Healing your mind is not the same thing as healing your body. When you’re wounded, you often go through a progressive, linear repair. You get better, until one day, you are nearly back to where you were before.
Healing your mind is completely different, because you aren’t returning to what you were before. You are gutting yourself and becoming someone entirely new.
If that seems a little bit violent and harsh, it should. Healing is not a lovely ascension into comfort and wellness to be experienced once and forevermore. Healing yourself is the most uncomfortable, disruptive, important thing you will ever do.
Healing yourself is returning to your most natural state, which is hungry for personal freedom, irreverent to the suffocating opinions of others, creates without doubt, shows up without fear, and loves without stipulations and agreements and conditions. Who you truly are is at once the best version of yourself you might not have ever imagined, and the most essential version of yourself that you have always been.
And getting to that place? It requires a lot.
Healing requires you to take an honest inventory of your grudges and aggressions and the wells of longing and fear you’ve been ignoring all this time. It requires you to take stock of exactly, precisely what is wrong with your life, so you can work to make it right. It requires you to be completely honest about how you really feel, and then it requires you to actually feel it.
Healing requires you to feel the deep heartache lingering in you, instead of subconsciously re-creating the experience so you have an outlet to release it. Healing is no longer trying to sanitize your experience, to cleanse it until it is made perfect. Healing requires you to go through the full expression of every emotion that you cut off and buried when you decided you were no longer comfortable with it. Healing requires you to face every ounce of darkness within you, because just beneath what appears to be an impermeable barrier is complete, radical, total freedom. When you are no longer scared to feel anything, when you no longer resist any one part of your life, something magical happens: you find peace.
Let’s be clear: you are not going to suffer forever. This is not going to hurt for long. But to trick yourself into thinking that healing is just getting progressively better until you have unraveled all of your past experiences and can return to the version of yourself you were before you got hurt… well, that is to miss the point entirely.
We are meant to go through these periods of what some refer to as positive disintegration. It is when we must adapt our self-concept to become someone who can handle, if not thrive, in the situation that we are in.
This is healthy. This is normal. This is how we are supposed to respond.
But we cower, because it will be uncomfortable. It will not immediately give us the virtues of what we are taught is a worthwhile life: comfort and ease and the illusion that everything is just perfect on the surface.
Healing is not just what makes us feel better the fastest. It is building the right life, slowly, and over time. It is greeting ourselves at the reckoning, admitting where we’ve faltered. It is going back and resolving our mistakes, and going back within ourselves and resolving the anger and fear and small-mindedness that got us there in the first place.
Healing is refusing to tolerate the discomfort of change because you refuse to tolerate mediocrity for one second longer. The truth is that there is no way to escape discomfort, it finds us wherever we are. But we are either going to feel uneasy pushing past our self-imposed limits, breaking boundaries and becoming who we dream of being, or we’re going to feel it as we sit and mull over fears we fabricated to justify why we refuse to stand up and begin.
Healing is going to be hard at first. It is going to mean looking at yourself honestly, maybe for the first time ever. It is going to mean stepping out of your comfort zone so you can leap toward the person you want to be. It is not what makes you more comfortable and idle. It is what conditions you to be more motivated by discomfort than you are scared of it, and more inspired by your still moments than you use them to forge the chains of worry. Healing is going to change everything, but it has to start with you being willing to feel what you are afraid to feel.
Let’s be clear about something: becoming the best version of yourself is your natural inheritance. It is what you are born to do. Healing is just releasing the sickness that is the limiting beliefs and fears that are holding you back from doing exactly that.