Your Unique Healing Path: Honoring It
As a healing arts facilitator, I have the privilege of listening to women who are in the process of healing. Each one of them is on a journey–a healing path–unique to them. Most women want the journey to be done as quickly as possible. It’s painful. At times, it feels out of control. Other times, there is a sense of deja vu.
I’ve been here before. I thought I’d already processed that issue.
I have to deal with it again?
Our healing journeys unexpectedly can wind, take detours and offer us impasses. Our way forward can seemed suddenly filled with boulders and steep cliffs we never expected and could never have prepared for.
As women who’ve experienced not only sexual trauma but also so many other traumas in our lives, each of us brings our own unique life, stories, memories, and past and present experiences along on the healing journey.
And we need to honor this.
And that includes honoring the journey when it seems to be going in circles!
Writes Molly Boeder Harris, founder of The Breathe Network on this third element:
Healing is nonlinear. Ebbs and flows, breakdowns and breakthroughs, and the surfacing of archived memories and sensations are all part of the journey….Symptoms and challenges can show up in a survivor’s body, mind, spirit in countless ways, and may emerge long after an event.
So how can you honor your unique healing journey when the way seems to be anything but smooth and forward moving?
First, perhaps gently loosen your grip on your own assumptions about what your healing journey should look like. Easier said than done; I know this well from my own personal healing journey.
So here are some tips I’ve found helpful to honor my healing journey:
- Give yourself permission to be still, feel the ground beneath you, and take ten breaths.
- Journal about the difficulties you’re experiencing. Write freely about how you feel emotionally, physically, spiritually. Perhaps give this part of your journey a title. Then put a note on your calendar to come back to this section of your journal in two weeks. Note how you feel in two weeks in comparison to when you wrote the initial entry. Record this observation. Doing this gives you a record, one you can come back to so you can remember how you processed similar feelings in the past, and to mine it for any gems that might serve you in the present moment.
- Take a walk outside where you feel safe, can experience nature through your senses of listening, seeing, touching, smelling. Plus walking is also a the physical means of creating a way forward, one step at a time.
- Create something. Knit, crochet, paint, draw, chop vegetables for a hearty soup. Working with our hands and minds in a directed or playful way can help calm and soothe present difficulties.
- Talk to your trauma-informed care (TIC) practitioner about your journey. Molly Boeder Harris states that one of the practitioner’s responsibilities is to remember and to affirm for you that healing looks different for each survivor. And it is also their responsibility to never assume what will be easy or hard for you in your healing.
In essence, only you get to determine what is true about your healing process for you because there just isn’t such a thing as a linear timeline for healing from trauma.
Here at Women of Wonder, as a healing arts facilitator, I am committed to the following these 12 Elements of Trauma-Informed Care articulated by The Breathe Network. Specifically in regards to #3 discussed above, I commit to:
- Remembering and affirming to you that healing looks different for each woman. I will not assume what will be easy or difficult for you on your healing journey. I will not impose upon you any kind of healing timeline.
As a client with Women of Wonder, or with any healing practitioner, you as a survivor of trauma are encouraged to:
- Listen to what feels true about the pace of your healing process from the inside of your heart, mind, and body rather than following an arbitrary timeline.
How have you honored your own healing journey? What tips might you have for fellow travelers? I’d be over-the-moon if you’d share your thoughts in the comments below!
- These are elements that guide not only the healing arts facilitator, but can also guide you, as a client, as a woman seeking trauma-informed care.
- These 12 Elements can help you touch base with your healing process, to make sure you are benefiting and receiving the best trauma-informed care.
- These are the elements that Women of Wonder strives to uphold in all of its workshops, programs, 1:1 sessions.
Read about the first two elements below:
Next post will be on #4 Element of Trauma-Informed Care: Rejecting the hierarchy of trauma. You won’t want to miss this one!
And if you’re ready to take a new step in your healing journey, check out Love Yourself: The Journey Begins, a 7 week journey towards embracing the wounded woman within. Together we will breathe, write, and create our way one step at a time towards fully loving and accepting ourselves, wounds and all. The scoop is here. I hope you’ll join me.
From my healing heart to yours,
Healing Arts Facilitator