Beginning the Journey

Journal & Reflection

Throughout the course, we will invite you to pause and spend time reflecting and journaling about various topics that will support your learning and healing process. If at any point you find yourself stuck on a question you are struggling to answer, consider spending a bit of extra time with it but give yourself the freedom to move on and return to it at another time so you can continue moving through the content.

As you begin this course, please consider the following thoughts and questions to orient your heart to the journey ahead. These questions can also be located on pages 1-2 in the Course Journal.

1. People usually have mixed feelings about beginning any reflection on trauma and abuse. List four or five words that reflect how you are feeling as you begin this course.

2. What are you hoping to accomplish by the end of the course? List 3-4 goals of what you hope will happen as a result of this work.

Tip: It will be most helpful to write with concrete specificity instead of abstract concepts. For example, “I want to be able to look at some of the harm of the abuse instead of feeling like I need to get busy or watch TV,” or, “I want to be able to have a conversation with my spouse about what triggers me when he/she does something similar to my abuser.”

3. It is easy to set our minds on an unrealistic pace to finish a project only to become discouraged when we don’t meet our goal. We’d like you to consider three things to help you finish this course successfully: regular time to engage, celebration for small movement, and kindness when the process gets difficult. These all require thoughtful intentionality to make happen.

When can you set aside a regular time each week (day/time) to watch a lesson either in part or in full? Where can you watch a lesson with minimal interruptions or distractions?

When a full lesson or difficult part of a lesson is finished, how will you honor and celebrate your work? Perhaps the gift of a warm, fragrant bath with good music and rest will feel honoring of your labor. Maybe you prefer some chocolate, a nice, long walk, or connecting with a good friend. Whatever feels like a sweet, honorable gift is a good beginning. What will you allow yourself after finishing a lesson?

Kindness is the key to transformation. It is also one of the most difficult gifts to give ourselves, especially when we are overwhelmed, hurt, confused, or angry. The moment you can offer goodness to yourself when you finish a lesson, you are beginning to grow in kindness. However, there is important work to do in naming patterns in your life where you are less than kind. What is your typical response when you make a mistake? Can you name a few ways you are not kind to yourself when you perceive you are not doing well?