How We Heal Book Summary - How We Heal Book explained in key points
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How We Heal summary

Alexandra Elle

Uncover Your Power and Set Yourself Free

4.4 (291 ratings)
16 mins

What is How We Heal about?

How We Heal (2022) provides a detailed look at the complex and life-changing process of self-healing. Techniques are separated into a 4-step framework which provides encouragement, practical strategies, and journaling exercises to help you rediscover your inner power and cultivate a sense of inner peace.

Table of Contents

    How We Heal
    summarized in 5 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 5

    Step one: conquer your self-doubt and learn to start over.

    In the wellness community, healing is often described as the end goal. We’re made to believe that if we can just discover what’s causing us pain and deal with it, everything will be fine.

    The truth is that healing is a journey that never really ends. There may be times when you think you’ve made monumental progress, only to have a trigger send you right back to square one. Sometimes you have to start from scratch – and that’s okay.

    Having to start a healing journey over doesn’t make you weak – it just means that you’re a human being who’s in touch with your own emotional well-being. In situations where you feel like you’re backtracking, it takes immense courage, commitment, and passion to keep going. 

    The great thing about starting over is that you get to keep the lessons you’ve learned along the way – that is, if you pay attention to them. When you acknowledge the work you’ve already done, you can use these skills to come back even better than you were before.

    When trying to heal, there’ll be many moments when self-doubt and fear will threaten the progress you’ve made. But running from what scares you won’t make it go away. You have to be brave enough to face your issues head-on and come out stronger on the other side.

    One of the most important elements required for true healing is self-forgiveness. Hating yourself isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to be able to forgive yourself for what’s happened in the past, as you face the present and look toward a brighter future.

    Unfortunately, forgiving yourself isn’t always easy. It’s a truly complicated process – especially when you feel that you’ve hurt people or let them down. What you need to understand is that human beings are inherently flawed. As you unpack trauma from your past, you should avoid blaming yourself for things you can’t change.

    When you stop avoiding the issues that feel too difficult to face, you can begin to show up in new ways and start building the life that you truly want. Forgiving yourself creates the space to expand emotionally and become a compassionate person who can heal your past, present, and future.

    For the first journaling exercise, you're going to write a letter to yourself. Think back over any moments in your life when you’ve felt embarrassed, ashamed, or inadequate.

    Maybe you made a mistake or chose poorly. Maybe you were the victim of mistreatment and blame yourself for the abuse. Dig deep and be vulnerable. Don’t try to escape any feelings that rise to the surface – let them come.

    Once you’ve put these thoughts down on paper, give yourself the grace and understanding that you deserve. Forgive yourself for what you believe you’ve done wrong and give yourself permission to let it go. Finish the letter by promising to forgive and love every part of yourself – no matter what.

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    About the Author

    Alexandra Elle is a writer, poet, wellness educator, and certified Breathwork coach. She’s also the author of Neon Soul and After the Rain. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, and by a range of other media outlets including Good Morning America, ABC News, and NPR.

    Who should read How We Heal?

    • Fans of self-help books
    • Anyone who wants to learn about self-healing
    • People interested in mental health and wellness

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