Ceremonies of Recovery Life is challenging and bad things happen. These events can haunt us, leaving us unable to move on. Or perhaps we are looking to declare an end to an awful period in our lives. Good ritual can provide a place to tell the story, a release or a cleansing from the past and, perhaps, a foundation on which to build the rest of your life. Here is a sample of events that you might wish to heal with ritual. Come, let us celebrate together. The encouraging thing is that every time you meet a situation, though you may think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it you find that forever after you are freer than you ever were before. If you can live through that, you can live through anything. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face… The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) Substance Abuse Stopping the abuse of substances (or of our bodies) is an incredibly important step in a person’s life. The decision to live a clean and sober lifestyle and the anniversaries you build up can be of life and death importance. So is the decision to live a life where you and not the substance is at the center. Ritual can help you life fully into your dreams for a healthy future and engage your community’s support.Rape Sadly we live in a world where power over can be the only power people know or understand. This violation can destroy our sense of self, our sense of safety, and our ability to relate easily with strangers or people we love. When the time is right, ritual can acknowledge the grief, and help set the stage for recovery.Incest Incest is a very deep betrayal by the people whose job is to love us. No matter what their trauma or reason for lack of control, family members inflict deep wounds when they cross these sacred boundaries. This is some of the most difficult trauma to heal. Ritual can be an important tool in helping to consign the violence to the past so that you can be freed from reliving the nightmare.Memory One of our most human reactions when bad things happen to us is to draw a curtain over the memory. Hard work with therapists and guides can help us recover those memories so we can put them to rest. Otherwise, they lurk out of sight, ready to ambush us when we least expect them. A ceremony is a wonderful way to acknowledge traumatic events and consign them to the past. You lived through them once. You don’t have to do that ever again.Love Leaving a relationship is not a one-step activity. Important work must be done to come to the decision to leave or to acknowledge the loss of a loved one. There is a long period of grief. At the end of that grief, it is good to declare oneself ready to love and be loved again. You may wish to create boundaries around your openness or readiness. Whatever you, ritual is a good way aid your move forward into this new portion of your life.Respect Sometimes we do things or have things done to us that cause our sense and love of self to waiver. In those times, it’s important to remember why and how we matter and proclaim that proudly. Ritual works well by creating a memory and perhaps a mantra with which to battle the demons from our past.