When It Comes to Healing, Your Pace is Your Pace
I caught myself reliving my past. Trying to rush back to “normal.”
Just as I had suppressed the magnitude of my initial tumor diagnosis four years prior in favor of continuing on with life as usual, I noticed myself trapped by similar coping mechanisms when chemo treatments came to a happy, abrupt end.
It was time to “move on” and “get back to life” as I once knew it. At least, that is what the world seemed to have to say about it. But life as I knew it had forever changed. Slowly, I recognized that while my body had healed, there were other parts of my story where healing had just begun. Over the last year, as I’ve walked toward healing, I’ve discovered that when it comes to healing, your pace is your pace.When it comes to healing, your pace is your pace. Click To Tweet
Allowing Healing to Begin
The end of a chapter is often the place healing begins. While the end of the chapter may not signal the end of the journey, there are notable markers within its pages that allow healing to commence.
As the chapter of monthly chemo infusions closed, it opened up the opportunity for healing of my mind, body, and soul.
Maybe a chapter has recently closed for you and you are about to walk the path toward healing. Maybe you’re already on the journey. Or maybe you are still within the messy middle and a bit too overwhelmed by it all at the moment. When you’re ready, you’ll know.
While the healing process will look different for each of us, knowing we aren’t alone in our struggles goes a long way. So today, I’m opening up about some of the things I’ve discovered as I walk toward healing. In the comments, I’d love to know what you’ve learned within your own journey.
Healing Takes Time—And It Needn’t Be Rushed
We usually understand that physical healing takes time. We’ve all experienced a scrape and know it isn’t going to be mended come morning. A scar may form in its place—evidence of what was. While physical healing is apparent and often easy to recognize through renewed energy, more strength, that scar line beginning to fade—the healing of our hearts is more subtle.
The first time a date passes on the calendar and we forget the significance it once used to hold; the lack of urgency to answer the unknown number just in case it’s important news. The healing of our soul is subtle work.
Physical healing reminds us that all healing takes time—and it needn’t be rushed. The same is true for soul work. It’s a process. If you feel like you should be farther along, or feeling better than you do, remember that your pace is your pace. As Emily P. Freeman says, “there is no such thing as behind.”
Space and Time Offer Clarity
We gain the capacity to process clearly with space and time.
When chemo ended, I thought life would begin to shift back to “normal,” but it didn’t turn out that way. With time and space, I uncovered that I had more capacity to process after-the-fact. With my body no longer using so much energy to simply keep going, I had more room to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally from all my body had endured.
With space and time, I acknowledged that within the messiest parts of my story, it was difficult to clearly see—to maintain a level perspective as I lived through it. Space and time gave me a different lens through which to process.
True healing began when I spent time reflecting on all I had been through with a newfound appreciation for what I had missed. With space and time, we can better make sense of some of our actions and reactions that can be difficult to define at the moment.
Feel What You Feel
There is no need to discount or suppress emotions that arise while healing.
Often, it felt easier to withhold my feelings, but over time I’ve come to appreciate that the only way through is through. There are no shortcuts when it comes to healing.
If you are in the messy middle, you may consider writing down your right-now thoughts. Reflecting helped me to see the truth for what it was. It’s not always easy to write down the pain we feel and the deepest desires of our hearts within the mess, but it can help as we heal down the road.
Honor Significant Days
As we begin to heal, we recognize that certain days naturally tend to hold more significance than others.
The days’ new milestones are celebrated and the days’ sorrow is felt over what no longer holds true.
The days you receive unexpected good news and the days you hear the news you never wanted to hear.
Certain days lend to feelings of elation, while others lend to feelings of grief. Most days hold both.
On these noteworthy days, it’s good to sit with what was and what is. To feel the things we’ve lost and to recognize the things we’ve gained.
Down the road, that day—the one you used to think held so much—might not feel so significant anymore. And that might just mean a little more healing has taken place.
As we deal with our own struggles within the unexpected, in our daily lives, it can seem like everyone else has moved on while we feel stuck. We harbor the desire to “get over it” and “move on with life,” but the reality is, we have healing to do and healing takes time. Go at your own pace.