It did for me. Why not for you?
Recently, in a gathering of recovering individuals, I heard a woman desperately ask, “Does it ever get any better?” She expressed genuine heartache: trauma from childhood, a painful adolescence and an abusive marriage in adulthood.
According to her story, she had done all that every therapist had ever asked. She had read the recommended books and attended intensive therapeutic workshops and engaged in trauma therapies.
Still, she found life to be so hard that she felt weary of living it.
Does it ever get any better?
The good news is that asking the question is part of the answer.
What are you doing when you ask this question?
Two very important things.
First, you’re showing up to face the work. That’s perseverance.
Second, you’re asking for help. That’s humility.
Perseverance and humility are needed in great measure if we are to realize deep healing and abiding joy.
I know from experience that doubt is part of the healing journey. And fear of never getting better plus frustration with the process are close companions of doubt.
Like a little child, we ask, “Are we there yet?” Then the mature part of ourselves looks around and answers, “Man, I sure hope not. I was looking forward to something better than this.”
That very dissatisfaction with our current life seeks the strength to stay on the hunt for healing. The tiresome pursuit for peace becomes tireless in its efforts when we dare to ask for more. The asking is part of the doing.
It can be so many things.
The healing journey itself.
And what we label as “it” can change from day to day, from moment to moment.
For years, my it was my marriage. With the vigilance of a storm tracker, I ceaselessly scanned the horizon for signs of an upcoming explosive event. I needed to know when to hunker down to keep my children and myself safe.
I watched just as abidingly for signs of improvement in the marriage. Fancifully, I made mirage images in my mind until they dissipated when the true nature of my husband showed itself again.
I kept asking, though. Would it get any better? When would it change?
And with every question and every retelling of every longing, I grew closer to the truth that it would get better only if we both wanted it to.
Had I not valued the it of my marriage, I would not have discovered that our marriage would continue to suffer, if I continued to make myself available for the abuse within it. When I separated from my husband, I did so to give him the dignity to choose to heal, as much as I did it to protect our children and me.
Had I not worked so hard on the it of my marriage, I would not know the peace that I have today—the peace of knowing that I tried everything I could to save it.
Keep your it in mind. Keep fighting for it. Keep watching for it, whatever your it is. Only by steadfast focus on your it will you know when it changes. And when it doesn’t, you’ll know that you need to act in its own best regard.
It is crucial.
Ever is a good word.
We utter ever wistfully, sadly longing for a somewhat vague desire. We only know that what we want seems a whole lot better than the way things are now.
I have seen ever take decades to get here. Ever can happen tomorrow. Ever could have happened last week. We just haven’t found the hindsight to see it yet.
You would think it terribly regrettable, if you gave up before your ever arrived. Don’t stop fighting for healing. Ever is worth every effort you put into reaching it.
Ever is awe-inspiring.
Get demands action. And action is what gets us better.
Pity parties are passive.
Worry is wasteful.
Complaining is costly.
But getting is good.
Getting down on your knees reminds you of your Power Source. Getting to 12-step meetings takes you out of isolation. Getting to your therapy appointments makes you that much closer to breakthroughs and epiphanies.
Go on and get yourself some gets!
Get yourself a sponsor. Get (and read) the right books. Get that accountability partner. Get on the phone and reach out for support. Get off the couch and off the internet. Get into the mainstream of recovery.
And by so doing, get results.
With any, the possibilities are endless.
Have anything you are ready to work to achieve.
Go anywhere you can imagine.
Be anyone you want to become.
Any is anything you want and are willing and available to work toward.
Better is a measure.
Better shows signs of improvement. Better in one area extends patience to other areas that will receive attention soon. Better shines brightly against the distant dark backdrop of how you were before.
Better is about you.
Better doesn’t tolerate comparison to others. Better only looks to others to say, “I want what I see in that person. I’m going to ask how to have that for myself, then do what I have to do to get better in that part of my life.”
Better may look at another and say, “I was like that, before I knew better. It’s a good reminder to be grateful for how far I’ve come, and how much I do not want to go back to the way I was living before better came into my life.”
Better ushers in growth—always.
Does it ever get any better?
Because you asked the question, it already has.