By Bryant Packard MS., LMFTA, PMP, Coach
Change…true transformational change…comes to everyone eventually. You may find the need for change thrust upon you when recovering from addictions, traumas (new or childhood), or simply from leading an unsatisfying life. Getting to long lasting positive change requires a toll, building upon your resilience, growth in unexpected ways, and the need to create a sense of deep self-acceptance. The good news is that at some point you may realize you are worthy and begin living a life that you love…maybe even being a person you can love.
Often our life experiences and the tools, walls, and coping skills we developed over time to protect ourselves…become the very things that keep us stuck. Slowly killing ourselves. These things now starve us from meaningful connections to not only our spiritual selves, but from others, and ultimately the one that needs us the most…our wounded inner self!
Recovery is a great point from which to begin the journey of self-discovery. In fact, I often find I recommend people to participate in 12-step programs. One that I find effective for so many, regardless of your identified issue, is ‘ACA’ or ‘Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families’. At its core, it focuses on the need to learn to “reparent” ourselves. If we pause here…I imagine we could all find some sliver of ourselves where an appropriate level of acceptance or nurturing would have aided us in developing a greater maturity. Some of those areas can be so significant as to leave us nearly incapable of sustaining relationships, sobriety, or just plain having a life we want to be living.
Deep transformational work is a must if I want to change the root cause of the things that keep me stuck. Keep me using. Keep me hurting those around me. Keep me hurting those inner parts of myself that really need light, need to be seen, and loved. For many, those first steps are just the beginning. ACA for instance says right out loud, “if you need help with your drinking, go to AA. If you need help in other ways, hire a therapist”. Recognizing that my best thinking got me “here”, and that I am not likely to get out unscathed on my own…it was time to find help. There are many fantastic and powerful organizations and people out there that can help me create meaningful and lasting change…and find life again that I can enjoy and is worth living. Even the bible states that starting to plow the field is fifty percent of the work. That first step is the hardest in the world, because it will take half of everything you have left in you to take it. The rewards in this work are exponential and profound because you have no idea who that beautiful person you are, will be, as you continue to evolve and unfurl your wings! Fly my friend!