Recovery is a journey. It often starts when you enter rehab, but then it leads you into the world, where you find bumps, twists, hills, road blocks, and pit stops. You need tools that help you successfully navigate the journey: That’s where powerful mantras come in handy.
As repetition helps amnesiacs remember, mantras inspire, motivate, and encourage you to stay on the sober path. Imagine that you’re in a hot air balloon and the mantras are fuel to the fire. Or imagine that you are partaking in a marathon to recovery and the mantras are water, fueling you and sweating out toxic negativity. You could try illustrating the words, writing them down or singing them! There are many empowering ways to embrace these resonating phrases.Here are 5 powerful Mantras to keep close during recovery
1. “You don’t always get what you wish for, but you always get what you work for.”
What do you hope to gain from sobriety? Closer relationships with family members, the stamina and will to pursue physical fitness, and a steady job that provides personal fulfillment and a decent income may top your wish list. These rewards will require determination. You’ll need to keep your eyes firmly focused on the prize. You will have to work at achieving these goals.
You have to let go of instant gratification and the easy way out, and you have to stand up and fight. That means going to meetings when you’d rather go to bed, following a stress-relieving exercise program instead of vegging on the sofa, and remembering that you will achieve sobriety not through wishes but through work and the belief that you can!
2. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill came up with this mantra, and I know you can relate. The road to recovery can feel like hell, can’t it? The withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, and insomnia may drive you away from your goals. On top of those challenges, you might face financial struggles, broken relationships, and emotional demons. Please do not let this discourage you, because where there’s a will, there’s a way. I promise you that the suffering is so worth it!
Fire ecology tells us that while this powerful force destroys everything in its path, new growth emerges in the aftermath. Learn from this fact as you embrace the fire of emotions, frustrations, and temptations that can make recovery feel like hell. Let the flames reforge you and lift you above the struggle. Imagine that the smoke is weakness and addiction burning away. Then, put one foot in front of the other and walk toward a successful recovery.
3. “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”- Rumi
This is one of my personal favorites. Entangled in the roots of addiction are stubborn knots of pain and trauma. When these knots are pinched and prodded, an individual plunges into their addiction so that they can escape the pain. But now is a time for recovery and healthy choices. It will take time, patience and compassion to heal your wounds, but in the meantime, we can harness that pain as a driving force to recovery.
I envision the heart begins as a smooth, hard stone. As pain, betrayal and trauma chip and smash away at our hearts, they become hollowed out. But instead of considering the heart empty, think of it as a vessel. It can now receive the light and fire needed to stand up and grasp recovery. As you may know, the lotus flower rises up through mud and murky waters to embrace the air and sun. We can also push through the depths of pain and let it nourish our resolve rather than suffocate our roots.
4. “One day at a time.”
Many of us cling tight to the familiar numbness of past habits and lifestyles. I can understand the temptation in clutching an old comfort, even a dangerous and destructive one, but the past is a dead end. It cannot be rewritten or changed. The same goes for wallowing in bitterness towards past betrayals. They cannot be undone, but they can be learned from. You may be ashamed of some actions you took back then, but drowning in guilt is only inviting addiction to dig its teeth deeper into you. You belong in the present; you are in charge of yourself here.
I understand that the now can be overwhelming, especially without the crutch of addiction. However, you can learn how to handle stress in a healthy way, stay connected to a positive recovery group, and see each day as an opportunity for a fresh start. If you slip up today, don’t let it bring all of your determination crashing down. Begin anew each day. Each day can be a sober day. Each day can be a day you are proud of.
5. “Every breath I take is a moment closer to freedom.”
Never stop breathing. Every breath you take clean brings you closer to freedom. Imagine that each breath is a stroke of oars through the water as you row towards the happy, healthy island of sobriety. With each inhale, take in strength and hope. With each exhale, release doubt and guilt. Think to yourself, “In this breath, I am alive and sober. I can stay that way for the next breath, too!”
The journey to recovery is tough. I believe in you, though. I know you can do it! Stay connected to your recovery group, keep practicing your sobriety tools, and remember these five powerful mantras that encourage and equip you for success.