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Reaching your pain threshold is enough to drive you into the recovery process. But you must make a commitment if you expect to be able to endure the pain long enough to heal emotionally. This post describes step 2 of 4 of the transformative journey.
Make A Commitment: Pursue the Help of a Counselor
When your life becomes unmanageable, when you experience a nervous breakdown, you become motivated to try a new approach to solving your problems. You seek out someone more experienced than you and willing to follow them.
In Star Wars, Luke recognizes Obi-Wan as a mentor of the force. Initially, Luke resists joining him, but he decides to take the next step forward after he sees that the empire killed his Aunt and Uncle.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.Proverbs 15:22 ESV
Who in your life has more expertise in the areas in which you are struggling?
Make A Commitment: Discover Your Allies and Your Enemies
Your emotional pain will likely continue to intensify the more you strengthen your resolve to confront the enemy. The enemy’s goal is to escalate self-doubt. While your pain increases and you become more desperate, you will attract the people that will help you achieve your goals, as well as the people who will hinder your progress.
The intensifying pain forces you to make a decision one way or another. Will you commit to seeing your recovery through to its conclusion or will you turn back to your familiar ways of coping?
Luke learns that Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia are his friends. He also experiences confirmation that the empire is his enemy. He could have decided to quit. But with encouragement and support, he commits to finishing what he started.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. They will say, “You started building, but could not finish the job.”Luke 14:28-30 CEV
Are you willing to make a commitment to your recovery no matter what it costs you?
Make A Commitment: Examine the Origin of Your Problems and Distress
Moving forward in life often requires first looking backward to where you have been. This usually stirs up more pain as you look at your defects without any filters or blinders. There is no room for denial if you sincerely desire recovery.
Luke and his friends face overwhelming discouragement when they realize the empire has the power to destroy whole planets. They lose Alderaan, a peaceful planet. When they become trapped at the death star, they realize they can no longer turn back. They must overcome their problems and find a way forward.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.Matthew 7:3-5 NIV
Are you willing to acknowledge that you have serious problems to overcome? What self-doubts only seem to complicate your path to recovery? Can you endure whatever pain is necessary in order to realize a victory? Are you willing to look beyond friends and family to God for help?
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.