By: Marilyn L. Davis
Too Damaged to Heal?
No one reading this is so damaged that some healing cannot occur.
I have worked with survivors of extreme sexual abuse, starting as young as age three. In and out of mental institutions; multiple addictions, some who now have over 20 years of abstinence based recovery, as well as having stable, healthy, and loving relationships. While these life events may sound extreme to some, that is exactly the point.
I found their courage to come to terms with, and no longer let their past dictate their adult behaviors, feelings, and thoughts to be inspirational. We all admire the person who pulls themselves up by their bootstraps, overcomes extreme adversity, or who does not give up. These people are exactly that type of person.
Repairing the Damage
All that was required was the innate desire to live a better life and the understanding that they deserved a better life and that they could create this life.
One effective way to begin healing is to create Positive Affirmations, which, if authentic for you, can help reinforce a new perception of you. Base your affirmations on who you are today, not the person you were in your addiction, the role, or the messages you heard about you that were negative.
When you begin to see yourself from a new perspective, it often motivates you to continue making positive changes in your life.
How Do Affirmations Work?
To imagine how affirmations work, think of a field. Old plants represent the old labels, messages, and roles.
Yet, even when the plants are uprooted, the ground may keep some vestige of the old, so that the farmer has to till the soil in preparation for a new crop.
You are pulling up or out the old messages, and preparing yourself to plant new thoughts and beliefs
Changing the Mindset
Repeating the new messages is vital for Positive Affirmations to work. Writing your Positive Affirmation 10 times a day for 30 days is a good beginning. Depending on how entrenched you are in your old belief, it may take longer than this for the new thought to override the old.
Most important is that the affirmation must be faithful to your beliefs about you.
Affirmations Must Speak Your Truth
Affirmations have to resonate, vibrate, or echo your desire. If not, there is a block created, as it is unbelievable. For instance, I could create one stating: I am perfect, just as I am now! Even as I write it, I know it is untrue, therefore, no matter how many times I wrote it, I would not internalize this as a valid affirmation. I also am not a person who responds positively to exclamation marks. I think if I have to purposefully over-hype it, then it’s not true. Therefore, I would change it to, “I have many positive qualities and I am operating from them more in my behaviors and receiving better outcomes”. Now it is believable, reinforcing and validating.
You, however, may respond favorably to this type of emphasis and should add it to your affirmation if it will reinforce it for you.
What is True for You?
What you are attempting to change has probably been your thinking over the course of years, therefore it is unrealistic to think that it is not going to take some work to change it. I am not advocating magical thinking here, but implementing new thoughts.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Healing with Specific Words
I would recommend writing your affirmations out on paper, and not on your computer when you first start writing affirmations. Something physically, emotionally, and mentally connects us to paper and pen that does not happen when we type. This is especially true if you are one of those who types using just two fingers.
Some good healing words are:
When you begin to heal and start believing in your potential and right to have a better life, you need to create affirmations that reinforce and confirm these new viewpoints. Choose affirmations that are realistic for you.
As your thoughts are changing, add actions that show you that the affirmation is true. This table represents affirmations and actions for the six dysfunctional family roles as an example.
It is always important that you choose actions that can be done and are attainable for you. Over time, affirmations and positive actions will move you from damaged to more whole.
Do Not Maintain the Status Quo
Working on yourself is the most rewarding unpaid job you will ever have. When you change, other people in your life may not react favorably. It is much safer, although toxic, if everyone plays their assigned roles; we understand them and have gotten used to them. “It was so much more comfortable to be able to divide people into heroes and villains and expect them to play their allotted part.” ― Mary Balogh
Do not let others stop you from making positive changes in your life.
- You deserve to heal. So, change.
- Grow into the person you were meant to be.
- Get the love and attention you missed.
You deserve to heal, change, and become the best you. No one is so damaged that healing can’t occur.
Begin by understanding that you accept, give, and receive the love you think you deserve. In your addiction, you weren’t lovable, now you’re changing, and you are. It’s your choice to heal the damage, and affirmations help that.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart.