There are many types of situations that require some form of healing. Breakups, fights with friends, the loss of a loved one, experiences of abuse, just to name a few… Although these situations differ incredibly, each one brings us to a state of need, and that is the need for healing.
Healing is often thought of as something that comes with time. “Time heals all wounds” is the common statement that others use to comfort those in need of healing. While time can produce the ability to process information, accept circumstances, and restore the natural sense of hope, it does not simply heal our wounds. The healing process is much more complex than watching the time tick on a clock. It involves purpose-mindedness and intentional growth from the individual who requires healing.
Healing is synonymous with being restored, being renewed, being set free, so I would not consider these to be the steps of the healing process. Instead, the process looks a bit more like this.
- Processing the Information
Once the experience has occurred, the information has to be processed. This occurs naturally, in some form or fashion. Processing happens almost immediately, but sometimes, our minds do not process things correctly, which requires us to need a little extra care. Processing can happen through journaling about the experience or talking with someone about what happened. Time is a part of processing the situation, and sometimes it takes a lot of time to fully understand the situation from more than one perspective. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to accept someone else’s perspective; it just means that you are able to acknowledge more than one perspective.
- Accepting the Situation
This is often the most uncomfortable part of the healing process., and there are always several factors to consider and accept. For example: You have to accept that the situation already occurred, and you can’t go back to change it. You also have to accept that there are consequences, and trust me, there are always consequences. Because of this, you have to accept your consequences. This can be tough, especially when you don’t want there to be consequences or maybe you just completely and entirely reject those consequences… You have to face them, whether you want to or not.
I can relate to the rejection of consequences on such a personal level. I had a situation that I refused to deal with for years. I accepted that the situation occurred, I believed the other person needed to deal with their consequences, but I refused any responsibility to deal with my consequences. I didn’t think it was fair that I had to (1) experience the situation AND (2) deal with the consequences. But…. I had to learn that healing could not happen until I accepted the responsibility of dealing with the consequences of that situation.
The last thing that you have to accept is that you cannot control the situation. This goes along with the first thing I mentioned about not being able to go back and change something. Well, you can’t control what happened, but you can control the effects that you allow it to have on you. When you accept that you are now in control of that situation and how it affects your life from this point forward, then you are ready for the next step.
- Choosing to Heal
Once you get to this point, the most difficult work is out of the picture. Yes, you read that correctly, “Work.” The healing process is work, hard work. This process requires a lot from the one who has been hurt. It asks that you take the responsibility to choose whether or not you want to “be better” rather than remaining hurt or broken. The last step in this process, though, is to make the choice to heal. Of course, you can want to be better or want to no longer be sad, but that is not “Choosing to heal”. When you choose to heal, you choose to take the processed information that you have accepted as a fact and let it be just that, a fact. It’s a piece of your history, or for us girls, our “herstory”. When we shift our perspective to see these experiences as things in our past, the door for healing is opened, and we are now able to walk through and experience restoration and renewal.
Healing is easier said than done. It is something that most people only wish for and never experience. Time does not heal all wounds. The process of understanding situations, accepting our responsibility, and choosing to heal is what heals our wounds.