I am sitting in a little cottage on an island in southern Maine as I write this.   It is a beautiful fall day, the trees are offering a preview of coming attractions, the air is fresh and clear.  I’m taking a break from my normal routine to rest, reflect and renew.  The business of recovery is ever ongoing for me.  Sometimes I can work so hard at it that I need to step back and take a little breather.  To simply be with myself, practicing self-care, practicing self-acceptance, gratitude and joy. 

Healing has its own timeline

I find it helpful to remind myself that my healing journey is a long one, a marathon, a through hike not a sprint or dash to the finish line.  (I am not really sure there is a finish line and maybe that is the whole point.)  Healing has its own timeline and does not always follow my schedule.  Sometimes I need to make space for it to emerge.  My striving to “get better” can easily slip into the belief that if I only get this right my life will suddenly be what I dreamed for it to be when I was a child.  I will finally have the storybook life without struggle, conflict, disappointment where I a fully loved, accepted and everyone is happy.   Of course there is no such life.  The storybook families/relationships/endings are fiction. Life can be hard.  Survivors know this.  But life can also be rich and full.

you are perfect just as you are

For me one of the greatest challenges is accepting myself as I am.  My therapist often tells me, “Remember you are okay just as you are.”  Actually I think she says, “I am perfect just as I am”, but that is hard for me to write and harder to believe.  I guess there is still more work to do.

Which brings me back to this time away on an island in Maine.  Taking time to break my routine helps me to focus in new ways.  In this setting I can stop take time and embrace with gratitude my life in all its richness, chaos, joy and sorrow.  It is good to be alive. 

So, taking a break isn’t really about stopping my healing.  Rather it is giving it space to permeate more of my being.  Many have found ways to give themselves mini-breaks during each day.  I’m still learning about this and would welcome to hear from you.  How do you take a break?  What works for you?  Please share your comments below.

Be well.  Stay safe.  Take good care.

Mike

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