I Survived Abuse, Cancer & Loss. Here's How I Healed From My Past

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There is a unique sense of peace that only comes from healing your past.

My past: Both of my parents were alcoholics. As a child, my father sold my body into childhood prostitution. As an adult, I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. After my last reconstructive surgery, my estranged mother was murdered in her mobile home.

Yes, I have a complex set of past experiences to heal.

When I first made a commitment to heal my past, I thought I had to be "fixed." As if I were the broken one. Because I felt this need to fix, I couldn't see past my anger about having to be fixed in the first place. For years, I fought and resisted the process. I thought I would only heal by placing blame and developing a seemingly impenetrable wall of anger and mistrust. I was exhausted and frustrated because nothing was working. I hit my "rock bottom."

With nowhere else to turn, I went inward. I began to pay attention to my inner dialogue. Slowly, I began to realize I wasn't broken; I didn't need to be fixed. I needed to heal.

The truth is healing your past takes time and a commitment to yourself to allow your unique way of healing to unfold naturally. Here are the five things I did to heal my past:

1. I became an observer of my thoughts.

I began to pay attention to my thoughts. I noticed that If I forgot something, my internal dialogue was "I'm so stupid." When offered opportunities, my internal dialogue was, "why, I will only screw it up" or "that's not for somebody like me." I discovered I am really mean to myself. I would never talk to my children the way I talk to myself.

2. I gave myself permission to fail.

I knew that some days I would be great and some days I wouldn't. I had to give myself permission to fail because when I did fail rather than beat myself up, I had the opportunity to offer compassion and then recommit.

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3. I learned how to love myself.

At one time I thought this was a hokey statement because it's crazy to think that we might not love ourselves, right? Here's the thing; if you spent the better part of your life being told (and/or telling yourself) that you are not lovable (in whatever form you heard it), could you truthfully say that you love yourself?

4. I accepted a simple truth.

I am the only one who gets to choose whether I can remain tethered to the past or set myself free.

5. I found gratitude.

Every night, before I fall asleep, I silently acknowledge what I am grateful for, the good stuff and the bad. Because it all brought me to where I am today.

Once I made these connections, I was able to see how my thoughts directed my actions and inactions. I was able to see specifically how I was holding myself back. I can tell you from personal experience, there is nothing as sweet as that moment when you realize you hold the key to your healing.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

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