• Maz Connolly

STRENGTH in Recovery – Part 7

Being #Thoughtful . . .

Why is that important in #Recovery?

Everyone needs to be thoughtful - if we didn't stop to think before we acted or didn't think about the consequences of our actions the world could turn into chaos. So one might wonder why the ability to be #thoughtful is so important while on a recovery journey. I know not everyone will agree that it is vital, but from my own personal experience it is one of the things that has helped me to keep moving forward.

So what do I mean by being #thoughtful? Is it simply thinking about our actions and what we need to do in a step by step process to keep us on the road to a better place? No! Recovering requires a different level of thoughtfulness.

It requires being #thoughtful at a much deeper level.

It requires us to be #mindful so we can accept where we currently are.

It requires being #reflective about our past so we can learn valuable lessons from our experiences

And finally it requires us to be #contemplative about where we want to be in the future and how we can get there.

"It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives."

Marianne Williamson

It takes a lot of courage to look inside ourselves. For many people recovering from a mental health condition, the unwillingness or inability to accept themselves or their emotions could have been a contributing factor to the development of the condition to start with. This means to be #brave enough to start exploring ones inner mind and to get in touch with those difficult emotions is going to involve thinking about them in a way that we haven't done before.

The first part of being #thoughtful means accepting that we are on a journey, that something happened in our lives that caused us to become unwell but that we are still here. Being #mindful of our experiences and #accepting whatever fears and emotions that brings up for us rather than trying to cope using avoidance will lead us to the next level of being #thoughtful . . . being #reflective.

"Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."

Margaret J. Wheatley

Being able to identify and accept our thoughts and emotions isn't enough. Being able to say, "Yes, I had that experience but I survived" isn't going to facilitate the changes we want if we are to make a full recovery. But what will enable us to stay on our path is being able to learn from what we've already discovered inside ourselves; to use our past experiences as lessons, identify what worked for us and what worked against us and the only way to truly do that is through self #reflection.

Being #reflective allows us to look at our past from a new perspective.

Being #reflective helps us to develop a deeper level of clarity.

And being #reflective is the step we must take if we are to truly understand ourselves better.

Without reflecting on what has happened before, how can we change things in the future?

"There is no future without a past, because what is to be cannot be imagines except as a form of repetition."

Siri Hustvedt

And so we come to the final part of being #thoughtful about our recovery journey - being contemplative. As we accept the challenges life has thrown at us and learn the lessons that have made us the survivors we are today we can begin to #contemplate our own futures.

No longer are we tethered by negative thoughts and behaviours.

No longer are we enslaved by our emotions.

No loner do we feel trapped in a constant stream of worry, self doubt and self loathing.


Because being #thoughtful helped us break free.

We've continued to draw on our #strength, #tenacity, #resilience, #emotions, #natural curiosity and #gratitude to help us reach a place where we can once again begin to feel peace. This is a place where we can quietly #contemplate our future, continue to grow stronger and finally recognise that we are in charge of our own #destiny.

We are in control of our own lives!

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