Healing Is Not A Full-Time Job

July 28, 2020 Laura Gouge

⁣Nobody can be “on” 24/7–that includes grief, chronic health issues, and emotional healing. It’s a dance. This applies whether you are dealing with death of a loved one, personal illness, a breakup, or any other stressful or traumatic life transition. On one side we are turning towards the pain, being with our feelings, and showing up for ourselves. On the other there is healthy distraction, rest, and consciously choosing our coping strategies. We need both.⁣
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It is true–you have to feel it to heal it.⁣ But remember that nobody can be healing all day every day.⁣ ⁣
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Healing is e x h a u s t i n g. It sucks up all of our available energy and leaves us with very little resource or reserve.⁣
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My strategy:
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1. Make conscious time to be with difficult feelings. Create ways to be with it, whatever that looks like. Sometimes this is time with a therapist or scheduling a conversation with a close friend. If I’m by myself, it usually looks like setting a timer, laying down, and allowing myself to just BE WITH IT. When the feelings are extra big, sometimes its just leaning into the painful sensation throughout the day while I’m still attending to daily life. ⁣⁣
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2. Make conscious time for healthy distraction. Watch movies, spend time with friends, talk on the phone, clean, make art—our minds need to rest. We rest most easily there is something else to occupy it. ⁣⁣
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It is both very normal and very human for us to default to numbness. Reaching for an extra glass of wine, drugs, more TV, laying in bed for hours, leaning into drama or unhealthy relationships. When that starts to happen bring awareness back and ask if there something that needs to be felt? ⁣⁣
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Practice and repeat the strategies above and the pain will begin to soften. Time definitely doesn’t heal if we just bury it under the rug and move on. It’s a process of turning towards, resting, & repeating.

 

{Art by Kika Fuenzalida}

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