November 4, 2021

This is What Healing Really is (& What it is Not).

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The rise of social media has undeniably been a blessing to many.

I can testify to it, having personally profited from social media in many ways.

On the other hand, we are witnessing a lot of negativity and fake lives, and even though we know many things are lies, they can still be disturbing. We see facial structures changed by a filter, fake experts, people promoting the most uncreative and shallow content while claiming to be deep (somehow they think sharing internet quotes makes them deep), and those calling themselves spiritual, because they know a little bit about horoscope signs (not even astrology).

I can go on and on, but it has never been my intention to call anyone out, as I also tend to share only “positive” parts of my life. I’ve always believed everyone should do whatever they like as long as they’re not hurting anyone. But recently, while I was going through a painful period of my life, someone said to me, having no idea of what is really happening to me, “I follow you on Instagram, you are living quite a life, I see. I wish I could be more like you!”

I started to ask myself, are we truly not hurting anyone by creating all these false narratives and beliefs? Is it our responsibility to think of how people see and receive our content? How are all the lies impacting other people? Is it our responsibility to tell the truth?

My major concern these days has been the issue of healing and everything I’m reading and hearing about it. Throughout my 31 years of life, I’ve had to heal from a lot of serious trauma. I’ve spent years going to numerous therapies, trying different coaching methods, practicing yoga, Reiki, Ho’oponopono, and you name it!

I just couldn’t help but get disheartened about how unrealistic “healing” is portrayed on social media. We see all these “beautiful people,” enlightened, calm, and talking about healing with a smile, using some fancy terms such as light, crystals, sage burning, awakening, or essential oils. Yes, those are all cute little props that can serve their purpose, but they are not healing. Most of these tools have cultural and contextual purposes co-opted by non-indigenous people and have been commodified.

Healing is a nasty business—if you’ve had to do it, you know it. I spent years thinking that I had healed my childhood trauma. When I recently had to deal with my abuser in a different shape and form, I found out I was nowhere close to being healed. I was still triggered by all the behaviors that “belonged” to that person—and then I was stuck with another trauma to heal.

There is nothing fancy about healing. Healing means facing the most painful emotions and letting yourself feel them. Healing is revisiting the past and replaying the most hurtful memories over and over until you think you have it figured out.

Healing is physical pain, headache, nausea, anxiety, claustrophobia, brain fog, anger, resentment, hate, self-hate, doubt, and self-doubt. It is a chest pain that can force you to think you are having a heart attack. It can feel like invisible arms around your neck, choking you. It is crying on the kitchen floor, Amy Winehouse style.

One moment you think you’re over it, the next moment you are shattering in pain again. Just when you think you’ve regained your strength, you fall back to old patterns.

Healing involves a lot of confusion. It’s understanding, and accepting the things as they are, not as you wanted them to be, or thought they were. And finally, healing is forgiving others and it is forgiving yourself.

The most important thing to know is that when you heal, you might not come out of the pain all strong and enlightened, full of knowledge and wisdom. You might just be okay, and you know what? That is completely okay!

Don’t let anyone convince you that you are supposed to achieve something in everything you do. The only thing you need is to survive the pain.

Even years after you think you are “over something,” you might experience discomfort or pain when thinking of the hurt, trauma, or people who caused it. Feel it, accept it, and don’t punish yourself for it.

The place where the bone was broken hurts years after it was healed when the weather changes, right?

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