How to Begin Healing: The Journey Steps

Published On: June 15th, 2022

This month, Thriver Shikera Thomason shares how she began her healing journey and how she found the courage to embark on the journey from believing she would not heal to healing through Acknowledgement, Mind-Mapping, and Soul-Evolution. 

This Blog takes you through her Healing Steps.


I invite you to pause for a moment and consider the following questions (definitions are below):

What does “acknowledgement” mean for me?

What is my Surface Level Acknowledgement?

What is my Deep Level Acknowledgement?

How can a Surface Acknowledgment become a Deep Acknowledgment?

  • Choose one thing you have struggled to fully-acknowledge and write it down.
  • Then, I want you to ask yourself, “What scares me about addressing the remainder of the acknowledgement?”
  • Next, write the answer to that question.
  • After you have written that, I want you to congratulate yourself for taking that step.
  • Also, it is key to focus on what you did well to generate self-love and self-care.

It is essential to not overextend yourself by unveiling too much too quickly! What may seem like a small or baby step to you, may actually be monumental!


  • Surface Acknowledgement happens when a person mentally accepts the trauma endured, but they are unwilling to examine the depth of the trauma.  Operating or dwelling in surface acknowledgment appears as masking the pain by avoiding the signs, triggers, and anything that connotes a need for vulnerability.
  • Deep Acknowledgement leads the survivor to understanding the impact of the abuse/trauma and being receptive to openly as well as honestly accepting there are ways to unlock the pain and navigate the necessary paths to healing.

Shikera Thomason is our Guest Thriver Blogger


With this exercise, first write what it would look like to “Feel Like A Victim” and “Feel Like a Thriver.”  As you consider your definitions, map yourself along the continuum or indicate what percentage of time you fall into the different places along the continuum.

“Feel Like a Victim”  ———————————————“Feel Like a Thriver”

Points to consider when placing yourself along the continuum are:

  • How much do the negative thoughts associated with the trauma and/or thought pattern that was birthed out of the trauma stay with you?
  • Are you able to mentally replace the original thought or behavior pattern with a positive thought and/ or pattern that encourages thriving?
  • Can you meditate on empowering yourself instead of existing in fear-mode?
  • Do you realize you did nothing wrong (release the guilt, shame, and self-blame!)?  Can you learn to absorb verbal empowerment from yourself and your tribe?
  • Do you have a tribe of friends you can be vulnerable with, who encourage you, hold you accountable to healing, and celebrate your progress?

Affirmations to Encourage Your Shift to Thriver

As you move along the road to thriving, it is helpful to have affirmation to encourage you.  Here are some that have been especially helpful to me:

  • Pause, look in a mirror, and say, “I love you!”
  • “I am beautiful from the inside out!”
  • “I am a Victor and not a victim!”
  • “I am intelligent!”
  • “I am capable of making rational decisions.”
  • “I am free to experience moments of grief without worrying about what others think about my emotional state.”
  • Think about what other affirmations have been helpful to you in the past and name them.
  • ___________________________________________________
  • _____________________________________________________

Maybe you have these affirmations on a list to reference; maybe they are on post-it notes placed in significant areas such as your mirror or phone.

Deciphering the difference between healthy-visibility and hiding.

Ask yourself these questions about hiding:

  1. Am I hiding?
  2. Why am I hiding?
  3. What or who am I hiding from?
  4. How do I stop hiding?

Ask yourself these questions about unhealthy visibility:

  1. Do I want people to see and pity me?
  2. Am I suppressing pain, leaving it to fester?

Unhealthy visibility (i.e., see my pain, pity me) causes a continuum of festered pain.

If you have moved into healthy visibility, your mind and heart collaborate toward seeing your wounds transformed into healed scars.  How can you continue this healing, transformational process?

Take Steps for Soul-Evolution

First step:  State, “I give myself permission to grieve the physical, emotional, and mental pain associated with the trauma endured.” (That means you can cry, scream, journal, and talk to someone you trust.)  Think about what will be most helpful to you.

Second step: Notice when you are operating in unhealthy learned patterns such as building emotional and mental walls, isolating yourself, and holding your pain inside. Write down those patterns, how do they hold you back from fully evolving?  (NOTE: exploring these patterns is the work that Survivors to Thrivers supports in its individual guidance and small group retreats.  Click here to learn more.)

Third step: Begin to see yourself as a triumph and not a tragedy.  Most people only consider major life accomplishments as a triumph such as a degree, a job promotion, etc.  Survivors often believe their learned behavior sets them apart from others and condemn themselves.  Take the time to notice the positive things you may have learned from your trauma. For example, I can read others’ eyes and body language to determine if they are calm or unsettled.  Another example might be, how I learned to not ignore internal warnings about people or places.

I want each of you reading to believe you can heal, and if you are already on the healing trek to keep going!

I want to remind you, fellow thriver, to be compassionate with yourself as you heal. I encourage you to avoid being trapped by comparing your journey to another thriver’s journey. Remember, you are victorious and you are worth it!

Keep moving forward!  Shikera

Shikera Thomason is a native of West Georgia where she resides with her wife April.  When she is not working as a human service provider, Shikera enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her loved ones, and impacting the world through her podcast “Be a Bridge.” Shikera’s podcast teaches how to be a human bridge through the different facets and changes of life. “Be a Bridge” can be located on Anchor or Spotify.  Click here for her Podcast Episode called Heal4Real

Talk To Tambry

I am glad you have taken the time to engage with this blog.  Sometimes it is helpful to process new insights that emerge.  If you would appreciate brief time with a someone who understands, our Talk to Tambry offering is for you.  For 30 minutes, you can receive support from Tambry who is a certified life coach, spiritual director and a survivor who has been on the journey as well.  This is offered at a reduced rate of $50.

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