Clean Up On Aisle 5, bring a few mops, this is a messy one.
No matter who you are, at some point in your life, you’re going to encounter a traumatic situation that requires you to put on your body armour and fight the battle of all battles: healing yourself.
The death of a loved one, an unexpected illness of your own, a spouse being sick, assault, emotional wounds, a familial cold war, abandonment, divorce.
From a personal standpoint, I can say that as time goes by, things do get easier but the process is a foul one and comes in ebbs and flows. Healing is like an onion; a snake shedding its skin. Just when you think you’ve gotten yourself to a safe point and you feel great, hunker down, here comes another wave that is going to try to drown you.
I promise you won’t drown. Why? Because what do you do when someone holds you down under water? You fight for your life.
I’d prefer healing to look a little like grabbing some sutures (I’ve had plenty of those in my life and the scars to prove it, as my brother said, I was “unathletic”, but like healing, look at me now), closing the wound that was inflicted onto me, adding some mederma or a silicone sheet, grabbing a coffee and a massage while I pray and hope for a pretty scar. If it were that easy, most people would do it; they’d heal themselves. But because healing is hard, most don’t, and this is how paradigms begin. It’s a process that people don’t want to embark on. Feeling hurts. Letting the air and light touch the wound is like pouring gasoline on a fire; the worst part? You never know when the fire will finally be under control or if it will reignite.
Healing is hard. Personally, grieving from a divorce, is extremely hard. Ending a 10 year relationship and a 5 1/2 year marriage, I only partially knew what I was in for. I specifically knew that a part of my journey was going to have to be walked alone during the separation/divorce process, before committing to something new, considering emotional unavailability and an Elmer’s glued together heart. I had to commit to myself.
It wouldn’t be fair to myself or another human if I didn’t heal my emotional wounds and honor the third of my life that once was; it wouldn’t be fair to carry that energy with me. It takes an exorbitant amount of strength to walk into healing knowing how much it is going to hurt but, I knew I’d rather do the work now, than have it affect me later/affect a future relationship.
Healing was physical illness, sleeping for hours on end, anger, sadness, questioning, replaying scenarios, anxiety, spells of depression, headaches and, in my case, running miles and miles without realizing how far I actually ran.
Oh, I am in New York? Better turn around…
All while looking perfectly put together.
And once you pass a certain point, it doesn’t mean that you won’t face that point again. Hell, I faced one of those points today.
“Hello, 911, yes, I just had a meltdown, please deliver an almond milk latte.”
So, you want to know who wants to go through that?
Nobody, but I promise, there’s a silver lining.
If you don’t feel the pain, and mask the suffering, you’re going to forever be making love to your ego. But like any new “relationship,” in this case, the mask and the pain, limerence only lasts 12-18 months before it fades, so get ready. There’s no ignoring it, out working it, out drinking it, out smoking it, out running it (I tried), out lifting it (I tried again, I only wound up with really nice shoulders), out dating it or out sexing it. You’ll only be an emotional carcass.
With that, there’s no time limit on healing or grieving which is even scarier (nervous laugh), but there are ways to aid the healing process:
- Music helps heal. For a long time I couldn’t listen to specific songs, with good reason, but what I could listen to was lots of fun music. There have been lots of one man dance parties, rap battles and karaoke sessions, in my house, and in my car. At this point I think I am Beyoncé and I am also my own back up dancer. My favorite band, Coldplay, also saved many of my days.
One of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite concerts.
No wonder I end my long runs with this one so often.
2. Work on self-love. It’s not just going to get a mani-pedi, having a spa day or posting that selfie with the great lighting. It’s admitting you’re in pain. It’s ugly ass crying when you need to and eating a pint of ice cream when necessary. Then crying about eating that pint of ice cream but then letting it go. Personally, I am grateful that my self love and self worth never deteriorated; it only got stronger. I will tell you this, loving yourself is the greatest revolution. It will also scare the shit out of and intimidate other people. Let it.
- Which is where I’ve also found my power, see above.
4. Therapy. I can’t even begin to explain the power of a great therapist.
5. It’s setting boundaries and not letting people violate them. It’s communicating even when it’s hard or you’re going to burn things to the ground.
6. You WILL lose friends. They’ll ghost. Rejection can multiply, but that’s okay, it’s not you! This is the time to cultivate new relationships. Supportive relationships.
- It’s breaking that fracture completely, so you can put yourself back together. I’ve found other parts of myself that needed to be healed once I dug deeper and deeper. It’s a domino effect. Ie: “I am this way because that happened when I was 8, so let me heal that part of myself and work on that piece of yuck, so I can work my way up the ladder and stop that pattern.”
It is finally listening to those hard to listen to songs, going to those restaurants you once went to, and remembering it wasn’t all bad. A lot was actually great. It’s honoring that you are who you are because of your past and being grateful for the future (hey, what’s up, hello, manifesting).
Love more and forgive. Sounds ridiculous, right? Love and forgiveness actually heals. Don’t believe me? Try it.
10. Healing is learning. I promised there was a silver lining. It’s a tremendous growth opportunity once you start doing the work. And with growth, you’ll find yourself exactly in the place you’re supposed to be, with a new mindset, a new blueprint of yourself, a better you. I always say, I work on me, I take care of me, for me, to be a better me, because when I am a better me, I am better for everyone else. And if you’re asking, I wouldn’t sign up for this, but I would do this all over again, if necessary, knowing how much it changed me.
All of my deepest love and healing energies,