The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center’s mission is “to bring understanding, hope and healing to people of all ages through counseling and education.” The statement is an invitation, a welcome to everyone who wants the power of personal transformation. It promises a journey of exploration, no matter one’s starting point.
The festivities of the holidays include exchanging gifts with family and friends who ask what we want for presents. Our wish list may include things such as a gym membership or the gift of time to pursue hobbies or interests or a much-needed vacation.
A wish list for hope and healing invites our spirituality. We engage our spiritual self and tap into our wellspring of “knowing” that peace awaits us. It brings into our awareness our reverence for life. It is a deep, rich experience. We use prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices that speak to us. We call on our inner resources to guide us to what we need.
Healing means there is pain. Healing means a perpetual arrival at a place of peace and acceptance. Healing is an internal process of working through pain at a measured pace, taking the time we need to adjust before moving on to the next step. We may never reach the destination of healed, but we can progress through our pain. We learn about ourselves and gain wisdom. We begin to adjust to a new normal. We realize that we have been holding our breath, and we heave a sigh of relief. Life begins anew.
Hope springs from our yearnings. We recognize the possibilities and the related outcomes we may need to face. Can you come to acceptance, not knowing but trusting that you will be okay, whatever the result of what you are hoping for? Sometimes our hopes are dashed, and we need to turn to our internal and external resources for the healing processes of grieving and acceptance.
A wish list for hope and healing requires introspection. The wishes on our list have been on our heart for a long time. We ask ourselves a lot of questions. What do you wish for? How do your desires align with your values? What does “peace of mind” mean to you? What do you need to make that happen? What will bring joy into your life? Where do you hurt? What do you need to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Why do you want these wishes? How will they change your life? How will they affect others? Other questions and thoughts may come to you.
Make a list of at least ten changes in your life you wish for, for hope and healing, answering the above questions. Spend some time in a quiet place reflecting on each wish, noting the emotion that comes up for each one. Write each wish on a sticky note or piece of scratch paper. Arrange your wishes beginning with the one that brought out the strongest emotion in you. What are your top five? Your top three? What can you do to bring your top three wishes to fruition? Can you do it all at once or do you need to organize your wish into steps? Is there someone who can help you?
I talked to Terri Speirs, marketing director for the Center and asked her about five wishes for hope and healing might the Center have. Here are the Center’s top five wishes for hope and healing:
- All people who seek healing, growth, and personal development, regardless of age, race, religion or absence thereof, sexual orientation, disability, finances, insured or not, and other identity markers may find welcoming acceptance at the Center. Everyone who comes to the Center knows that they will receive the help needed to guide their healing journey.
- People can learn that when trauma happens to them, it is not their fault, and they can come to a place of healing and moving forward.
- The community that supports the Center—volunteers, Board members, spiritual directors, knows how much they are appreciated and how critically important their contribution is to the Center.
- Assist therapists and staff with the impact of vicarious trauma.
- The Center continues to enjoy healthy, strong, supportive leadership.
Terri pointed out that most of the wishes are already in effect and expressed sincere gratitude for their existence. She hopes they continue to expand and strengthen.
Here are my wish list for hope and healing, top five:
- To be a beacon to others. Hope.
- Put old hurts and resentments aside.
- Continue to be mobile and self-sufficient. Hope.
- Grasp the concept of self-compassion.
- Experience the peace that comes with acceptance. Healing.
I made two lists: a public list to share with friends and a deeply personal list to discuss with my counselor. These are wishes that I grapple frequently.
Working through your wish list takes time, commitment, deep searching, and gentleness with yourself. Journaling your process may help you feel less harried and more grounded. Writing moves your thoughts out of your head and puts them in front of you where you can see them. Allow time to rest between intense healing sessions. Give yourself room to experience the peace that comes with transformation. There is no right or wrong way to heal. The way you heal is perfect for you. You will find that you heal differently with each wish on your list. Some wishes have a more profound effect on us than others. Remember, the Center has people who can help you on your journey of healing.
May your wishes for hope and healing be reflections of your heart’s yearnings. May hope and healing bring you peace. May hope and healing guide you to a new life.
I wish you the very best in 2019. With gratitude.
Billie Wade is a gregarious introvert whose primary interests are writing, lifelong learning, personal development, and how we all are affected by life’s vagaries. Issues facing black people, women, the LGBTQ community, and aging adults are of particular concern to her. She enjoys open-hearted dialogue with diverse people. The opinions expressed here are her own.
To read more of Billie’s blogs: www.dmpcc.org/Billie