One of the final – and some would say hardest – steps in healing and overcoming trauma is choosing to believe that good things will come. Most of the survivors I’ve met over the years are scared to put their faith in the certainty of good – truly believing that their worth tops out at not deserving the bad.
After all, the work involved in getting to that level is more than enough for one lifetime. By the time we reach the glorious summit of believing without question that we did not deserve our pain, we are tired. Of the battle. Of the work. Of it always feeling so hard.
Make no mistake, we are proud of what we have overcome. We will rightfully honor and celebrate achieving a milestone that at times felt impossible. And for some, it feels like enough to have just made it here. The very prospect of doing more work is exhausting. Those who stop at the penultimate summit of their own personal Everest do have some measure of peace. However, they remain convinced that true happiness, true love, and a life filled with genuinely good things is a destiny reserved for others. A nirvana set aside for those less scarred and less guarded.
To my kindred survivor spirits, my holiday wish for all of you is that you gift yourselves with the determination to push through the final bits of negative self-talk that linger in the corners of your mind. Happiness and love are not saved for a group of mythical unicorn “others” who have never endured pain and trauma. Choosing to believe that is no different from our old broken logic of believing we deserved the bad. It’s simply not true.
Today and every day remember, you deserve good. You deserve happiness. You deserve love. You deserve every bit of the beautiful, hopeful, peaceful life you wish for others.
Do the work. Choose you.