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I want you to pay attention to your emotional wounds the same way you would your physical wounds.
They say, “Some wounds heal with time,” but some you have to heal with intention. Think about it; if you get a paper cut, that’s most likely going to heal on its own.
But let’s say someone comes along and stabs you. What do you do? You rush to the emergency room to get it cleaned out and stitched up properly, right? You don’t just grab a bacteria-infested towel off the floor, stick it in there, and expect it to heal. The wound will start to fester and get infected, and that infection could get into your bloodstream. You’d become septic and die.
I know that sounds dramatic, but I work in the medical field, and it happens. A UTI, if left untreated, could lead to death.
I think the same thing happens with our emotional wounds. Instead of acknowledging them and giving them the attention that they need, we do everything in our power to run from them, numb them, and keep them at bay. But the longer they go unattended, the more power they have over us.
As long as we keep pouring alcohol, drugs, and sex—whatever poor coping habits we use—into them, the more infected the wounds become. The infection then travels through the body and begins to infect our minds. Before you know it, we’re severely depressed, thoughts of suicide arise, and we have no idea how they got there. Do not let this happen to you.
Can you imagine what would happen if you put all that energy into healing instead of running? Your life would be unrecognizable!
If you’re not committed to your healing, you are committing to your suffering.
I think there’s one thing keeping us from facing our trauma: fear. The fear that if we give it even an inch, if we so much as glance in that direction, we are going to lose all control and our whole entire foundation is going to crumble.
Let it fall; it was never sturdy to begin with.
We’re thinking, “How could I possibly have survived the things I did and come out of it like a sane human being?”
You are doing it every day. You already survived. It’s already over. You are walking, talking, breathing, and living every single day. The only thing left to do now is to find out what effect it had on you. In other words, what “issues” did you gain from it, and are you working to correct them?
Stop building this up in your mind. We are under the impression that in order to face our demons, we have to make the trek to Mordor, dive into the fiery depths of hell, seek out these demons, and then fight to the death in an epic battle—with no weapons.
1. The demons do not exist.
They are only feelings. I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s easy to feel your feelings; it takes practice. You’ll have days when you feel like you’re on top of the world with tears of joy in your eyes. And there will be days when you wake up feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest—all you can do lay in bed and cry. I promise it will be okay.
Learn to welcome the bad feelings the same way you welcome the good. Feeling those bad feelings doesn’t have to be as daunting as we think; it is simply uncomfortable. Think of it as putting yourself through brief discomfort in order to figure out your life and become your happiest self.
2. Get some f*cking weapons!
No, I’m not talking about guns and knives. I’m talking about therapy, meditation, exercise, healing crystals, there’s a book for everything (if you don’t like to read, get the audiobook), listen to podcasts, follow therapists online, put yourself in nature, do a rain dance, get weird with it. Seriously, who gives a sh*t what anyone thinks about it? This is about you and only you.
Find out what works for you. Even if it’s a placebo effect, what difference does it make? If it works for you, it works for you.
Oh, and I want to be clear on this: therapy is not for the weak. There’s nothing weak about looking into your own darkness. I understand your apprehension, I do.
On my way to my first therapy appointment, my hands were shaking with anxiety. I felt like I was about to open the floodgates of emotions I had been suppressing for decades, and I was going to end up in a straight jacket. How ridiculous, right?
That’s not what happened. Instead, I gained tools to help me unmask the lies I told myself. It let me take my “baggage” and dump it on the floor. I no longer had to carry it all inside of me, and I immediately felt lighter. 10/10 would recommend.
Our wounds are different, which means our healing journeys will also look different. But you already have everything you need; your soul knows exactly what it needs to heal, listen to it.
You will figure this out if you’re determined to. Take some deep breaths and begin.
Just wait until you see what’s waiting for you on the other side of healing. (It’s freedom.)