Healing is teaching me that it is okay, it is okay to sit with my feelings, whether they’re good or bad or otherwise. It is okay to wake up in the morning and feel tired even though I have slept, and it is okay to be excited when life is exciting. Healing in its entirety has taught me to look at life and understand that nothing is perfect, even though I want everything to be perfect. I have learned to be forgiving; I have also realised that everyone struggles; not one person is without their demons. I realise now that I’m not the only one who is healing; so many of us have spent our lives at war with ourselves, which means I need to be kinder to them and myself. Recovery means understanding that others are healing just like me. In the world we live in today, we have a significant advantage of finding safe spaces, where there are people equipped with the knowledge we need to heal ourselves and take that healing into the world in which we live. The point of recovery is not just to heal ourselves; it is to share wisdom with those around us.
One of the first things I did when I began this journey was give in to honesty; I had to tell the truth about where I struggled, what I needed, and what I’ve done. I had to accept that I had felt pain. I had to acknowledge that I had hurt others so that I didn’t feel pain alone. “Misery loves company”, that’s what they say, don’t they? It’s funny; I heard those words spoken by adults when I was a child, and I had no idea what that meant until I started seeking healing. The process of seeking and working on recovery were two different things in my life, but now they’re the same. I’ve realised that life in itself is a journey of healing, and this journey is never-ending.
I’m not the only one responsible for what was happening, but I do believe that because I didn’t know how to deal with what was happening inside of me, I was a massive contributor to the unrest in our home. I didn’t know how to communicate in an always thoughtful way, even though that was what I wanted to do. I wanted a home full of love, I wanted children who laughed all the time, I wanted a husband who was happy to be at home, and I wanted to be satisfied with everything that I had. Because I felt undeserving, I always felt like I had to earn everything, including the love I had been receiving, but I didn’t know how to accept it without feeling like I had not paid my dues. This wasn’t because my husband wasn’t loving, or our children were spoiled brats. This came from somewhere else deep inside of me, and that worthlessness had been there a long time. It was a part of me, and the time had come for me to let that part go.
I thought I was shielding our children from what I was experiencing. I thought I hid it well; it turns out they knew, and because I couldn’t be honest about what was going on with me, I couldn’t provide a safe place for them to express themselves, nor had I equipped them with the understanding of what they were experiencing. They struggled to feel secure enough to let me in; I knew that the environment in which we lived had to change. If life didn’t unfold the way it did, I would have kept missing the signs, and I would never have stood up for myself and, in turn, for them. I’m not healing alone, my husband has walked this road with me, and he is recovering from the things that were pulling him down. He is finally free from the burden of pulling me up when I am on the ground. I am now able to stand next to him and watch him soar. This release in itself was both liberating and rewarding. Our children have taken the authority they have over their lives and used it to stand up for themselves because we have given them a safe place to thrive and empowered them to use their voices.
Our home has changed. Where there was once constant fighting and people walking around on eggshells, we now talk, we take moments to understand the needs of each other. We treat each other with compassion and help one another, whether with daily chores or processing a feeling. We are finally the family I always wanted us to be, not the perfect family but the real family, the ones that know that we are in a place where we are allowed to be ourselves. With the changes inside our home, I don’t scream anymore; I no longer find it necessary to use hurtful words to get my point across. Healing helped me respect myself, and because I appreciate myself, I’m now more respectful to those around me, which means I set the examples of what I want for myself and treat others in the same manner. These changes changed the tone of our home. They say that women set the momentum of how a family moves; the woman holds the ground, making room for the family’s freedom of expression. We set the feeling, the vibe within the family, and it’s true. The Bible teaches about it; psychologists talk about it, people in general, the ones in the know, try and tell us about it. They talk about how we are the peacemakers, and when we are at peace with ourselves, we create harmony around ourselves.
Healing helped me find peace. I found myself walking towards a life aimed at being whole; it helped me to realise that everything I ever wanted was already what I had. Recovery has taught me to be grateful, be content with my life, and love completely. I know that there is still so much more to be done, and the experience humbles me. I accept that there is still teaching in progress, but I am equally grateful that I was led to a place in my life that left me with no other choice but to heal.
Photo Credit: One Million Emotions Per Hour: Blended Hearts
Theme Song: Riley Clemmons – Healing (Official Video) – YouTube