

Your healing shouldn’t be contingent upon other people – whether it’s someone who’s hurting you or someone who’s helping you.

Don’t let anyone tell you how you should heal. They can give advice or support. They can also give you the little push and motivation you need to keep moving forward. They’re there to support you. In other words, what you decide to do and how you decide to heal is ultimately your choice.

If there is ever a time when someone or something is standing in the way of your healing, you have the right to voice your needs and set boundaries. And if they can’t respect that, you have the right to let them go. But of course, it’s up to you in the end.

But remember, if someone truly cares about you, they won’t make you feel bad about not healing “fast enough” or “correctly”. They won’t make you feel like you aren’t doing enough or trying hard enough. And they’ll respect your choices and your journey to becoming a happier, healthier you.

Again, healing is your journey. It’s supposed to be about you.

There will be setbacks

I’m not going to sugarcoat this – healing is HARD.

As you’re on this healing journey, there will be setbacks. There’s no such thing as the perfect healing journey. And if you approach it with this mindset, healing won’t be possible.

There will be relapses, setbacks, challenges, and a lot of uncomfortable emotions you’ll have to work through. Seriously, it’s a lot of work. But you know what? It’s worth it.

Whenever you make it through a bump in the road or over that ginormous wall standing in your way, it’ll feel good because you know you made progress.

Some days will feel like you’re stuck in nothing but endless pain. And some days, healing and feeling good come easier. That’s all a part of this journey.

There will be setbacks, struggles, and challenges. But there will also be progress, triumphs, growth, and most importantly, healing.

Try to remember that the hard days are temporary. And that when they do come, don’t beat yourself up or force yourself to be better.

Give yourself the compassion and kindness you need to face it and work through it. Hope that it’ll get better, pick yourself up and try again the next day.

Be kind and patient with yourself

I think most people would agree that self-care is crucial for healing.

Being kind, compassionate, patient, and caring to yourself makes a huge difference. I think it’s what allows us to heal. Without them, healing won’t be possible.

The purpose of healing is to be free of the trauma and its effects that continue to haunt you. It’s to let go of all the shame, guilt, and fear that’s been weighing you down, keeping you from living the happy, healthy life you deserve.

As you heal, you may feel the need to rush to the next milestone or stage in your healing journey or life. But rushing may actually be counterproductive. So instead, be patient.

Give yourself time to process and work things through. Be able to pause and take a step back to evaluate certain situations. Take your time to acknowledge and savor the beauty of things along the way on this journey.

There’s no such thing as healing “correctly”

While there are scientifically or statistically proven and effective treatments for healing from childhood abuse, there is definitely no one-size-fits-all method.

Although there are possibly “incorrect” or “harmful” approaches to healing, I don’t think there is a “correct” or “guaranteed” way. Everyone is different, thus, everyone heals differently.

You may see people healing or feeling better from a specific program, treatment method, medication, book, or service. Yet you may not see similar results in yourself.

It’s probably demotivating, discouraging, and disheartening, especially when you see many positive reviews and testimonials from people that healed using this method. This sends you the message that it’s a “you” problem.

But that is not your fault and it does not mean that there’s anything wrong with you. Something that works for someone else might not work for you and vice versa, even if it seems like it works for a majority of people that try it.

Also, try to be wary of healing methods that “guarantee” results or ones that claim it’s the “best”, “correct”, or “right” way to heal. Claims like that are irresponsible and exclude, sometimes even shun, people who aren’t able to heal using that specific method.

In the end, it’s up to you to find a healing method, or a combination of them, that works for you.

Note: This website provides various methods and guides to healing or dealing with certain issues. However, I’m aware that they aren’t for everyone. If there’s something that isn’t working for you or that you disagree with, please know that’s valid and okay.

You are not your trauma

Some people make it their life’s goal or purpose to “heal”. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, there comes a point where it becomes an unhealthy obsession.

There’s no need to approach everything with the purpose to heal or get better. Sometimes, you do things just because. Not everything has to be about your trauma.

