The first step to healing in therapy is not as scary as you think.
It’s to first believe that you DESERVE it.
That you deserve happiness and joy.
You deserve to have healthy, intimate, and safe relationships – both romantic and non-romantic.
To laugh, love, and live in freedom from hurt, pain, betrayal, and heartache. No matter who or what your experiences have taught you.
The first step means fighting the constant critical voice in your head that makes you believe otherwise. Negative thoughts that lye on the surface, so easily ready to pop in and take control of the driver’s seat. It hits the brakes when you begin to believe you deserve and instead, scare you into fear, paralyze you, make you halt, avoid, and stop you before you make a move. Soon you give up and feel hopeless, keeping you stuck in the mud.
So how do you reach this first step to healing?
1. Understand that your critical voice is your mind and body’s way of protecting you from getting hurt again.
The critical voice’s job is to create fear, uncertainty, or doubt so that you will keep from believing and “risk” a step towards something different, and therefore, the less likely you will be hurt again. However, the critical voice remains in the driver seat and you remain stuck under its power. Unable to reach healing, joy, happiness, love, and freedom. Which you truly deserve. If you begin viewing it as something wanting to protect you, it’s a little easier to have empathy and appreciation towards it, rather than anger, frustration, sadness, and hopelessness.
2. Listen beyond the negative thoughts of the critical voice.
Literally. Way below to your gut, heart, and soul. To do this, close your eyes for a moment and shift your attention to your heart space. Not your physical heart, but the space around it and notice what’s there. What emotions? Sensations? It doesn’t matter if you notice negative or positive. What is most important is that you’re noticing something other than the negative thoughts in the mind. The longer you spend time here listening to this part of your body, or wherever you’re holding an emotion in the body, the more you will “hear” a deeper part of you. Eventually, reaching a more authentic you that is grounded in a different kind of knowledge. This takes time and practice, but it is one of the first steps of shifting away from negative thoughts and finding a different truth. For more understanding on how to listen in, click here.
3. Can you think of a moment in which you felt most at peace, calm, grounded, and clear minded?
If you can, bring yourself back to this memory and see if you notice those same emotions and sensations. Don’t try too hard. This is part of that natural muscle memory much like a certain song brings back a memory. You may notice a clear mind again and easily recognize the beliefs of I’m okay and yes, I do deserve.
The above practices may not work if you have experienced a long history or repeated negative experiences in your life. But that is okay and please do not be discouraged. The fact that you are still reading this or even tried the above steps tells me that deep down you know you deserve better and willing to try to find healing.
I am here to remind you that you don’t have to just survive but can go even further and live your best life. No matter how old you are, what you’ve been through, or what you’ve done in the past.
There is so much knowledge within you for healing that you may not be aware of. Knowledge about how your body and mind has the power to heal. How it can be retrained and reshaped to provide you with a different outlook, and therefore, a different story. This can be done with the use of therapeutic interventions that focus on the physiology of trauma and anxiety, rather than just the memories alone.