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How Do I Find Hope in Recovery When I Have Hurt People in the Past?

During your life, you have likely had several difficult experiences. Some of those experiences may have caused you to do things that were hurtful to others. No matter what you’ve done in the past, you still deserve hope and healing. All you have to do is have patience with yourself and trust the process of recovery. In this article, you will find reasons to have hope and believe in your recovery even though people were hurt in your past.

What Exactly Is Hope?

Hope is not a magic word that instantly makes all your hardships disappear. Instead, hope comes from intentionally taking on an uplifting perspective that life will work out all right for you. This is not always easy to do. That is why having hope can require constant cultivation.

How can you cultivate hope? Hope can arise from a connection to something bigger than yourself that provides meaning in daily life. Hope comes from having core values and belief systems that can guide you. A sense of hope also comes from discovering meaning and purpose through all of your challenges. Hope means looking forward to a new day full of possibilities. Each day provides a new opportunity to cultivate hope. Thankfully, through recovery, you will find your hope growing stronger.

Find Hope Through Forgiveness

One important way to find hope is by self-forgiveness. This might mean granting yourself forgiveness for hurting others. Likely, you were not thinking with a healthy mindset in your past. However, you are a new person at this moment. Perhaps you find yourself holding onto the hurt that you caused others and by doing this, you struggle with finding hope in your present.

It is easy to get caught in your past wrongdoings. Unfortunately, that thought process does not help when you are working on being your best self. Everyone is on their unique path of growth, so the journey to find hope will look different for everyone.

Find Hope Through Self-Acceptance

There aren’t too many more powerful emotions than hope. One expression of hope is the decision to accept yourself, flaws and all. It is easy to get caught up in self-criticism for your perceived mistakes. No matter how much you may have berated yourself in the past, exploring self-acceptance can be much more liberating. You can work on accepting all areas of your life. This gives you hope for a new day.

There are many ways to become more self-accepting. This includes writing positive affirmations and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of therapy that encourages you to question your negative thought patterns. It is easy to continue to believe stories about yourself that are not true. Adopting more positive self-beliefs can contribute to a better self-image and more of a hopeful stance on your life.

Find Hope Through Emotional Healing

An important part of recovery is exploring and processing your emotions within individual therapy. A trained professional can provide a more impartial and optimistic perspective on your life and your core self. This therapist can also teach you helpful tools to utilize when you are experiencing difficult emotions. As you go through this process, you will begin to allow yourself time to grieve, cry, and feel emotions that you’ve denied. This release of negativity and stuck energy can restore your sense of hope. Grieving is a way to let go of old, bottled-up emotions and free yourself from the pain you have carried.

Recovering From the Past

Even though recovery is an essential journey to well-being, no one said the journey would be easy. Recognizing that you have hurt others in the past is the first step in healing. After you’ve done that, you have completed the hardest step in moving forward. Understanding that you are in control of how you handle your feelings and emotions can bring a sense of peace to your life. You don’t have to be perfect, and it’s okay to confront the ways you may have harmed others while in the throes of addiction.

When hope is lacking, here are several tips that can help restore it:

  • Talk about your feelings: Do not stay in your head. Process your emotions with a trusted source or write them in a journal.
  • Find an alumni program: A key to sustained recovery is finding a genuine support system. Maintaining positive support can be the difference between living a mediocre life and your best life.
  • Go to a meeting: Whether you connect in an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) atmosphere, find a meeting near you. This can just be what you need to begin to feel a glimmer of hope.
  • Think about happy times: Relive good memories and think about times that brought a smile to your face.
  • Do something different: Changing up your routine and adding a new task to your list may be beneficial for your recovery and add a new sense of hope to your life.

Moving on to a More Hopeful Chapter

No matter how your story began, you have the power to change the next chapter. Hope teaches you that you have power in all situations. However you choose to navigate throughout your journey, hope is always just around the corner. You have come this far and have experienced some rough moments. Turn the page to find a fresh new story. All things are possible with a little hope.

It is easy to get caught up in negative emotions, especially when you’ve made mistakes in the past. However, you can continue to work through those feelings. Sometimes you just need support. Finding true hope and healing when you’ve hurt others can be daunting. You may feel alone. You may be lacking in acceptance of yourself and others. Here at The Guest House, we understand that recovery can be a lonely place. This is why we treat every person with genuine unconditional positive regard. We know how important it is for you to be heard and seen during this time of your life. If you or someone you know is struggling, please give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today.