I hate waiting. I always have. Today I’m waiting for a friend to show up. I know she’ll be here; she’s always prompt. But it doesn’t make the waiting any easier.
Why is waiting so hard? I think it has to do with wanting to move on. We want to skip the waiting and just “get to it”
But of course there are times when we simply can’t. Giving birth is a perfect example. How many times have we heard “They don’t call it ‘labor’ for nothing” ? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously; and we know the babies are worth both the wait and the labor to get them here. Waiting for them and watching them grow within us gives us incredible joy (in spite of morning sickness and ever-expanding waistlines.) Equally important, they wouldn’t have had enough time to develop until they are mature enough to live and thrive if they came too early.
I think it’s the same with us as we heal. We can’t just say, “Okay, it’s over and I’m moving on.” We have to do the work first, or we are not “emotionally” mature enough to live and thrive the way we should. Want some specifics? Somehow I knew you would. As part of our healing we have to:
- Recognize what happened to us (remember that denial thing we talked about in an earlier blog?)
- Grieve the loss (of trust, of confidence, of hope and joy) that the trauma caused us to suffer
- Begin to voice to a counselor, a mentor, or a trusted friend how we felt then, how we feel now, and how we hope or wish we felt
- Figure out our first step on that journey (usually it’s simply the recognition and acknowledgement)
- Follow the first step with the second – whatever it is for us – and keep taking those steps until (believe it or not) we can forgive our violator and even ourselves. That may be the toughest step for most people.
How can you move on? Doubt you can? Well, that’s why I’m writing this blog and doing the coaching – to offer living proof that indeed you can not only survive, you can thrive! If I can, others can too. Including you.
For a start, pick just one goal, in one area of your life – personal, family, educational, or professional. Then, in order to believe and achieve it, make a plan. It isn’t that hard if you work your way backwards. For instance, want to lose some weight? How much? How much is safe to lose per week/month? Knowing that, how long will it take you?
Have a goal to bring more joy to your life? Try helping someone – just one time – at work, play, school, church, or wherever suits you opportunity-wise. Then do it again. Then in another area of your life do the same thing: offer help.
And, by the way, don’t you dare ever think you have “nothing” to offer! Sometimes it’s only your time. If so, watch a frazzled neighbor’s kids for an hour or two so she can go to the grocery store or the dentist in blessed solitude and quiet! Another valuable thing to do is knock on a senior citizen’s door to simply say hello and visit for ten minutes. Chances are you’ll see a huge smile of gratitude. Don’t know what to say? Then offer to watch their favorite TV show with them. They will love you for it!
Remember, standing still can be a form of forward movement IF you stand still to really hear and listen to your own inner voice, listen to the encouragement of others, or simply judge where you are and where you want to be. It brings peace and enlightenment when situations need “thinking about.” As our mamas used to say, haste makes waste.
Healing is a process, a work in progress. And yes, it is work, and yes, you will make progress. And helping others is often a good way to start making the “right” kind of progress. Email me at email@example.com and let me know what healing steps you’ve begun. Tell me who you helped. You can be proud to do so, and I’m proud of you!
Till next time, Coretta
Coretta Dixon is a highly regarded businesswoman and sexual assault survivor. Her own traumatic experiences and exemplary work done through the healing process, along with her Master’s Degree and business experience in Change Management, equip her well to act as a coach to those who have done the work of healing and now wish to “thrive.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.