August 20, 2021

We Can’t Force Ourselves to Heal.

We can’t force ourselves to heal.

We can want it, desperately yearn for it. Beg for it. Plead for it. Cry out to the world for it. Scream out at the seeming injustice that we’ve had to endure whatever is we did that is causing us to feel we need it.

We can rationalize it. Intellectually dissect it. And analyze it. We can reason with it, justify it, try to make sense of it with our logical thinking mind.

We can attempt to understand it. Scrutinize it. Try to figure out every single possible reason for it.

We can try to talk ourselves through it. Explain it. Place blame for it.

But we can’t force ourselves to actually heal it.

Or release it.

Or let it go.

And until whatever seeming logical, conscious, rational realization seeps into the feeling part of our being, it won’t be our truth. It won’t really feel real or true. And nothing will change.

The deeper part of us will stay stuck in the pattern or pain or fear.

It can be so frustrating.

But we can’t force it.

We can’t force ourselves to release anything or let go.

We can understand every seeming nuance for why we are how we are, for the issues we have—but until something deep within us makes the connection, then it doesn’t really matter that we have the intellectual “knowing” because nothing will change.

It could be helpful to have professional help, of course. It’s hard to do this alone.

I’m constantly reminding myself that I’m doing the best I can.

Things that have helped me throughout the years have been meditation, prayer, and the willingness (and relentless) determination to sit with my most painful, uncomfortable emotions—rather than repress, deny, or ignore them (like I did for most of my life). And also, listening to the insights and wisdom of someone I love.

When we’re struggling with anything, it isn’t always easy to be soft with ourselves. It’s easy to become impatient and frustrated with the process. But we have to learn to cultivate gentleness and self-compassion. Self-kindness. We’re always doing the best we can. And if we’re struggling with something, it means we’re aching—a part of us is in pain.

We have to learn to nurture ourselves, to hold tender, loving space for ourselves. To feel. To be. To allow.

We have to feel safe and seen with ourselves.

We can’t force ourselves to know what we don’t know or to shift or change—but we can be willing.

We can be curious and inquisitive and willing. Willing to see, willing to understand, willing to become aware. Willing to see differently, to learn, to heal. To let go and release.

We are who we are. We’re having the experiences and feelings that we’re having and feeling. We have to find a soft, gentle way to fully embrace, understand, and accept this, while knowing all the while that we’d like to open to something different.

We can commit to noticing our actions and reactions, to sit with ourselves when we’re triggered, so we can try to understand what’s really, truly happening within us, rather than simply reacting to the surface, external situation. We can decide to feel our emotions as they’re arising or flowing or erupting, rather than avoiding them because they feel too scary or big or unfamiliar to feel.

We can actively choose to not give into coping mechanisms—some of which can feel healthy, like going for a walk—and instead sit or lie down when we’re feeling immense pain or stress or fear. Because even seemingly healthy coping mechanisms may also be a means of escape.

We can be willing to change, to see, to learn. We can seek help. We can learn to sit with and nurture ourselves. If we desperately want to be seen or heard by someone else, the deepest part of us is really crying out to be heard by us—to be tended to by ourselves. Can we learn to hold ourselves in the ways we’ve always wanted from someone else?

We can start to open up to people we trust. We can understand that it’s safe to trust.

We can tentatively begin to speak our truth, even when we’re scared.

We can’t force ourselves to heal. We can want it, plead for it, beg and implore the Universe or God to help us. But we can’t force it.

We have to find a way for life, the experience, to simply unfold—while holding the intention, commitment, and willingness to heal, learn, and grow, to release and let go.

And we must do this by also holding loving, gentle space for ourselves.

By allowing ourselves all of it—to want to be healed, to feel frustrated that it hasn’t happened yet, and to feel warm, loving compassion for everything we’ve been through and are going through, for how far we’ve come, and appreciation for the fact that we’re conscious and aware enough to be wanting this at all.

We have to find a way to accept that our experience is the one we’re having, while also knowing the ways that we most want shift. Feeling that there’s a fuller and wholer experience awaiting us as we mend and grow from within.

We can’t force ourselves to heal or release or let go.

But we can be willing.

And we can show warm, loving kindness to ourselves throughout the whole process.


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