It’s always difficult to go deep in writing, especially when it’s a topic of incredible pain and sensitivity. The healing process is long and arduous. However, that first tentative step toward wholeness requires that we see our broken places without justification or prejudice.
We cannot heal without the acknowledgement that we’re broken in the first place.
It’s the tearing off of the bandage from our wounds. It’s the strength to see our wounds for what they are: broken places.
There are those fear-filled people who will try to keep us down, press their thumb upon us because they don’t want us to heal. It’s a frightening process. We’ve been broken for so long, we fear we won’t know who we are if we change. That we won’t recognize ourselves in the mirror. Why do others fear our healing? Because they identify with our wounds and are too afraid to look that closely at them or try to fix themselves. They might not know how, or their fear might be in control of their thoughts and feelings.
BEING BROKEN IS NOT WRONG
We’re all broken in our own ways. Some recognize it and are willing to do the heavy inner lifting required to strive toward wholeness. And be sure, it’s hard work. Perhaps the hardest work we’ll ever do in our lives.
“People that have trust issues only need to look in the mirror. There they will meet the one person that will betray them the most.” ― Shannon L. Alder
The first step is to allow the idea that we’re broken to motivate us. Not toward laziness and forgetting, but toward staring those wounds straight on and saying, “I see you.” We must name our broken pieces so that they become real and not some abstract concept that languishes forever inside us.
The second step is perhaps the more difficult. It’s the moment you stare yourself in the eyes and say, “I love you.” Not a fake-it-till-you-make-it statement, but said with meaning and Truth. And then you actually have to believe it. This is where many stumble and crawl back to their inner darkness to hide.
Perhaps as children we were told we are worthless, not worth a single kindness. These damaging types of statements take many forms. We don’t need to forgive those who make such statements. Not yet. First we must forgive ourselves, because we feel that we somehow deserved those verbal arrows aimed at our hearts, at our fragile minds. That’s how our child-minds takes ownership of such vitriol. And that inner child does not heal on his or her own. They await a hand of friendship and love to help them heal, or our adult selves cannot move on.
It’s a process, and it surely doesn’t happen in a day, or a week, or even a year. I’ve been focused on healing since I first acknowledged the brokenness in 1997. Someday, I told myself. I don’t have time right now. I’m too busy. I’m too distracted.
Do you recognize the voice of FEAR convincing you not to act? Have you said those same things to yourself?
Fear is a mind killer. It numbs us and keeps us from acting in our own best interests. It took me since 1997 until 2017 to begin feeling that I have healed some of my most broken places.
Can I tell you what it feels like to finally begin feeling whole? Oh, I know I’m a work in progress. We all are. But we must honor our process. It’s different for every single person on this beautiful planet we live on.
HOW DO WE KNOW WE’RE HEALING?
It’s when we no longer try to hide our brokenness, because we know we’re working on it. It’s when we can look our naysayers in the eye with kindness and gratitude because we understand where they are on their path, and what they must eventually go through when they acknowledge their own brokenness. It’s difficult to have patience with them, because we’ve come so far ourselves. However, it’s not up to us to fix them. Our kindest gesture is to recognize their brokenness and not condemn them for it.
It’s when we accept responsibility for our brokenness despite the fact that it’s not our fault. We can take ownership without breaking even further.
It’s when you recognize FEAR as your nemesis and set out to wrest control away from it.
It’s when you can stand up in front of your peers or your friends or your family and state: I know where I went off the path, and I now know how to get back on. I was once afraid of your judgment and lack of understanding. Now I know that judgment is a fear-based action, and lack of understanding is merely because I have not been able to look you in the eye and admit that I’m broken. I’m working as hard as I can to heal.
It’s when you can look yourself in the eye and say, I love you, and mean it. Once you’re able to do that, nothing and no one can push you off your Path, or judge your Truth.
DON’T DO IT ALONE
There are so many ways in which we can get help if we feel unable to help ourselves. Asking for help is not weakness, but shows more courage and commitment than any other kindness you can show to yourself.
I sought help when I was at my lowest, calling a national crisis line because I wanted everything — including my life — to just go away. I was placed on a psych-eval hold in a hospital, then transferred to an in-patient facility. I rebelled against it with everything I had. It took more than a week to understand that it was not a punishment, but a lifesaving resource. By the time I left that place, I knew I could do it, I could heal without resorting to histrionics or suicidal ideation. While there, I got the therapy and the medications I needed to start the steepest climb, the hardest part. Today, I’m off the medications, and well on my way to getting back on my Path, to recognizing my Truth.
Most of all, I love myself more than I’ve ever been able to. That’s a long time to go without. But — and this I promise you — it’s never to late to begin. Right now. Right where you are. There is no plan, no rules. Imagine what it will feel like when you’re healing. Imagine what it feels like when fear is no longer your taskmaster, cracking that mental whip.
It’s a worthy goal. The payoff is tremendous.