Healing is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha, but funny weird. You ride the roller coaster from hell, sit with your feelings, practice your healthy coping skills and work on creating your "cohesive narrative," whatever that is.
Then, one day it happens.
The beautiful, magnificient "ah!" Moment that appears as a thought or an insight... a lesson learned... a spark of joy amidst the sadness. A ray of hope for the future. This is typically what might be referred to as the Acceptance phase of the grieving process.
Granted, it's not a warm fuzzy "Gee, I'm glad that horrible thing happened in my life becuase now I'm ________ (stronger / have better boundaries/ more equipped to help others...)" feeling.
No. It's more like, "Gee, that horrible thing happened in my life and it almost took me out. I have scars to prove it. [Yes, the emotional ones count- maybe more so.] But in surviving ____________ (here's where you put in your terrible life event), I discovered that ______________ (here's where you get to celebrate your victory/ lesson / newfound strength/ etc.)!"
It's a "beauty for ashes" thing. That sounds really nice in a blog, or on a card, or as a meme, but the reality of "beauty for ashes" involves an inferno- a hell of some sort- that we survied in order to receive the beauty.
That part isn't so much fun. I get it. (sigh)
Yes, life is filled with heartache and trails. But, it is also filled with healing, hope and joy. Sometimes we have to sift through the charred debris to that happy stuff... to find meaning in our suffering... to give purpose to our pain.
But finding the treasure is worth it.
By now, you know I am a bit of a snail when it comes to healing. I'm not sure if it's an INFJ thing or an HSP thing. Wait, is "INFJ" really that different from "HSP"? Probably not.
Anyway, I do take my time in grieving. I won't say it's "a long time" because everyone grieves and heals at their own pace. It's a unique- dare I say lonely?- process. And, my time is my time.
But, when I'm done, I'm done.
How about you? Have you discovered the hidden gems of pain and sorrow? Have you found a renewed ability to persevere? A tenderness or insight for helping the broken?
I hope you have. If you have not, remember: you have not yet. Keep searching. Keep healing. Those gems are there.
We are in this human thing together, my friends! Much love.
Photo credit: http://www.powerpackedpromises.com
I’m not one of those “anything goes,” “if it feels good, do it” kind of therapists. I think to have meaningful interactions with other humans, we need to have integrity. We need to know where I end and you begin. We need to know the difference between right and wrong. We need a moral compass. This is what distinguishes us from animals- this ability to reason and think through the consequences of our actions…. how our choices impact those around us.
Trying to take morality out of the healing process doesn’t work. Where are we without a sense of who we are and what we stand for?
Honestly, this is probably why I don’t do marriage counseling. I could not sit there and listen to someone tell me about their infidelity and just be like, “Oh, that’s great, Becky. As long as you’re happy.”
I can’t do that.
Of course, I wouldn’t shame anyone. But, an exploration of choices would definitely be in order.
Here’s the thing: What are you looking for in a therapist? Someone to coddle you and approve of everything you say and do? Or, someone who challenges you, calls you to the carpet, and invites you to grow out of those old, ineffective coping skills?
That’s what I thought. Coddling doesn’t produce change. It only reinforces the negative behaviors that got us here in the first place. Real change is hard work. And it takes an honest support person (or network) who is not afraid to see you squirm- and work through your junk in a way that produces a more authentic you.
Even if that authentic you does not appreciate things like loyalty, honesty or respect. Because you see, in defining what is right and wrong for you, you have made an ethical judgement.
My immediate happiness is more important than my vow to my spouse.
Spending quality time with my kids is more important than an always-clean house.
Earning a lot of money is more important than following the law.
Conforming to my family of origin status quo is more important than speaking my truth.
Getting clear and living it out – whatever “it” is- takes hard work.
And, yes… morality.
Go be brave and strong, my friends- M
photo credit: pixabay (where else?!)
This YouTube therapist feels official. My YouTube channel got a makeover with its new custom name! Instead of ud46lfl694rlw9ej56l7 (or something like that) it's actually CanWeTalk!
If you haven't visited it yet, go check it out! www.youtube.com/canwetalk
Thank you, friends. Let's keep learning and healing together.
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda (or Mel, if you like). I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, mental health vlogger (hey! go subscribe!!) and Child & Family Therapist - not necessarily in that order (well, except the first one). If you want to see my business-y side, check out my super-professional business website.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog