When I lived in Australia, I was one of many bike-commuters. I quickly noticed that in order to maneuver among that many other walkers, bikers, and cars sharing the pavement, it was important that I look at where I wanted to go. The second I look my eyes off the target was the second would lose my balance, nearly run-into someone, and need to stop. All momentum lost.
Recovery and behavior change can be like this.
Yesterday, I had the honor of celebrating the graduation of a client I had been working with since November. While I had seen incredible progress during our time together, I know her journey to recovery started far before our first meeting; years, even decades before. Something she said to everyone present was, "Everyone says recovery is nonlinear but I don't think anyone really understands the magnitude to which that statement is true." She proceeded to share that so often her experience felt like aimless wondering until suddenly, she found herself in not only a different place, but a place she wanted to be. "Stick with [your recovery] and you will get there."
I can't tell you how many people I hear say different versions of this: it's hard, but it's worth it.
As I biked through Melbourne, Australia and noticed where I look is where I go, I could see this with my clients as well. It's so temping to look back at where you have come: old pictures of what you used to be like, the love you used to have, the praise you used to receive. It's so easy to romanticize our sickness, like a past lover where the bad stuff is hard to recall. But the more we look back and hold onto the past, the harder it is to move toward the future. The harder it is to let the old ways stay where they belong and allow new ways to emerge and serve our present moment.
Don't get me wrong, reflection is incredibly helpful for understanding WHY we keep looking back. Often times there is a lesson asking to be learned when we keep turning around to see what was behind us. Learn the lesson, be present to that, and then re-orient forward. Even if where you want to go is backward, life doesn't work that way. Look forward, trust your own evolution, and your path will follow your gaze.
Not sure where you're going? Where are you looking?
Sometimes trusting the path can be hard and journeying with someone who knows the path and helped other can make all the difference. You don't have to do this alone. Book a consult with me today for guidance on your return to wholeness.