It takes many steps and blunders before we reach the first step to deep healing and real recovery.
We can be in pain because we’ve lost a person or an object dear to us. We can be frightened or humiliated because our longed-for plans and expectations have crashed around us. We cry, blame others and blame ourselves. We rail at the injustice around us.
But mostly, we are bewildered and thrashing blindly. Hopefully, we are not reaching for food, drugs, alcohol, dangerous relationships, and risk-taking to escape our bewilderment.
Eventually, our bewilderment is so thorough that we feel forced to ask for help. Even then, we ask for help to get our world in order, to stop pain, and to regain or recreate what we have lost.
That desire, along with heartfelt, innocent hope and pleading, is a preamble to the first step.
Giving ourselves the opportunity to understand ourselves in this ever-changing, challenging and often brutal world is the real first step. Complexity for the unprepared can batter our inner worlds into chaos and confusion, leading to despair. Looking within for solutions and ways to cope is our mighty task.
Yes, we can look within and find nothing useful, nothing stabilizing, nothing that lights our way. But all is not lost. It’s the looking that is the first step. What follows is the building, the creating, the nurturing of mind, body and soul.
Be grateful for your difficulties and challenges, for they hold blessings. In fact... Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health, personal growth, individuation and self-actualisation.
The act of consciousness is central; otherwise we are overrun by the complexes.
The hero in each of us is required to answer the call of individuation.
We must turn away from the cacaphony of the outerworld to hear the inner voice.
When we can dare to live its promptings, then we achieve personhood.
We may become strangers to those who thought they knew us, but at least we are no longer strangers to ourselves.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Written by Joanna Poppink, MFT. Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in eating disorder recovery, stress, PTSD, and adult development.
She is licensed in CA, AZ, OR, FL, and UT. Author of the Book: Healing Your Hungry Heart: Recovering from Your Eating Disorder
Appointments are virtual.
For a free telephone consultation, e-mail her at