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We all have wounds.
We all have cracks, bruises, scars. Some of us hide them. Some of us wear them as a badge. Some of us let them weigh us down. Some of us don’t admit we have them.
Healing is a process that happens one moment at a time. Over and over and over. We may take two steps forward and then one back. Sometimes, we may pause. Sometimes, we move side to side.
While healing doesn’t look the same for everyone, there are some things that may be helpful for us all to remember as we embark or continue on a journey to embrace all parts of ourselves.
Seven things to remember when you’re healing:
1. Admit you have something to heal
We can’t heal something we don’t face. It’s easy to push pain down or deny it. But it will keep coming back. The first step in healing is admitting there is something to heal.
2. Don’t shame or blame yourself for having the wound
While we have to own our life and choices, the hand of cards we were dealt at birth is something we can’t change. Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.” Love the inner child inside you. Talk to yourself as you would your child or someone you truly love. Hold yourself in your heart with gentleness. Don’t wound yourself more with shame or blame.
3. Remember that healing is not a straight line
Life gives us opportunities to learn and grow. Some days, we may have good days, and then we’ll have some bad days. Trust yourself and trust life. As has often been said, it isn’t how many times you fall down that matters, it is how many times you get back up. Show yourself grace.
4. Start to identify triggers and practice the pause
Sometimes we might get triggered. Sometimes we may feel like we haven’t grown as much as we hope to. It’s important to appreciate ourselves and every time we can pause and consciously respond, rather than just react.
5. Accept that healing may never done
Any type of health involves commitment and consistency. In life, maintaining balance and equilibrium is never something that is done. Accept that our fear and ego want to protect us and that things that worked for us for a while as defense mechanisms may never go away. If we’ve ever sprained an ankle, we know it may be an area of our body we need to be careful with. It doesn’t mean we won’t use that body part anymore, just that we need to be a little more aware in some situations, so we don’t hurt it again.
6. Don’t rush it
We may want to go from 0 to 100 immediately. We may feel ready to be done with the pain and the hurt and the sadness. But sometimes we need to just trust the journey. All we have to do is focus on today and the lessons that are there right in front of us.
7. Watch why you are sharing your hurt with others
While sharing our story and journey with others can inspire them, it’s important to make sure we aren’t sharing our stories because we want them to be validated and that our story isn’t holding us back. Don’t be the victim in your story. Remember that while our hurts are part of us, they aren’t all of us.
If you are on a journey of healing, be proud of yourself for starting it. You are more than what happened to you in the past and you can create your future. You are walking into the light from the darkness. And by doing so, you are shining your light into the world.