In an attempt to make sense of the past, I find I am interrupting the process by having very narrow assumptions. I’ve wanted a quick resolve to my troubles, much like removing a cast from a broken arm after a few short weeks of healing. Sadly, this has not been the case. It’s been a full three years of ups and downs and I still feel like I’m only scratching the surface.
I have approached healing much like a minor physical injury: follow the necessary steps and in a few weeks you’ll be back to normal. I found myself trying to do all the ‘right things’ – journaling, reading, meditating, praying and even therapy – with the attitude, “Let’s get this over with! Rip the bandaid off and let’s move on!” Doing all the ‘right things’ also included drawing quick conclusions. If a past experience was negative, it must have contributed to my current anxiety. By doing this, I didn’t leave any room for surprise. I was acting as a negligent scientist by only paying attention to information that proved her hypothesis to be true.
It’s been a few weeks now since coming to the conclusion that health is an ongoing effort and not a quick fix. My perspective has shifted from having a strict step-by-step plan to simply making the goal ‘healing.’ Only yesterday in therapy did I understand for the first time that the pathway is not always what you think it might be. After my session I said to my therapist, “Well, I never guessed that was where we were going today.” She replied, “It is no surprise. This is quite common.” I felt at peace knowing that as I became attuned to my internal pulse, my body knew exactly what it was holding onto and, with the help of a trained and compassionate therapist, I could gradually repair.
This epiphany, although humbling, has given me a new outlook on healing. With renewed anticipation, I am letting go of drawing conclusions quickly, and when I question “Is this really helping?” I conclude, “Little-by-little.” The more I let go and trust that each effort taken is moving me closer to health, happiness and wholeness, the more free I feel.