Dreaming means seeing something in the far distance and welcoming it into our life. It means recognizing that our present reality does not sustain us; it is searching for a new reality that will nourish our mind, body, and spirit. Dreaming means creating a world in which there are no impossibilities. A world in which those who have been deemed as lost causes emerge and conquer their demons and fulfill their promises. Dreaming is a place where statistics are only numbers, and each person’s determination is the true indicator of success or failure. Dreaming defies laws, customs, and beliefs that depose us of dignity and the right to be free. It refuses to be known as anyone other than what we see ourselves to be, even if it means being in the minority, ill-treated, and despised. Dreaming is a gift that gives us the ability to pierce the trappings of our present reality and let in the possibilities that remain unseen. It is a way to visit God’s reality and see, with our own eyes, the beauty, power, and freedom that do exist.
Honor is an act that matters in healing. It is the act of acknowledging and accepting the role that every person, experience, and event has played in our lives. Our healing, our participation in a clarified life depends on our ability to honor difficult experiences and relationships–not judging them to be bad. Honor helps us comprehend the purpose of our relationships, experiences, and events without condemnation. It is wholeheartedly believing that we are an essential part of the Universe’s landscape, never to be condemned for anything done or left undone. Honor is an act that materializes transformation.
Healing begins with honesty. Without it, healing is impossible. It is the act exposing ourselves without distractions or inhibitions. For me, honesty has been the most difficult act, because my life has been an act—a façade. I have spent many years honing skills of deception, keeping my truths a secret. I have developed a closet full of tricks to deceive my family, friends, and community. I have dedicated so much time and effort to create a world of pretensions, that the thought of changing my mode of being has seemed impossible.
Yet, healing requires us to be honest about who we are no matter how repulsed we think others will be. Once we are honest with ourselves, we will be free to participate in our own healing.
ACT TWO: IDENTIFY RESOURCES Once we have been honest with ourselves, we can move on to the next act of healing: The identification of resources. Before we can reach out for help, we must know where to find it. The second act of healing is to identify resources.
The identification of informational resources is an important act that leads to healing. Information in the community is available and can be explored anonymously, if necessary, through: * The Internet * Libraries * Bookstores * Community Centers * Hot lines * Community Directories * Local Newspapers
These provide information about community groups, treatment programs, public agencies, non-profit or religious organizations, literature, and learning opportunities that deal with a variety of issues in the areas of recovery and healing.
The identification of human resources is also critical in the healing process. The act of gathering of information is often not enough for healing to occur. We must follow-up the act of identifying informational resources with the act of finding human resources, beginning with friends and family members that are trustworthy and committed to supporting us on the healing journey. With the identification of informational and human resources underway, we can move forward to the next act: Reach out for help.
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Being honest and identifying resources are the first two acts in healing. The third is reaching out for help. Our honesty accompanied by information about where, how, and who can help remains still unless we reach out for the help of others. Reaching out for help is an act that brings our need for help to everyone’s attention. It announces to the members of the healing community that we have arrived and are prepared to be accompanied on the path to healing.
Contrary to the popular proverb, misery does not like company—it thrives in isolation, beyond the scrutiny and intervention of others. Reaching out for help can be challenging. We may feel shame. The idea of revealing our deepest secrets often is humiliating, for we fear the other’s condemnation and criticism. Once we have overcome our fears by tapping in our courage and strength, we can enter the community of healing. In the community of healing, exists the company, support, and encouragement of a multitude of healers. Reaching out for help is the knock at the community’s door, letting them know we have arrived.
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ACT 5: PARTICIPATE The day you call a program, join a group, enter therapy and say “I need help.” You have made a declaration to yourself and the universe that you are ready to begin the work of healing. Participation in our healing is imperative. Once we have been honest with ourselves, and identified resources, and reached out for help, we must behave our way into healing and conduct ourselves accordingly.
The act of planning optimizes the benefits yielded by our acts of honesty, identification of resources, and reaching out for help. It gives these other acts of healing direction. It also memorializes in print our commitment to healing. Healing does not happen over night; and the act of planning helps delineate our strategies for success.
Below you will find an example of an action plan that can help get you started:
Sample Healing Plan
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Act 6: BE ACCOUNTABLE Finding a person, or a group of people, that will hold us accountable for our healing efforts is the sixth act that matters. Now that we have been honest with ourselves about our ailments and sought help from the resources available in the community, we must create a mechanism for accountability. Our efforts towards healing will become increasingly difficult and we will benefit from knowing that people around us are concerned about our healing and want to see us succeed. Sometimes, in the healing process, we feel like we have gone far enough and do not need to make any life-long commitments to growth. Being held accountable for our actions will help us stay on course on the healing journey.
A commitment to feeling our feelings, passions, desires, and wants are the fuel for change, transformation, and clarity. We must desire something before you can see it, obtain it. For example, before we can have freedom, love, healing, there must be a desire for them. Feelings are like magnets. They can repel, or welcome anything into existence. As long as we claim our ability to feel, we will have it all!
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ACT 8: GRATITUDE A commitment to feeling gratitude is the gateway to healing. Anger, sorrow, rage, bitterness, sadness, and fear are all on the road, but without gratitude the road ends just short of complete recovery. Gratitude tempers all the other feelings uncovered-discovered-recovered, whatever the case may be. It is the feeling that contains all others; it keeps the others from consuming us with emotion and rendering us incapable of moving forward in healing. Gratitude is recognizing that the Universe has given us the opportunity to draw closer to the mystery of Love, Truth, and Meaning. With a grateful heart, we have the capacity to express goodness towards ourselves and those we encounter in your daily walk. We who feel gratitude are eager to take on life’s opportunities. We are not paralyzed by fear, because we feel loved enough to continue on our healing journey one more day. Gratitude integrates all the scattered pieces of our-selves; it brings those parts that have lived separately, together. It helps the once scattered pieces to live in harmony, peacefully in power and influence.