Healing is circular, much like forgiveness. We do the work, feel stronger, and then fall again when faced with pain that is new or feels so much like the old hurt that it burns just the same. With time the dark seasons become shorter and we begin to trust ourselves to make it through the process. And really, there’s no other way to get there but through it.
One of my favorite children’s books is about a family that goes on a bear hunt. The repeated refrain when the family meets an obstacle is, “You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it – oh no! You have to go through it!” Ah yes, it’s the through it part that seems so difficult it drives us to pretend we’re okay, moves us to zone out in front of our iPhones, and to avoid acknowledging the deep pain that sits heavy within our hearts.
In my practice, I often sit with people who are in deep pain. Sometimes another person has wounded them. Sometimes they feel they have failed themselves in some way. Over the course of our time together, I get to witness clients become. But here’s the thing…they are not becoming something new. They are becoming who they always were.
Therapy is about peeling back layers. People come in with their armor on and together we pick away the pieces. We look under their experiences, take care of the wounds, examine the stories that circle around their histories and their minds. We come back to the center.
One of my favorite songs is “You Can’t Rush Your Healing” by Trevor Hall. The lyrics sing,
"…Time is such a wonderful gift, you’re not running out, you’re really running in, confusion clouds the heart but it also points the way, quiet down the mind, the more the song will play, you can’t rush your healing, darkness has its teachings, love is never leaving, you can’t rush your healing.” When we take the time to slow down and look inside we often find we already have everything we’ve been seeking.
In this season if you find yourself moving somewhere along the cycle of healing, keep going. For the people that pass through my office, I have the privilege of watching strength, softness, and compassion return to the everyday rhythms of their lives. The path of healing is truly an act of remembering. Reminding us of who we are over and over. Again and again.
©2023 Jennifer Padilla-Burger, LMFT. All rights reserved.