You are Capable of Finding Joy After Abuse—Here’s How to Start

You are Capable of Finding Joy After Abuse—Here’s How to Start

Does past abuse ruin our chances of living a good life (let alone finding joy)? My vision of a “best life” was essentially being okay with waking up each day. No longer wanting to give up. Surviving. I didn’t think any more than that was possible.

That sounded like the best I could have in life…and I’ve discovered many other survivors feel this way too. We guess we can get to an okay life—but don’t believe we can have something better than that.

But, finding joy is possible. By this I mean a true, genuine, love for life and adoration of yourself, others, and the life you live. 

This might not sound realistic right now, and that’s okay. I doubted my own potential to find joy all the way until I started to actually feel it. (And, even then, I questioned if it would stay!) 

But now, several years after that initial doubt, I can assure you joy is truly possible for survivors of abuse. Even for those of us who have gone through the most horrific things. (I’ve personally survived 15 years of violent abuse.)

This blog is a message of hope, to inspire you to give yourself a chance on this path towards joy. If it works for you, you’ll find a freedom and peace you’ve never had before—and that’s going to be a stunningly beautiful thing. <3

The 6 Stages to Joy After Abuse

There are 6 main healing steps survivors take to find joy after abuse. I discovered these through my own journey and conversations with hundreds of other survivors of abuse. I’ve since named it The Prosperity Path

When I was trying to figure it out, I had no one to guide me—so it was tough, messy, and chaotic. I don’t want you to be as lost as I was. That’s why I identified each stage of this path and added them to this blog (and other resources on my site!). 

Each of our journeys is unique, as we all experience the world in different ways, so The Prosperity Path is a very flexible guide too. You get to shape it towards the challenges and desires you have. 

Step 1: Unconditional Acceptance

What is this step?

Acceptance is recognizing the fact we can’t go back in time and change what happened to us—and becoming okay with that fact. It’s not becoming okay with what happened to us, though! (Like being pressured into forgiving your abuser.) Acceptance also shows you how to let go of the things you can’t change (so you don’t exhaust your precious energy trying to). It’s a healthy letting go, while still retaining your power.

Why is acceptance essential to finding joy?

Acceptance is the foundation of living a life you love. This is the stage that builds peace, and peace is the soil which joy can grow from. 

Step 2: Reclaim Empowerment

What is this step?

Abuse took away your power—that’s the very definition of abuse. Someone else made choices about your life, body, and mind…so this stage is about reclaiming the power you have to make choices about your own life. You’ll also want to start building healthy boundaries and rediscovering who you are as a person.

Why is reclaiming empowerment essential to finding joy?

Now that you know what you can and cannot change in life (thanks to acceptance), you’re able to make empowered decisions. You can decide exactly how you want to direct your life, now that you can see the innate power you have in every choice you make. 

How close are you to thriving after abuse? Click here to take the quiz!

Step 3: Design Your Dreams

What is this step?

You understand what you can and cannot change, and you know your power to make choices in life. So, now it’s time to get clear on what your dreams are. This stage is about unearthing your core values (meaning your heart guides your choices) and clarifying what in life needs to change in order for you to genuinely feel joyous. 

Why is clarifying dreams essential to finding joy?

Joy is based on living a life authentic to you, one that’s driven from your heart. So, once you know your core values—and you plan a life around them—your decisions are constantly moving you closer to real joy. Without this stage, you’d be trying to fix things in life without a clear idea of what’s authentically best for you!

Step 4: Identify Obstacles

What is this step?

In this stage, you’ll uncover exactly what’s holding you back from finding joy. What sort of limiting beliefs? What external obstacles (like toxic relationships, career struggles, money issues, etc)? This is where you essentially make a big long list of all the things that need to change to live a life you love.

Why is identifying obstacles essential to finding joy?

You have to know what’s not working in your life in order to fix it. Once you’ve identified internal obstacles (like limiting beliefs) and external obstacles (lifestyle factors)—you’re in a place where you can start to change them. And that’s the next stage! Put these together and you’ll be finding joy in no time.

Step 5: Strategize Solutions

What is this step?

You don’t start solving those obstacles you just identified quite yet. First, you have to brainstorm solutions that are in line with your values. It’ll also help you parse advice from others, so you’re not blindly letting other people guide your life in the direction they want to, rather than what’s best for you. Basically, you consider ways to overcome obstacles and compare them to your own heart—ensuring its the right way for you to solve that problem.

Why is strategizing solutions essential to finding joy?

If you solve obstacles just based on what’s easiest, or what advice you get, you’re not heading towards your truly joyous life. This stage helps you identify “is this the right way to solve the obstacle to bring me closer to longterm happiness?”

Step 6: Take Action & Thrive <3 

What is this step?

This is the final stage! You already mapped everything out—from what your dream life looks like to what’s in the way, and you know exactly how to solve those obstacles. So, now it’s all about taking action. You may need to overcome some hesitation and procrastination (The Prosperity Path program can help you with this!), but you’re basically there. This just takes consistent, little adjustments here and there, for you to start finding joy. 

Why is taking action essential to finding joy?

Well, this one’s simple. If you don’t take action, finding joy will be nearly impossible. You have your plan, so now it’s all about acting on it. 

How to Get Started on This Path

The Prosperity Path is a journey worth starting today. You deserve joy—and this may be exactly the guide you need to reach it. The best place to begin is by taking this quiz—it’ll show you which of these six stages you’re in and where to go from there. 

If this firsthand exploration into the Prosperity Path sounds good to you, then I’d highly suggest joining the Prosperity Path Program here too! It’s an in-depth exploration of each stage, complete with actionable exercises to help you master every step. You’ll build the foundation for peace through acceptance, reclaim your power, discover your dreams, and manifest a life of joy. (I’ve made sure to keep this program affordable, too!)

Community support is also a great to have along your journey to finding joy. So, go ahead and comment which stage you think you’re in (or what your quiz result was), and you can find other survivors who are in the same place! 

(You can also join this Facebook group here for extra peer support!)

Discover how close you are to living a life you love (even after abuse) Click here to take the quiz!
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June 9, 2020

Hi! I’m Arien

I’m a dreamer, healer, and optimistic soul…and a survivor of child sexual abuse. I created Uncover Your Joy to show you joy and peace are possible to find after trauma. I’m the founder of The Prosperity Path Program, and have reached almost 80,000 survivors with my blog!

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