I have discussions often about what makes someone take the plunge in to recovery. I have heard many opinions from those on the journey. And I have come up with a few theories.
1) Those who are carrying the most pain are more likely to start the journey because the pain cannot be tolerated on a daily basis.
2) Those who have more sensitive minds and bodies are more likely to take the plunge because they are more impacted by the pain of the trauma.
3) Those who are more likely to consider that which is unseen (in any form at all) are more likely to consider recovery.
That being said, the decision to move in the direction of recovery does seem to happen on a level that is not of the mind. It is a decision that involves anything but the mind. It seems as though a switch is flipped and the train leaves the station. And once that proverbial train has left the station, there is very little our ego selves can do to stop it. With much effort, we can slow it down, but the journey has begun and it cannot be stopped.
This is what I have thought for a while now. But I was thinking today about the motivation for taking this journey. And I have realized that mine has changed … sort of. When I started recovery, my motivation was similar to many in the survivor community. I wanted to be a better parent to my children, a parent that would not perpetuate the abuse from my past. I spent many years focusing on what was needed to break the cycle. And about a year ago, I came to a good place.
I felt good about the parent I had become. I wasn’t a perfect parent because there is no such thing, but I could manage the day without significant anxiety, yelling or other forms of parental meltdowns. I thought, “Hey. I’ve become a semi-confident, semi-competent parent. This is a good place to be.” And now, as I look back on things, I realize my train started to slow down. I was almost content.
But there was a problem. I had dipped my toe in to the world of helping others. I tried finding a role within a non-profit organization that was right for me, but that didn’t work out. And when my anxiety picked up in the spring, I considered taking another job in the corporate world and abandoning the whole thing. But my heart (and direction) appeared to be set on moving toward a career of my own making. It was not meant to be a hobby. And that meant there was more work to do.
Even though I had tackled many of the beliefs that were slapping me in the face while I parented, I had not journeyed deep enough to address the beliefs that were standing in my way of a successful business. Some of these beliefs were entrenched in scarcity. Some of these beliefs were related to futility. Some were all about self worth. And all of them seemed insurmountable. But in hindsight, I now realize that the train started speeding up again. I even remember when it happened. I realized on an unconscious level that there was more work to do. And I decided that my fledging business was worth it.
And so, maybe there are decision points along the journey. Maybe the switch doesn’t just get flipped once. Or maybe it does and slow downs (not stops) are a part of the process. But one thing is certain. My motivation shifted from parenting to my life’s purpose outside of my family. And it leaves me in a curious place. I wonder. Will there be another slow down? It is probably inevitable. Will there be another time when I think I have come far enough only to discover a new motivation, a new amazing adventure awaiting my willingness to take the next step on the journey? It is probably inevitable. Does it mean that there is no real end to recovery? Maybe. But it isn’t meant to be a pessimistic view. Maybe we come to a point where the work is not about making it through another day. Maybe we come to a point where the work is facilitating something amazing. It seems possible, maybe even inevitable.
So keep going.
Keep fueling that train on the journey.
Sometimes it will go full speed ahead. Sometimes it will slow down maybe even seem to be stopping.
But there is no doubt in my mind … we are all going places.