“Healing isn’t a magic pill. It is permission to step back from whatever chaos is happening and see the soul of who you are. ” ~ Anonymous
As a therapist and life coach, I interact with several people every day.
Usually, I end up answering and explaining this one question and concept over and over again.
People always ask: “How much time will it take for me to become better?” “How many sessions will it take?” “Are a few sessions enough?”
And the essence of all these questions is just one: “How long does healing take?”
And that has no straightforward answer.
It does take a long time before we start figuring out that when life takes over and we are struggling to cope, it’s not about the time or speed of recovery.
Rather, it’s about getting on a journey that has no end.
That journey is a destination itself.
You’ve got to keep walking, running, falling, crawling, and getting up. There will be bumps in the road along with beautiful sights to behold.
I tell them that at the end of the day, it’s not about the number of sessions you take (or don’t take), the books you read, or the workshops you attend.
It’s about becoming you and unveiling the different layers and versions of yourself that come up when the time is right.
I have been on my healing journey for years, and I know that I too have miles to go before I sleep.
It’s the same for each one of us. Isn’t it?
I guess the essence of being a human being lies in uncovering different layers of yourself as you go along. It is about lessons and learnings.
It would be wonderful if these came without any kind of pain and suffering, but that’s not how it is or will be.
“Pain in this life is unavoidable. But the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.” ~ R.D. Laing
We all need to be pushed to the edge at times to see what we’re really capable of. When we do it ourselves, we call it being courageous. When life makes us do it, we retaliate. But we grow both ways, don’t we?
Often, a lot of time passes before we realise that we’ve healed and grown in some ways.
Sometimes it comes to us in a flash—an insight into what was and what is now, and sometimes, it comes to us indirectly.
However, there are some signs that we can begin to notice to realise that we have begun to heal:
1. We become more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours and are able to move from a reactive to a responsive space. We are able to create a distance between our thoughts, feelings, and actions to ascertain if the thoughts need to be paid attention to, emotions needs to be dwelled upon, and the action needs to be engaged in.
2. We become less judgmental of ourselves and people around us. We move from a frame of “this should be this way” to “it is what it is” and focus more on supporting ourselves with more kindness.
3. We start taking out more time for ourselves. Something that would earlier be marred with guilt, shame, and self-loathing now feels natural, normal, and much needed. This in turns leads to more self-discovery, understanding, and acceptance.
“You know those things that you just need to hear sometimes?
Like you’re doing great, it’s tough but you can do it and you’re totally, absolutely enough?
You’re allowed to say those things to yourself.” ~ Rebecca Ray
4. We begin to treat our bodies with more respect instead of constantly neglecting, disrespecting, and disregarding them. We start focussing on eating well, sleeping properly, and resting it out when needed instead of pushing ourselves like machines.
5. Instead of fitting ourselves to others moulds, we start thinking about who and what fits with us and our lives. We’re then no longer staring at our own lives from the outside but actually living them from within.
6. We begin to give importance to joy, laughter, humour, and lightness because we realise that life will get heavy every now and then and that’s why we need to lighten things up whenever we can!
7. We become genuinely grateful for what we do have instead of trying to force gratitude out of us in some half-baked attempt to cope with life.
8. We do outgrow people and relationships. As our ideas and beliefs about ourselves and people change, so do the ways in which we relate to them. Growth always involves growing into and out of something. And that is okay. Everything finds its new equilibrium eventually.
“Some people we just outgrow. Relationships might end with no real explanation as to why. And when that happens, respect that shift. Honor the growth and understand that not all roots can stay planted in the same soul forever. ~ Alex Elle
9. We begin to accept the idea that we are worthy because we exist and not because we do some things, and we allow ourselves time to let that understanding become a part of who we are—no matter how much time that takes.
And so much more happens when we step onto this healing journey of becoming who we are each and every day.
Whatever we give up or choose to move toward only brings us one step closer to our own sense of self when we’re doing it mindfully.
And the way to understand whether it’s working for you or not is not through the time taken or the speed of healing. Rather, it’s about noticing, becoming aware of how close you feel to your own self.
That can’t really be assessed; it can only be felt.
“The process of healing doesn’t end when the wounds are no longer visible. It ends when the wounds no longer ache.” ~ Anonymous