Healing Is Not Linear

Monday 6 February

Something I have discovered recently is that any path of self-improvement is not going to be easy. As I have said time and time again, life is full of ups and downs. We are like a wave. We rise and fall in a cycle. There are bad parts and good parts. Sometimes we hit a bigger downfall and crash into rocks we never saw coming. That’s part of the process too. In this way, we are connected to nature – we are the ocean, we are the waves. Bear that in mind next time life feels too heavy to bear.

Healing is one of the most important journeys you will embark on in your lifetime. It’s a choice, above everything, but something which we will all need to choose at some point in our lives. The earlier the better.

Each stage of the healing process is different, and it is different for everyone as each human being is unique. It’s painful and you have to seek so deeply within yourself to find the answers you are looking for. And it takes time – so much time. Your healing journey never ends.

It’s a process of continuously bettering yourself. Each version of yourself is someone new. We build on each chapter of our lives to become better, even if that’s just by the smallest amount. It truly is exciting – getting to know someone new. Though, of course it can be daunting and real when you figure out some of your deepest feelings that you never knew you had.

The best tip for this journey? Be patient, kind and loving to yourself. If you can’t trust or love yourself, who can you trust and love? Everything starts with you. I was reading up on a theory called the sociocentric orientation in sociology. It can be correlated to healing and the relationships we have with others. This theory describes that everything starts with yourself. Then you build relationships with the people closest to you, like a sister or parent, then your neighbours, friends, and even strangers. You have a relationship with everyone you encounter in your day. But, much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it all starts with one thing: yourself. You are at the core of everything in the world. So many people say “the world doesn’t revolve around you”, but your life indeed does. You are the main character in your own life so keep living that way, regardless of what people think. That doesn’t mean being egocentric and self-absorbed. It’s about prioritising your life and your needs – and that’s not a selfish thing.

This is what healing is all about. In order to improve the relationship you have with yourself, you have to prioritise your needs in front of others. Not in a selfish way, as you may think. Here, we can change the definition of selfish, as I believe that its meaning has been skewed in society. Selfish, to me, is putting your needs before others in a healthy way in order to better the relationship you have with yourself.

At the beginning of your healing journey it can be very lonely. I totally misunderstood the meaning of a healing journey and thought I had to isolate myself from everyone. When I had to be social (at parties, gatherings, in class), I was mystified and didn’t know what to do. Then I understood that healing isn’t about actively isolating yourself. Sure, you have to distance yourself for a little while in order to understand who you are, what you like, but it doesn’t mean you have to delete everyone in your life and totally become lonely.

A part of the healing journey is understanding the difference between the positive and negative people in your lives. This does involve distancing yourself from people, but only certain people. Think about who positively impacts you and who only serves as a negative pain in the butt. Those who only put you down, or cause drama, or whatever, will only continue to do that until you let them go. This experience is so freeing, as you finally cut ties with the people who no longer serve you. This can be harder if you realise that some of your closest friends fall into this category. I’ve had to overcome this one and it’s so painful and at the time I was much better off without these people. I still believe I am.

If I have to admit a mistake I made in my healing journey (a journey which I still have not yet reached a destination for, and we never to – which makes it so exciting), is what I was just saying. I cut myself off from people completely, which made the social events even harder, and my social anxiety only grew. And the certain people I cut out of my life didn’t deserve that. I was hurting and thought that this was the best way. Looking back, I agree with the few people I did end the friendship with, but some I don’t agree with. I thought it would be easier to just cut everyone out of my life, then choose the ones I thought would serve me best. And for the most part it worked, but I did lose one of my lifelong friends – something which I do regret now and am working towards developing again.

Simply put, though I am not sure I can ever put this kind of thing simply, the healing process is not easy. You will hit so many bumps along the way, which can make you reconsider what you are doing. Hang in there, keeping going. Don’t let some bad periods take you under. The waves will crash but will rise again. Always keep that in mind when some days it feels like you’re drowning .

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