And most importantly, you are not your trauma nor your past. Your scars do not define who you are. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean you’re doomed to have a bad life.

Yes, your past experiences affected you and shaped you into who you are today. But don’t let it be all you focus on. You have interests, hobbies, values, and characteristics about you that are unrelated to your trauma.

Healing does not mean fixing

As you go on your healing journey, you might feel this need to “fix” who you are to heal. But healing isn’t fixing.

Fixing implies that there’s something wrong with you. Although you are struggling with certain issues that resulted from your trauma, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you specifically.

Feeling the need to “fix” yourself sends the message that you are a problem. It also causes you to focus on what’s wrong with you rather than what’s right with you.

Sure, you have issues. Everyone does. But feeling like you need to “fix” yourself means you’ll end up magnifying those issues, which in the end, will do more harm than good.

Rather than focus on “fixing” yourself, focus on giving yourself the love, attention, care, compassion, and patience you need to heal. That way, you’ll still notice issues that need addressing.

However, you won’t be approaching it in a way as a problem to solve because you’re a problem. Instead, you’re approaching it as a problem to solve because it’ll help you feel better and improve your quality of life.

You don’t need to be successful to be worthy

Due to your upbringing, you likely have the ingrained belief that you need to be successful, perfect, or accomplished to be worthy. But your accomplishments, or lack thereof, do not dictate your self-worth.

Besides, success and perfection are subjective. Instead of following others people’s standards, try to follow your own. Something successful or “perfect” to one person might not be to another.

If you’re unable to heal or heal in a way you think you should be healing, you may feel like you’re doing something wrong. Or you might feel like you’re failing or that you’re not trying hard enough.

Try to recognize that being able to get out of bed in the morning, showing kindness towards others despite the hurt you’ve gone through, and being here right now reading this are all considered successes.

And remember, there is no “failing” in healing. What seems like a failure, setback, or mistake is actually progress because you’re learning and growing.

Remember, healing is not linear. So even if you think you “failed”, it isn’t the end. Just keep going.

Let yourself be imperfect

Forcing yourself to be perfect, especially as you’re healing, is impossible.

First off, perfection doesn’t exist. Secondly, the whole point of healing is to tackle all the chaos, hurt, pain, and problems that were in our childhood.

As mentioned before, the healing journey is supposed to be full of setbacks, triumphs, mistakes, and successes. It’s supposed to be messy and complicated. It’s supposed to make you feel scared, sad, happy, frustrated, disappointed, depressed, anxious, elated, and hopeful, sometimes all at the same time.

Recognize perfection in imperfection and simply let yourself be as you heal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Show yourself compassion on hard days and celebrate all your little wins along the way.

Don’t push yourself too hard

We have a lot of self-doubt because of our prior experiences. But if something doesn’t feel right or is making you uncomfortable, listen to yourself.

As you’re healing, it makes sense to get out of your comfort zone sometimes to be able to make needed changes. But there’s also a time when we just know that something isn’t working, or perhaps, even retraumatizing us.

At that point, it’s okay to pause, step back, and evaluate the situation to see how it’s affecting you. If it’s making things worse, then maybe it’s not for you. Don’t force yourself to accept or do something that makes you uncomfortable.

Don’t forget to take breaks from time to time or whenever you need them. Again, be patient with yourself and don’t push yourself too hard.

If something feels too overwhelming at a moment, give yourself a breather first before facing it. If it feels too tough to deal with certain things today, there’s tomorrow.

Remember, a huge part of healing is being kind and caring to yourself.

You don’t have to relive your trauma to heal

Many people assume you have to describe or recount your trauma to heal – whether by journaling everything down to the last detail or by retelling everything that happened to a therapist or support group. But that’s not necessary. By doing that, you might retraumatize yourself.

Whether it’s something you feel comfortable doing is up to you. But just because you’re trying to heal doesn’t mean you have to relive your trauma.

