Day 19 – Making Hope a Priority!

What will you plant in your soul today?

Healing, like so much in life, is a non-linear process. Often that is because of the complexity of the healing process, but it can also be due to the simple fact that very little is only forward-moving! Below is an excerpt (paraphrased) from pages 12 & 13 from The Power of Procovery in Healing related to “backsliding.”

The process of healing is often two steps forward and one backward—or sometimes one step forward and two back. If we don’t expect someone to make a perfect soufflé the first time, or win a marathon, or play a song on the piano, how can we expect an individual to heal without setbacks or relapses? Backsliding is to be expected in any really difficult matter; it can be an indication of the difficulty of the task. Society applauds a persistent person who succeeds after repeated failure, “against all odds,” but beats the heck out of people while they are “failing.”

Signs of “healing” are not always recognized as such, unfortunately. The “system” often does not recognize, support or sustain healing. Sometimes when people are working hard to heal, the “system” sees their actions as “trying to kick their illness under the rug”, denial or delusions of grandeur. All along the way, healthy, positive actions can be seen as all kinds of things other than healing. But this is where listening to your heart, getting in touch with what YOU think and feel, talking with others who you trust will be honest with you, who see your potential and whose opinion you value, can pay off.

Remember, if you do what everybody else does, you will likely get what everybody else gets. The system, unfortunately, is not (yet!) successfully providing the care and services people need to heal and exit the system. But it can! Click here to hear Dr. Felix Vincenz discuss what attracted him to Procovery and his choice to bring hope to people who, so often, are systemically deprived of hope. Since we are all part of the system, our actions can impact it. As a plant reaches for light, we all reach for the same. And together, we move forward, but not without hope and focus and action… and each other.

To learn more about Missouri’s experience with Procovery (by Dr. Joseph Parks), please click here.

“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” –Thomas Merton

What will you plant in your soul today?

Day 12 – Making Hope a Priority!

What is one thing you can often do, when it seems you really can’t do anything?

So often people feel they are not in a position to do anything for someone they love. And generally there is much they can do. One thing is to listen. If the person is verbal and wants to talk, there is real value here. It can be amazing what just talking about something can do, even talking about something that it does not seem there is anything that can be done about. We are talking about the kind of listening where you are not just waiting for the other person to stop talking so that you can say what you want to say. We are talking about real, active listening, where you are jot judging or waiting to tell the person what to do and when, but just listening.

Below is a Procovery Note from pages 161 & 162 of The Power of Procovery in Healing:

Listen. Particularly with the lessening availability of therapy, being a gentle listener can be of enormous benefit. Recognize that what may seem like an emotional overreaction may instead be a rational reaction to an overwhelming set of circumstances and resulting emotions. Productive venting of what seems like irrational feelings can lead to rational action.

“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain, and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares.”

–Henri J. M. Nouwen

Do you have a story that you would like to share, about the power of having had someone listen to you, or you listening to someone? We’d love to have you join the discussion!