We hear the word “healing” so often in life. In the doctor’s office, on the therapist’s couch, in the spiritual community. Healing can be seen by a surgeon cutting us open or felt by a child whose mother kisses his skinned knee. We know our bodies, minds, and souls can heal from many things in life. But what is healing really?
Healing is messy, as well as beautiful. It is heart wrenching and uncomfortable. Healing takes courage and strength. Healing is moving from feeling like a victim to knowing we are a survivor. Healing is finding our voice, even after it was stuffed down for so many years.
Healing is taking a risk to change jobs, move, or stand up to the person who has been bullying us, no matter how afraid we feel. Healing is reliving our worst nightmare and taking a stab at our grandest daydream. Healing is facing our demons and feeling what it brings up for us. Healing is walking away from a relationship that hurts us, no matter how much we still love them.
Healing is going to the store for a gallon of milk and having a meltdown because the size we want is not available. Healing is also realizing that a half gallon would have been fine under normal circumstances. Healing is looking inward at ourselves and asking: What makes us happy? What can we do better? How do we really feel?
Healing is doing what we came here to do in this life, no matter how distracting life becomes. Healing is following our gut and pushing through our doubt and fear. Healing is changing the way we have always thought because it simply is not working anymore. Healing is taking care of ourselves and giving yourself what we need for the first time. Healing is saying yes to what we want and no to what we don’t. Healing is taking a chance and asking someone to be there for us, risking rejection.
Healing is asking for that raise, knowing we are worth more. Healing is knowing we will find strength in overcoming adversity. Healing is doing as we say. Healing is putting down that drink, or other addiction that is wreaking havoc on our life and asking for help in doing so.
Healing is walking through vulnerability and showing our true self to the world. Healing is knowing the shame that comes from this raw exposure is temporary and we can do it all again. Healing is putting away our technology and looking into the eye of the person sitting across from us. Healing is simply being alive.
Healing is not reacting to another who triggers us on social media, nor blindly following a politician who is leading us astray. Healing is no longer separating the message from the messenger, knowing this never works. Healing is addressing someone’s character even if it affects your bottom line.
Healing is putting away those negative thoughts, the ones that come time and again, because they are not who we really are. Healing is doing something different than we did the day before. Healing is cursing, screaming, running, journaling, walking, painting, gardening, noticing, exploring, meditating, listening, adoring, and inviting.
Healing is learning something new, even if we are afraid to fail. Healing is making a mistake, losing our job, or experiencing divorce, death, illness, or injury. Healing is seeing our anxiety as trying to reveal something to us that we have stuffed down and understanding our depression is the space we are given to breathe, feel, and change our thinking, our behavior, and our life. Healing is addressing our past and choosing our future.
Healing is moving one inch to the left and seeing the bigger picture of a traumatic event. Healing is forgiving ourselves and others when we are ready. Healing is showing up at court and doing our community service. Healing is taking a class at 60 years old and taking time off before college at 18.
Healing is breathing, sleeping, smiling, laughing, and loving. Healing is a bear hug when we feel like frightened fawn. Healing is speaking the truth, finding our voice, and calling out injustice for what it is. Healing is knowing we are not our zip code, the numbers in our bank account, or our children’s achievements.
Healing is saying no to a tyrant, a racist, a perpetrator, a bully, or a dictator for someone who does not have the courage or strength to speak out for themselves. Healing is manning up when we are caught and finding the courage to admit to unconscious behavior even when it affects your popularity, pocketbook, or freedom. Healing is recognizing an agent of change, no matter what it looks, acts, or seems to be.
Healing is protecting our children at all costs from unclean conditions, dirty water, abuse, neglect, and harm. Healing is hearing the screams within the sounds of silence. Healing is taking risks to believe the first victim that comes forward, not waiting for more to corroborate the story.
Healing is nonviolent protests and open conversations across cities, states, countries, and continents. Healing is entertaining another viewpoint for the sake of respect. Healing is no longer putting entertainers, politicians, musicians, the wealthy, the white, or the educated, above the law and on pedestals.
Healing is knowing that nothing is wrong or right in our life, but everything is here to help us.
Nothing is a coincidence, and we are never alone. To take in the beauty of a flower and the movement of a poem is to know healing. There is a bigger picture, and healing is stopping for a moment each day to look just below the surface, knowing that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves.
Healing happens every moment we choose to live from our soul and to become guided by our heart. Life will always lead us where we need to be. We never have to look too far for healing.