If you ever feel pressured by anyone to recount certain details or to give them the play-by-play of what happened to you, remind yourself that you don’t have to.

While you need to have somewhat of an understanding of your experiences to be able to begin healing, there is a difference between simply remembering that something happened versus recalling everything that happened down to the smallest detail.

It’s okay to reach out for help

Your healing journey isn’t something you have to take alone.

Whether it’s a friend partner, family member, professional, an online community, or a stranger like me, some people can support you on your journey.

Reach out to a certified therapist and get 20% off your first month.

Reaching out for help does not mean you’re weak; it’s a sign of strength. Besides, having a social support network with you on your healing journey makes a huge difference.

They can help validate your feelings and experiences, help you cope with the effects of the trauma you faced, and serve as a motivation for you to continue healing.

Learn more in this post: How to Build and Maintain a Social Support Network

Listen and be true to yourself

Part of what makes healing so difficult is all the pain, effort, and energy it takes.

During this journey, you may feel like pushing away uncomfortable emotions that come up. You may feel like putting on a cheerful facade to show the world that you’re okay. Perhaps you’re even trying to lie to yourself that you are.

But part of healing involves listening to yourself and being true to yourself.

If you aren’t feeling happy, don’t push it away and tell yourself you’re fine. Sit with it, listen to yourself, and dig deep to explore what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and what you can do to feel better.

Also, you’re likely used to putting on a facade, saying “I’m fine” when you’re really not. It’s probably what you’re used to growing up.

But remember, you don’t have to make things seem fine when they aren’t. Doing that causes more hurt.

If you’re having a bad day, admit it, at least to yourself. If you’re feeling sad, upset, angry, or disappointed, that’s okay, too. Learning to listen to yourself, your feelings, and your thoughts helps heal you over time.

As you listen to yourself, you learn to be more true to yourself. You’ll start to understand yourself more as well as be able to take better care of yourself.

Try to be mindful

I think mindfulness is crucial in the healing journey.

Being aware of ourselves and our surroundings can bring many benefits in general, let alone in the healing journey.

Our thoughts and beliefs have the power to change our behavior and perceptions. But that’s mostly because we let them. Therefore, it’s important to learn to be mindful of them.

It’s difficult, but once you start noticing how your mind works, you can better understand your thought patterns, thus being able to better manage them.

You will never “fully” heal and that’s okay

As discouraging as it may sound, you will never truly heal from your trauma. But that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you won’t heal or that you won’t be able to still live a fulfilling life.

Despite how slowly you may think you’re going or how many steps back you think you’re taking, you are still moving forward. It doesn’t matter how far as long as you’re still trying. As long as you’re still trying, you are healing.

Never being able to truly heal may seem discouraging. And you don’t always have to feel okay about it. It’s a hard thing to accept. And whatever you feel towards it is valid.

But acknowledging that healing is a lifelong journey can also be comforting in a way. You don’t have to rush this process because well, there’s no “end” really.

Try to let go of the anxiety you might have to heal “well” or heal “fast”. Instead of focusing on checking things off a list or racing to the end, try to focus on the journey itself.

Savor each worthy moment and learn to be grateful for what you have going for you. It might be hard at times, but if you’re able to see the positives in a negative situation and yourself, you’re not just healing but you’re also thriving.

As cliche as it sounds, try to enjoy the little things despite the tougher things you have to face. That doesn’t mean ignoring the tough things, though. It just means you acknowledge that life and yourself aren’t all bad.

Reminders for Your Healing Journey | Hopeful Panda

This list of things to remember is not my way of telling you how to heal or the “right” way to heal. This list is simply to aid you in the healing journey. Try to stay true and kind to yourself as you take this journey.

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Hi there, I’m Estee. Having grown up with an abusive mother, I know how isolating, frustrating, and hopeless everything could feel – back then as a child and even now as an adult.

I am always trying to better understand and manage the effects of the abuse I experienced. And this journey I’m on inspired me to create Hopeful Panda. Learn more here.

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