The journey of healing requires that we develop and practice many capacities that will serve us along the way. They don’t have to be innate or come naturally, in fact there will be many moments when we find it hard to access any of these capacities, but noticing and working on them is a good step towards self growth and healing.
- Awareness: is the capacity to see and name what you see around you and in yourself. Being aware is the key to being able to change; you can’t change what you don’t see. The first step to any healing is becoming aware.
- Courage: It can be scary to look at yourself and your reality with curious eyes. It can bring feelings to the surface that don’t feel good. It takes courage to decide to go through a process without knowing where it will take you.
- Curiosity: is an open state of mind. It is about seeing beyond judgment and reproach and staying interested in learning and discovering even if it brings up discomfort.
- Discernment: The capacity to differentiate between something that is good for you and something you should back off from. It can also involve discerning when you are onto something of meaning and should not shy away and when you are getting close to an emotional process that you should take slowly or with a professional.
- Compassion: is a skill that you practice on yourself and others. Can you hold your own suffering and the suffering of others with a kind heart and hold back harsh reproach or judging.
- Wisdom: The capacity to make healthy choices for yourself and avoid choices that are harmful.
- Hope: is the opposite of cynicism. Hope is the belief that things will get better even if you can’t see how or when.
- Humour: is a much underrated capacity!! This is the ability to see the absurd and the comical in the darkness of life. Learning how to let yourself have a laugh will help you greatly when things are tough.
- Love: is a practice, not a state of being. Practicing loving ourselves and others helps us to strengthen and develop the attitude and bonds that will carry us through life.
- Resourcefulness: is the capacity to find a way, to gather information, tools and help on your journey. It requires first identifying what you need and then going out to find it.
- Resilience: is about accessing your innate capability to bounce back from hardship or setback and keep going. Some of the most resilient people are the ones who have experienced the most hardship. In fact it is one of the benefits of hardship as it leaves us better equipped to handle life’s challenges.
- Tenacity: is the capacity to not give up and persist even in the face of great challenges. It means you will continue to fight for a better situation and not collapse into victimhood or a destructive life.
- Trust: is the capacity to follow the path of healing and take the daily actions required without knowing or even seeing yourself get better. Trust is the capacity to believe that by taking the right steps you will arrive in a different place, no matter how long it takes.
This list was inspired from a book called “Healing from Trauma” by Jasmin Cori which I greatly recommend. Please feel free to add your contributions to the list.