The often-repeated saying is that time heals all. This simply isn’t true. Time alone does not heal. If you want to know how to heal, you must open yourself up to feeling it all. Healing requires feeling — a willingness to sit and go deep into the pain, and sit with it until it dissipates.
Healing isn’t an intellectual process, it’s an emotional one.
Understanding pain isn’t necessary for it to go away. The only time understanding comes into play is when some sort of behavior needs to change to avoid creating additional pain. But if you’ve lost someone or processing a sad time, the time calls for acceptance and surrender. There is no logic that will provide sufficient explanation, no amount of tears that will convince the universe to unwind the loss.
Healing takes time. Be patient during the process. It takes time, but the pain always fades.
The frustrating thing is that this pain will keep rising up again. Every time you feel a catharsis, some type of clearing, you’ll feel great and hopeful that the end of suffering has come. Then, inevitably, the emotions will come again, the energy of pain or negativity or whatever it is you’re dealing with, and you’ll have to sit and process them all again.
It’s like the wildest roller coaster you never wanted to be on. Up and down it takes you, and with each lurch you’ll wonder when it will end.
The emotions come in waves, and the more you allow yourself to feel those waves, the sooner you’ll figure out how to heal.
Have patience because you’re healing as you feel. Every ounce of pain you feel is hurt that your body is processing, digesting so that it goes away. Pain held in awareness melts into light.
Feeling pain sometimes leads to the development of bad habits to avoid that pain. We may surf the web, eat bad food, or drown ourselves in television or alcohol. However, the activities we engage in to avoid pain keep us mired in it. They distract us from the true work at hand — feeling and healing.
Because we don’t feel good, we may seek activities that match our inner, numb or sad state. But the irony is that engaging in these escapist activities further creates these negative feelings. This compounds the negative energy we’re feeling, creating more pain to process.
In the past, my vices have been reality television and the internet. As a college student, I drank. They seemed innocuous enough. But they’re not. They didn’t make me feel happy, only served to distract me from the inner turmoil that was blocking my peace.
Because underneath the pain, you are still a sea of peace. You are still an inseparable part of the universe. This is not a punishment. Just life. And you will come out on the other side with a greater depth and capacity for understanding life. You probably don’t care about any of that right now. But you will get through this.
How does one silence the turmoil and return to peace? The essence of learning how to heal is meditation. As you feel your emotions and meditate to gain space and clarity, you’ll start feeling good again. Whole. Complete. The peace comes in blips at first and then begins to expand outward.
In this moment lies the potential for healing not only the sadness at hand, but all past sadness. Our greatest pains become the pathways to the most profound peace. As Rumi said, “The wound is where the light enters you.”
Meditating brings you to the present moment, where you can notice the emotions stirring deep in your body and heal them by feeling them.
Painful emotions seem a lot scarier than they actually are. Take heart, you’ll want to get up and run away as they intensify. But in my experience, just a few seconds after feeling the worst of it, the energy dissipates, and quiet replaces the pain.
Just sit, breathe and let it all out. It’s the only way to heal, the only way to become light.
Take a little while, lie on the couch. Mourn your loss. Really feel it and soak it all in. Don’t let society tell you that you mustn’t skip a beat. Our society isn’t good with painful feelings. That’s why so few people know truly how to heal.
Just don’t get stuck in it. Don’t stay in that place. Feel and feel and then one day you’ll feel a bit better, and accept that too. Go towards the light. It’s okay to move on. It’s okay to let go. But only when you’re ready.
Everything you feel is normal. And underneath it all, you are ok.
What have been your experiences learning how to heal?
Image by Nishanth Jois via Flickr