Throughout history, stories have been shared and passed down and have been responsible for life changing events, reflecting the human spirit of perseverance and even the recovery process. Stories take us deeper into ourselves in search of our life purpose and meaning. Stories affirm the value and understanding of prior life experiences. Stories connect our lives, issues, hopes, and fears when we listen to others stories and tell our own. Stories honor and empower our voices and encode and structure memory for deep learning and making meaning in the recovery process.
Therapeutic Recovery Process
We achieve our personal identity and self-concept through the use of narrative configuration. Our very existence and understanding as a whole are expressed in an unfolding and developing life story. As a healing practitioner working with our clients, the understanding and reconciliation of his or her life events or the “lived experience” attach meaning to it as you explore patterns and thematic analysis of the story. This process results in the formulation of life experiences and can generate alternative and reconstructive meanings which can be explored within the healing process.
The recovery process takes place not only for those who are fighting addiction, substance abuse, and severe mental health concerns. The recovery process also happens daily for every person that seeks to better themselves and improve. As we close each day, we can take the time to reflect, renew, and revisit experiences. We all have the ability to heal and recover from each day as we move towards the next.
Integrative health care practitioners- the doctors, nurses, therapists and other healing practitioners are beginning to open themselves up to an entire spectrum of consciousness about the body, mind, emotions, soul and spirit. Therefore, we are beginning to acknowledge all that seems to be happening in any major life event. We can clearly see that the body and mind and spirit are operating within self, culture, and nature. The paradigm shift is towards prevention, good health, and healing so that an illness and wholeness are all bound up in a multidimensional energy interlacing which connects us all in an endless story of pure compassion through the recovery process.
Compassion is a key ingredient which promotes healing in harmony between the healing practitioner and client. Mother Teresa stated, “I have found the paradox of life to be that when we love until it hurts there is no more hurt only more, love.” The recovery journey guides us with the principles of reflection, illumination of the human soul, a sense of compassion, and pure intention. It is a knowing oneself through the use of the narrative process, the “telling of the story” that depicts an individual’s path of reconciliation to his or her life story. ’The recovery process follows the heart by awakening the spirit of the inner heart and opening the gift of intuition.
I think that we can all agree that the world continues on the current path the reverberation will increase stress levels. I believe that most of us try hard to do our daily work and care for our families. However; when you turn on the news and observe war-torn nations, and hear the stories of so many who have lost employment, or loss of homes, due to fire or extreme weather, it will take a toll on us because we are all connected. With all of the changes in the world and a new administration in the White House, we must not only be prepared for a change in our life but do our best to stay “grounded.”
We must all be mindful of a balance of life in all areas of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. We don’t have control over things that happen in the world, our community, or our individual lives, however, we can focus on nutrition, exercise, meditational practices, contemplative and spiritual practices, and giving to others. It is also important to reflect gratitude for all the gifts that have been given to us. We must love others and love ourselves returning to our inner child who simply wants to laugh, love, and play. It is important for us to do what we can, where we are, to help and honor mother earth and not take her for granted.
The influence of the “telling of the story” is cathartic in itself and reflects the healing journey of the recovery process. The HeartPath Practitioner philosophy speaks to the balance of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical self. We have to continue to do self-assessments and be cognizant of our internal reactions to extrinsic forces. The accountability will always come back to us and find ways to live a balanced life will keep our immune systems boosted and strength to face imminent changes. Therefore, we can be healthy and embrace change with hope and trust in the journey.
Someone once said, “Blame it on the senior citizens.” This statement was based on all the stories that have been passed down to us by our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Some of the told stories may or may not serve us now in 2017. We understand that how we perceive life will come from a place of “fear” or “love.” It is up to us individually to find a happy ending to our story so when we leave we have lived as an example of what it is like to live in a family with perseverance, unconditional love, and gratitude for life.
Cinthia McFeature, Ph.D.