Very often in therapy, people will encounter setbacks. A habit that they are trying to break, a new way of thinking that they are incorporating into their mindset, much-needed boundaries being put into place. Lots of variables will often be at play when making a change, and there are times when we slip up, revert back to an old habit out of familiarity, or have an expectation that doesn’t come to pass. When clients come in with news of their setbacks, they will often have an accompanying fear that they “are right back to square one.”
This is the thing about our emotional wellness journey that we must keep in mind:
“Healing is not linear.”
It doesn’t happen in a straight line. We don’t advance through stages or levels, we can’t continue straight through all of the hoops until we reach the end. Healing is a process. Our minds need the ‘aha’ moments and our bodies need to integrate them into feeling. We will battle the unknown and subsequent fear of change. The universe will test us. We will make mistakes. When we are tired, feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed, we will rely on an old coping strategy to get us through. And all of that is okay.
When we understand that healing is not a linear process, we can also recognize that we can’t be back at square one. Everything that we have learned about ourselves is still there, we are in the process of incorporating that knowledge into being, our courage is still accessible.
Healing doesn’t happen in a straight line; the path has some twists and turns, some crossroads we must face. It may not be the quickest route, but the trip will long be remembered 🙂
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@thematthoward