What Is The First Step In Healing?
What do you need to do to get better?
by Wendy Keller, author, warrior and survivor
This morning, a 73 year old doctor in Tampa Bay, Florida shot himself. Today was his 38th wedding anniversary. He was accused of recklessly driving his speedboat and killing four teenage boys in 1989. Although he was acquitted, he never really got over it.
This morning, I met with a friend, age 64, who told me bitterly she’d stopped talking to her father. They’ve had so many arguments in the years I’ve known her! In their last scene, she said she told him, “I’m a grown up now! You can’t keep hurting me like you did when I was 12!” I don’t know for sure, but I can fill in the blanks on that one and so can you. My friend has recently lost 80 lbs and she has another 60 to go. Whatever happened back then, she never really got over it.
One of the drivers of the car in which I was passenger when both my children were killed blames himself for the accident to such an extent that his whole life has been mangled and wrought with emotional pain from that day to this. More than 20 years. He never really got over it.
What about you?
Do you have some secret pain, some traumatic memory, some inner anguish that you strive to hide from the world? Is there a monster inside you, jabbing at you and never letting you forget what happened?
Healing from serious issues can be a long, difficult process. At least, that’s how it has been for me. But unless we continue to work towards healing, toward bringing the dark into the light and letting it heal, we will end up like the people above — ending our lives too early; destroying our physical well-being; mangling our futures with self-recrimination.
The journey to wellness – not the kind you fake so other people think you’re OK now – requires a lot of courage. It’s going to be hard, but get this: it won’t be as hard as you think. And it will not require you to suffer as much as you suspect it might. I promise!
The first step in healing is deceptively simple: Decide that’s what you want to do.
Only you know the answer about whether you really want to revisit the past, dig it up and heal it so it doesn’t keep on screwing with your current life. If you don’t, you’ll end up with the life similar to the people above. I’m not suggesting you rush off to confront people who’ve hurt you. I’m not actually suggesting you rush off and DO anything. Healing the soul is as gentle and slow as healing the body. You can’t look at the cut on your finger and simply acknowledge you have a cut, then order it to heal instantly. You might have to tend to it a little. It will cause you pain (although not as much as the original injury.) You don’t have to relive and talk endlessly about your trauma to heal it. Although it would be VERY helpful to see a therapist or a clergy person, even that isn’t mandatory.
Give yourself a moment of silence today and just ask this in the midst of your own stillness:
Do I want to keep living with this inside me or is it time to begin healing?
Wendy Keller writes and speaks about healing, inner strength and surviving. People have applauded, thankful and blessed by her hourlong webinars. Join them here: Stop Hurting and Start Healing