Today I want to talk about how we unintentionally hurt ourselves when we commit to our healing process.
With the total explosion of social media into nearly every aspect of our lives, we have even more ways to compare oursevles to others. We compare our bodies, our eating habits, and our exercise habits. We especially seem to compare our healing journeys. We often turn to social media to find support.
Nowadays, people are more open than ever about what they are doing to heal. They share things that have helped them anchor into (and love) themselves- journaling, affirmations, retreats, diets, reboots, immersive experiences, etc.
This is both good and bad. It’s great that people are prioritizing self-care and healing. It’s inspiriting that people want to help. However, the downside to all of this is that it is insanely easy to find even a few people who are doing what you want, the way you think it needs to happen, and you end up comparing your healing journey to someone else’s.
Healing. Is. Not. Linear.
Healing isn’t 1+1=2. It’s not x,y, and z = peace. There is no checklist for healing or dealing with your emotions. You cannot organize your way out of trauma, situational depression, or anything else.
Healing is messy and hard. It’s a whirlwind and a roller coaster. It’s bawling your eyes out, punching your pillow, and facing bitter truths about why you do things the way you do them- because you finally realized where a behavior started. Most of our reactions and how we handle things started because of someone else, and that’s a helpful thing to realize, but connecting those dots can be challenging.
Do not put expectations on yourself when you set out to heal- physically, emotionally, both, or something in between. You do yourself, and your future, a disservice when you go into this process trying to control it, trying to do it the way you’ve seen other people do it.
Healing is a lot like tending to a neglected garden. You first have to get your hands dirty- you have to get dirt under your nails and encounter all manner of gross things. You have to rip out the weeds by the root and put blood, sweat, and tears into getting that neglected garden (yourself) into a brand new clean slate.
Then you have to plant beautiful new things, water them, and watch them thrive. You have to trim and tend.
When you’re choosing to start on a healing journey, especially if you’re seeking to heal old wounds and trauma, go into the process ready to be completely open to whatever happens. Be open to the mess, the dirt, and the wretched sobs that will come. Let it all come out. Be patient as you open doors you haven’t opened in a while, and let things come as they will.
There is no fast track. There is no perfection to be found in healing. There is beauty, remarkable revelations, and finding yourself again. This is how you learn to love yourself.
To find true healing, you have to let go of controlling the process. It’s different for every single person. So if you’re starting on a healing journey, or you’ve been on it a while, remember that you only need to worry about what works for you. Don’t compare yourself to other people and what they’re doing. Healing is an organic process.
Learn to enjoy the mess and the ride. Learn to love yourself.
You can do this!