Rehabilitation is a lifelong journey.
Whether we are managing our anxiety, controlling our addiction or dealing with some other physical ailment or emotional injury, all personal transformation happens through the building process of small acts.
Even if we are told that ninety days or six months or a full year is considered the gold standard of treatment for our condition, it’s healthier and frankly more realistic to assume that this healing process will take the rest of our lives.
That way, there’s no expectation of having even arrived. There’s only the daily practice of showing up, not attaching to any outcomes, and embracing the reality of this absurd adventure called life.
Naturally, most of us will not make this assumption. We will be impatient and rush and insist on immediate results, which, ironically slows down the process.
And the other irony is, the slower you go, the faster you get there. Everybody from yoga instructors to nonprofit founders to addiction counselors to horse trainers to spiritual gurus have made that statement, and they’re all right. Any journey of making ourselves whole is long, slow, painful, incremental and most frustratingly, unnoticeable journey. It feels like watching grass grow.
Reminds me of my gastroenterologist. After two years of treating my chronic stomach issues, he finally decided to discharge me. He joked that he never wanted to see me again. We both had a good laugh about it, although he followed up with one final doctor’s order:
Look, you’re a young guy, but life is only going to get harden on your body as you get older. Stress never goes away, you just get better at managing it. Stay ahead of it.
Never forgot those words. They chime inside my head all the time. Especially in moments when my body starts telling my story of struggle. Those arising sensations are stress hormones that are mobilizing, and they’re the data helping me figure out what emotions are present.
And every single day, until there are no more days, those sensations need to be acknowledged, accepted, and if needed, acted upon.
That’s how we heal. It’s the never ending homework assignment of being human, and we may as well learn how to get good at it.
Are you willing to completely commit to the process of healing so your body can work its way to where it needs to go?