The Healing Maze

Stuck in a healing rut? Don’t know what to do next, tried everything, ready to give up?

I feel you!  

Healing takes time, can be messy, and is not always linear.

So, how can we keep our eye on the prize and not lose ourselves in the pursuit?

Let’s Start With Our Thinking!

Thoughts have power! What we think creates our reality, informs our behavior and directs our body processes.  Science even says so.  Our thoughts affect our brain chemistry and the expression of our genes.   It’s all connected.

Thought shifting.  Notice the difference in these two sentences. “Nothing ever works for me,” versus, “While this treatment didn’t work, it’s possible something else will.” You don’t have to do a 360 and force unbelievable statements.  Choose what I call, ‘Next Best Thought.’  A better feeling thought that moves you towards what you want.

Thought testing.  What evidence do you have that supports your thinking? We often tell stories (about ourselves or others) that aren’t even true. Ex:  ‘Doctors are always dismissive.’  Now, think of a time you were helped by a doctor.  Turn it around even further.  How have you been dismissive of your doctors, or how do you dismiss yourself?  BAM!

You can explore thought testing in greater detail in Byron Katie’s ‘The Work.’

Get Direction & Support

Who can help you navigate, clear through the clutter? Ask one of your doctors to help you prioritize, bring a friend or family member to an appointment, seek out a therapist or online group for assistance and support.  So many people are going through similar issues and are happy to help.

Take A Break/Change Focus

Sometimes you just need to turn it off.  That could mean a break from Googling or anxiously jumping from treatment to treatment especially if you are not responding.  Weed out anything critical you might need to do for your health, and let go of the rest – for now.  

What are some healthy distractions or more nourishing ways to spend time?

While I was bedridden for years, living with my brother and his family, I spent time listening to inspiring podcasts, TED Talks, watched inappropriate comedy on Netflix with my nephew, and formed a strong bond with Chico, their cat, who became my BFF. Best. Feline. Friend.- and on site healer.  

While it was an incredibly challenging time and I was very debilitated, I stayed engaged.  Also, the connections I made with my family will stay with me forever. I would not have otherwise had the opportunity.

Accept Where You Are

Lay down the sword.  Accept what you can’t change right now and create some peace for yourself.  Honor everything you have done to get well, all you are juggling and trying to accomplish.

Give in…Inward Giving!

Have An Anchor

What grounds you and keeps you connected? It could be prayer, community, animals, nature. Something that provides stability, comfort, a sense of safety, belonging, meaning or perspective.

Stay Open & Patient

Two steps forward, one step back.  Different treatments may work at different times as our bodies, mindsets and environments change. Setbacks are not sentences. Give them a seat at the table. Small changes add up, collect them.

Healing is more than positive body markers and a reduction of symptoms.  It invites us to truly meet ourselves comprehensively, and with curiosity and compassion.  

Finding our way through the maze can be tricky and tiring.  Not everyone will get there at the same time, in the same way, but the path is designed to be accessible and welcoming to all.

Join In:

  • What has been the most helpful strategy or practice when you feel stuck?
  • What comforts or anchors you?
  • Any insights … or additions?









2 thoughts on “The Healing Maze

  1. What an excellent post with helpful information. I once saw a counselor to work through the emotional turmoil of dealing with some extremely difficult medical/health issues. The session, and the before it, wasn’t going very well, and I was feeling frustrated and lost. Helpless. I kept asking the counselor for tools, suggestions, reading material, anything to help me work through my thoughts, and damaging way of thinking. She didn’t have anything. I started going down the rabbit hole of negative thinking, and had lost faith in this moment, due to my own thinking and feelings. I finally said “do you have anything I could take home and read, something to help shift my thinking when it is snowballing.?” As a last ditch effort, she handed me a few pieces of paper. One stuck out, and really spoke to me, and your post reminded me of this. The paper was full of sentences with “NEXT BEST THOUGHTS.” I was so grateful she stuck with me, and kept digging through her bag of tricks to find something that resonated with me. I went home and read them all, and had an
    AHA moment.

    I had never heard the term “next best thoughts” before, but immediately felt its value. Something tangible in the moment. It was a new concept for me, and it clicked, when nothing else would. I was struggling to redirect my thoughts about my health situation, and using Next Best Thoughts seemed possible. Your post hits home, and how we feel and think about our situation has an enormous impact. Sometimes it is small baby steps, simple words to ourselves, and breaking the negative all of nothing talk can be very liberating and life-enhancing. I also do several things you listed in this post, and each has helped in some way!!! Thanks for the reminders, perfect timing. I had forgotten about this “tool” and am now picking it back up!!!!

    1. Glad you were able to find a tool to help shift thoughts, especially during such a challenging, uncertain time where you were losing faith…and that you kept pressing on to get help in the way you needed it. You didn’t give up, even when you were spent. I created the term, “Next Best Thought.” It is loosely based on Law of Attraction/Affirmation work and aligns a little with cognitive restructuring stuff you might experience in therapy. I am No expert at all, but try to do what works for me. And this works every time. A slight shift to something that feels better or opens things up a little. Thanks for sharing and commenting.

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