The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Progress vs. Pain Free

When it comes to healing from childhood abuse and/or family estrangement, it was hard for me to recognize my progress, especially when I was still in pain.

Sometimes, I'd feel triggered by a certain event and I'd despair, "Will I ever heal? Will I always be in pain?" It didn't dawn on me that I viewed healing as all or nothing. As long as I experienced any pain I failed to notice my progress.

Many years ago, after a period of hopelessness, I realized that I was indeed making progress. I could measure my progress in terms of years. Where am I compared to fifteen years ago?...Five years ago?...and one year ago? The answer, of course, was: "In a much better place."

I could see that each time I "hit" a patch of pain, I was healing at a deeper level. Sometimes, my feelings may have been the same, but I was not the same!

When I began to focus on my progress vs. being pain free, it restored my energy and gave me renewed hope!


Mary said...

Wow that is just how I have been feeling lately. My depression on a scale of 10 is 0, and I have been having all those feelings, the triggers seem to take over., I feel hopeless, and I don't think I will ever get over it, I feel so much despair right now, and my family members are really worried about me, I am trying to hide it but doesn't seem to work...Great post..hugss Mary

healandforgive said...

Hi Mary,

I'm really sorry you are "in that place" right now. I know that place. It is a tough place to be.

And yet .... there is hope for the future!

Hugs to you too!

Michele Rosenthal said...

Oh, what a fabulous thing to highlight!! I had the same experience -- we are in so much pain we want all or nothing healing. But we come to learn that it's some or anything that creeps us closer and closer to wellness.

healandforgive said...


Thanks for your comments and for sharing a bit of your experience as well!

It always helps to give other survivors hope!

mile191 said...

you really are a beautiful writer, and emulate so much strength. you have written tears into my eyes this morning. I am working on collecting thoughts today that help me. may I use some of yours??

hugs. thanks for the strength...

healandforgive said...

Of course you may!

Your comments touched me deeply and stirred feelings of great empathy in me.

Warmly ~ Nancy

mile191 said...

Nancy. I remember this post, and how it was what I needed back in March. Thank you for the great invitation to read it again by submitting it to blog carnival. I will be using it. Thanks, mile191

Marj aka Thriver said...

I am so glad you let us use this for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. I think I must have missed this post before. It is excellent! I really needed this reminder, as I am in a lot of pain with some new memories I'm processing right now. But...there has been so much progress. Thanks for this post!

healandforgive said...

Hi Marj

I'm sorry to hear that you are processing some new stuff right now. It always sucks!

my best...

Patricia Singleton said...

Our healing is like peeling an onion. You peel one layer and another is waiting to be peeled, only this next layer is on a deeper level, closer to your center where you will find balance and pain-free days and maybe even years. Like with the onion, some of these layers come with tears and awful smells.

healandforgive said...

Patricia - So true!