What they don’t tell you about healing is that it isn’t peaceful.
What they don’t tell you is that healing is not a linear progression in which you gradually feel lighter and better. It is not a process of going upward, but inward, to the root of what’s wrong.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that at some point or another, you are going to have to feel what you are afraid to feel. You are going to have to reach into the core of the fear, the disappointment, and the shame, and you are going to have to learn to sit with it. It is this willingness to be present with it, rather than rationalize your way out of it, that will heal you — and nothing else.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that you are going to have to be willing to see yourself in an honest light. You are going to have to confront your biases, your prejudices, and your limited beliefs. You are going to have to stop doing the one singular thing that your brain is designed to do, which is to affirm your choices. You are going to have to take accountability. You are going to have to be objective.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that you’re going to have to change, sometimes drastically. Because at the root of almost every single one of our ongoing discomforts is a need to change, and an unwillingness to do so. Maybe it’s a matter of leaving a relationship, or staying and working through the thick of it, which is just as hard. Maybe it’s a matter of learning to be grateful and appreciative, and maybe it’s a matter of uprooting everything you’ve built and trying again, because you’re not quite the person you want to be yet.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that you’re going to very often have to do the thing you are most afraid of. You are going to have to learn to be independent, to carve your own course in life, to stand up for yourself, to no longer prioritize other people’s opinions above your own. You are going to have to be willing to be disliked, to be honest, to have hard conversations.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that we are not supposed to feel down and out all of the time. We are not supposed to feel anxious or upset, and when we do, it is because something isn’t right. Sometimes, that something is our chemistry, or our neurobiology. More often, it’s our mindset, it’s our choices, it’s our behaviors, it’s our decisions, and it’s how we learn to process what we didn’t do right and how we move forward in a healthier way.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that it’s a holistic thing. It’s your whole, entire life. It’s what you eat and how much you exercise and who you speak to and what company you keep and how clean your home is. Not one of those things will heal you completely, but the combination of them, along with real, sincere help… that will.
See, the thing is, nobody wants to hear that part. Nobody wants to hear the part where they have to take responsibility for what’s happening in their lives, even if, and perhaps most especially, it wasn’t their fault in the first place. It’s still your problem. It’s still yours to navigate.
What they don’t tell you about healing is that it requires discomfort, and a lot of it. It requires hearing hard truths and harder realities. It means that you’re no longer going to tolerate sitting in lukewarm, mild discomfort, and you’re tired of living halfway because you’re afraid to give it all you’ve got. It’s crying, it’s shaking with rage, it’s feeling everything you’ve built an entire life trying to avoid.
It’s going there, and then, it’s being freed.