When Nothing Seems to Change
Many of us could point to difficult and painful events of the past. Those trials bring a barrage of intense emotions including sadness, grief, anger, and depression. Although circumstances don’t always change, our attitude toward those situations can be modified. We can choose to have a positive perspective on a difficult situation. You can choose to move forward in bitterness, resentment, and negativity, or you can move forward in healing, health, and forgiveness, focused on the positive future rather than the dissatisfactions of the regretted past. Either way, you move forward. Be on guard though. Negativity lurks around every corner. The ever-present “never lies” are ready to make their case: “You’ll never make it, you’ll never get better, you’ll never succeed.”
The First Key – Acceptance
So many people kick against the past as though complaining loudly about personal history will bring resolution to the present problem. Step one in finding and maintaining peace is to accept what has happened to you or because of you. Then, use your limited supply of emotional energy and resources to create the future rather than foolishly fighting to fix the past. Finding the “right culprit” to blame is not a valid substitute for acceptance. Accept yourself and your situation honestly and begin making positive strides forward in faith and hope.
The Second Key – Attitude
Make a confident attitude and a strong character your goals. Resist the urge to try to change, fix, or control someone else. Many people who are damaged by the past are more interested in controlling others than in controlling themselves. Refuse to let someone else’s treatment of you determine your mood. You are always headed in the direction of what you think about and what you say. If you think and speak negatively, it will prevent your progress. However, if you think and speak optimistically, you will move in a positive direction.
The Third Key – Choices
Flawed decisions and poor choices have lasting consequences. The tainted food eaten yesterday may make you sick today and tomorrow. Understanding this principle will help you endure another person’s imperfect choices. You could complain about the dysfunctional, neglectful, and abusive treatment that you endured until it ate at you like a cancer. But you won’t. You are making a better choice, a choice to build a satisfying future. Increase your independence, get stronger, and expand your life. Be an initiator in your own life rather than a responder of someone else’s.
You Are Getting Stronger
You may feel weak, inferior and incapable. The truth is you are getting stronger. You are getting strong enough to love yourself and resolve the wounds from long ago. You can take care of your needs and assert your own opinions. As you get healthier, you will stand up for what is right and be able to defend yourself. This will enable you to create the life you want and achieve the long-term recovery you deserve.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!