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It is the Christmas holidays and I know so many of you are trying desperately to be in the season. Maybe this year being around family won’t cause an anxiety attack. Maybe this year rest and relaxation won’t seem as threatening as over obligation. Maybe this year the nightmares will stop stealing dreams. Maybe this year joy can be genuine rather than a glimmer of an unattainable feeling.

I know this because survivor after survivor have been in the office or on the phone sharing these very sentiments during this holiday season. Suffering can be debilitating. It has vices like shackles on the feet chained to fear and self-deprecation.

What lies within usWe cheat ourselves by believing the lie that there is no other truth to how a holiday season can be, that there can never be the joy longed for, the relaxation needed, or that others will still be happy even when we can’t fulfill their every need. Lies. Simple yet overpowering lies.

The only way to moving beyond the lies is making the choice to heal.

Thinking about this today I realized how much partaking on the journey to heal can be paralleled with the journey to sobriety for an addict. For an addict to conquer the demon of the addiction they have to make a personal choice to get the help needed. If they are forced, coerced, or convicted to go to rehab for others and not for themselves the likely hood that they’ll end up back in the addiction is nearly 90%.

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It is the same for survivors of abuse to find freedom in healing. True healing. Healing that leads to an inner JOY. And, yes, I’m referring to myself! Healing is a process. A journey. I made my choice to be done with lies years ago and I was healed. It worked but as with any addict who has finally kicked the habit they too have to remain on their journey to grow and ‘work the program’ so they don’t slip into a relapse.

Same with healing,  as I’ve matured, learned and grown in knowledge I’ve finally come to actual processes and programs that help release some of the vices that have held on tighter than others.

quotes about healingIt all begins with that CHOICE. To finally being DONE with allowing the shame, memories, and debilitating fears keep you from freedom and the inner joy you were created to embrace.

There are 11 days left in Advent…in this time of ‘preparing’ for the coming of Jesus Christ. If you are still ‘shackled’ in the grips of suffering consider the greatest gift you can give yourself this Christmas. Say a  personal prayer every day from this day till Christmas for God to prepare your heart with the courage needed to make the choice to embrace the change healing brings.

If you want to discuss this more, I’d be honored to join you on your journey of healing. Email me at hopefulhearts333@gmail.com

Blessings

Shannon

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