We talk a lot about processing and healing deep traumas, and dealing with the cycles of negative actions and reactions in which they trap us. Every article on healing that we read seems to sterilize the process, making it neat and clean. It's not. Healing is often messy, it’s loud, it involves tears, anger, fear and digging at those deep-seated insecurities until it hurts so badly we feel like we can’t go on. Healing takes courage and tenacity, as well as a lot of love and support from those around us.
How do we do that work? The short answer is – whatever way works for us. People offer lots of helpful advice about meditation, journaling, tarot cards and counseling. The truth is that there is no one way that works for everyone. Our healing process is as individual as we all are. The key to healing is simply to embrace the reality that we can be healed, that we can be and deserve to be whole, happy, and deeply in love with ourselves.
The one question I am asked the most is “where do I start?”. The process starts with the courage and willingness to start. After that, it’s a matter of simply trusting your intuition to bring to you those deeply painful episodes from your past that you have been hiding from. It could come in the form of a memory resurfacing, an innocent question from a friend, or something you may read, or hear in the background of a normal day. When this happens we have two choices; we can get angry and slam that door closed, hiding from the memory, insulating us from the pain. Or we can face it with courage, unpack it, relive the emotions attached to it and allow ourselves to process those feelings.
After the emotional storm passes, we then begin the work of forgiving. Not the other people involved, they are not the ones that need healing, we are. Now we begin the work of forgiving ourselves for allowing ourselves to be in that situation in the first place. If we are entirely honest, we are able to say, “I did the best I was capable of at that time.” With that admission we acknowledge that there is no blame to be placed; all that needs to happen is to open our arms to that younger version of ourselves. Pulling them in close and reassuring them that they are loved, they are perfect, and they deserve every good thing that will come to them with this healing.
Whether or not we choose to journal this, or speak to someone else about it, or any of the other million pieces of well-meant advice that comes our way really does not matter. Working through our traumas and putting them to rest is something that only we can do, and it is something that we will do for the rest of our lives. Forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness, is an ongoing thing. That means that only we can find the method that works best for us.