Trauma. Heartbreak. Disappointments. Loss. We have all experienced one or more (or all) of these things. With each new wound, the toll it takes on the body, mind, and spirit start to manifest. We ache, we constrict, we lose flexibility in our bodies, our emotions can become erratic. Pretty much, we are walking messes, and the only person who can really clean up the mess is you.
The very first step in healing yourself and your life, is recognizing that the responsibility lies with you and you alone. No one is going to save you. There is no prince on his white horse, no fairy godmother with her magic spells of restoration, no superhero coming to make your life better. You are the hero in this fairytale. But don’t be afraid. You are entirely capable of saving yourself. And it is much easier and more practical than you may think.
Step One: Acknowledge your need to heal.
You have to face the truth that you need healing. You must decide that you are ready to heal. This means acknowledging also, the fact that you have suffered. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Every single person on this earth (yes, every single one) has been through difficult and painful things. Although suffering is universal, it is also very personal, and we all react to and deal with trauma differently. So, I am asking you to be brave and do not judge yourself for what happened to you.
Now that you recognize your need to move into healing, you can move forward to Step Two.
Step Two: Take Responsibility
I mentioned this above, and I want to dig in a bit deeper. So you have taken the step of recognizing that the responsibility to heal is yours alone. Now take that one step further and realize that it is your path and yours alone. Even when trauma you have suffered is the result of another person’s behavior, you are still the only one who can take charge of your healing from said trauma. In relation to another, you may find it helpful to communicate with them about the pain they have caused you, but this is really only helpful in the realm of seeing the situation from their perspective. It may not bring you any closure or satisfaction. If you decide to involve another person in your healing, I advise you not to expect too much from them. And this leads you right into Step Three.
Step Three: Release yourself and others.
First and foremost, release yourself from the judgement over having been through what you have. Bad things happen to good people and despite what you may be thinking, no, you didn’t deserve it. Even if certain choices led you to the place where you were met with pain and loss, that does not make it your fault. Release yourself from this narrative. Also let go of the martyr complex that tries to tell you that suffering is just how life has to be for you. While I agree that pain can teach us many lessons, I believe that how we handle it is where the lesson actually lies, not in the suffering itself. No one is holy simply for having experienced loss and pain. Holiness is found in how we transmute our suffering into healing.
Releasing the other people involved is a big ask, I know. But it is crucial to moving forward into your own healing path. (They have their own path and they have to find it on their own. You cannot force another person to change.) The quicker you realize this, the quicker you can start to move forward.
And I think you are ready to move forward or you most likely would not have chosen to read this article.
Now that you have made the decision to show yourself some true love and take the personal responsibility to begin your healing, you’re ready to take some practical, actionable steps to get there.
Be on the lookout for the next installment, Finding your own healing, Part 2:Get moving.