I was having a conversation recently about how you have to want to heal in order to heal. I know it sounds like common sense. You’d assume that everyone wants to heal when they’ve been hurt. I mean, no one wants to be in pain, right?
Sometimes it’s not that simple.
It isn’t always as easy as choosing between healing and hurting. Sometimes we don’t want to heal, and we’re not even aware of it. You see, depending on what hurt you, your whole identity can start to get wrapped around whatever it is you need to heal from. It can get to a point where you don’t know where the trauma ends and you begin. You don’t know who you are without the pain. The unknown is scary, so we stick to what is familiar.
There’s also a certain ‘freedom from responsibility’ that comes with having a victim mentality. Since you’re the victim, it’s not your fault. As long as you stay the victim, you don’t have to do anything because you’re not responsible for what happened. (This usually isn’t a conscious decision.)
There’s also the method of pretending that what happened never actually happened. This is another way that you get away from doing the work to heal. It might seem easier to just go about your day, trying to block out the memories. I remember a time where I desperately tried this method. It didn’t work. This is actually one of the worst things you can do, because you’re setting yourself up for two things to happen. The first is that the trauma will happen again. The second is that it will pop into your head when you least expect it and can actually retraumatize you.
Here’s the thing:
While you’re not responsible for what happened to you, you are responsible for your healing journey. (See more about that here.) Healing is a lot of work and it’s really hard. It isn’t fair and sometimes, it might even not seem worth it. You might worry that you’ll do all of the work to heal just to get hurt all over again. Or you’re afraid that you’ll put in so much work, but still not be able to feel better and then you just feel like a failure on top of everything else. I know because I had these very same fears.
The hard truth is that you need to feel it in order to heal it.
You need to want to heal. There’s no getting around it. No one is going to fix you. There isn’t anyone who can take away what happened or how you feel. People can help for sure- between therapists, loved ones, life coaches… there are a lot of options. But they will be wasting their time and yours if you are not committed to doing the work. Again, you have to want it.
I won’t tell you that it will be easy.
It won’t be. And that sucks. But I will tell you that it will be worth it! To be able to take a deep breath and smile without that weight on your chest… You’ll be able to get up each day and face the world knowing that you are doing what’s best for you. Best of all? Not spending precious moments each day feeling hopeless and broken. As long as you remain a victim, the person who hurt you wins. Once you start healing, you take back your power. Doesn’t that sound so much better?
Please, stop sabotaging yourself and make the choice to WANT to heal. Don’t do it for me. Do it for you. Because YOU DESERVE IT!
Everyone deserves to have a life that they love. Everyone deserves to be able to heal and to be happy. The first step is deciding that you want it.
I’m here if you need me. Let me know how I can help.
You got this girl.