Sorry for the delay. I wrote this post yesterday and was all ready to put it up, but then Internet issues thwarted me. So here it is:
I cannot stress the importance of little celebrations. So important are they that I realized only now that I’ve already written a lengthy post on this before! But a little reminding never hurts.
As we all know, the healing journey is often a long one. The experience can either strengthen or weaken you, and it’s all about mindset.
Celebrating the small gains you make prevents limiting blanket statements like “I’m not getting any better,” “I’m only getting worse,” or “My situation sucks.” This last one is easy to get caught up in because it’s so easy — yet so destructive — to focus on the negative aspects of whatever the problem is. Remember that the road to success is always riddled with temporary, and frequent, little “failures” too.
I mean, this is nothing new, nor unique to just healing. You can use this approach with anything in life, but especially with your rehabilitation.
Be thankful for your body for trying to do what you want it to — it does its best, even if it’s not as it once was. And the more you work at it, the more it will adapt to eventually conform to your standards and expectations. Just be gentle with yourself and take the time to acknowledge the signs of minor progress.
You can start with a “macro to micro” exercise: feel inner gratitude for the big things, like being able to lift an arm or to sit up. Be thankful for your caregivers: doctors, nurses, family members. The friends who emotionally supported you. If you want, thank them out loud and in person or in writing. (I assure you, it makes them feel pretty darn good.)
Acknowledge the useful things your body can still do for you. Maybe your affected hand can’t thread a needle, but you can still draw elaborately beautiful pictures with your other. Be thankful of the fact that you can still read these words, that whatever form your injury or trauma took, it wasn’t more severe. Thank God (or whatever) you’re still alive, that there are people who care about you, that you’re still otherwise healthy.
As you list things off to be grateful for or to celebrate, you’ll find that the list never really stops. And go smaller. I’m so thankful for my right “superhuman” side, that it without complaint doubles its workload to compensate for my ailing left side, whose fault it isn’t for not doing what I’d like it to. I’m glad I still have all of my limbs and even if their neurological programming is off, I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to reprogram. To heal. Thankfully, nothing is actually wrong with the limbs themselves; every cell within them is still healthy and dutifully carries out what needs to be done.
As you nourish your body-mind (also known as the spirit), you’ll find your entire outlook and condition changing for the better. Love, gratitude, and validation strengthen us; fear, doubt, and hate only aggravate.
Embrace and accept what is so that you can make room for the always-better.
To our healing,