By Kathleen Hoy Foley
Healing from the pain of emotional trauma is an ongoing, ever expanding lifetime process. It is not a gift or a destination. Or a static, contented state of being. Healing is a path…of growth…an ebb and flow of difficult challenges, tough decisions, and confusing emotions that rise up to be brought into the light of resolution. Healing requires a constant renewal of patience while self confidence slowly develops.
However much we want it to, healing does not automatically happen, not even with time. It won’t happen in a regimented program with strictures and time frames where “success” is celebrated by a group hug. Nor with a slap on the forehead by a sweaty man clutching a damp handkerchief and a makeshift crucifix shouting, “You’re Healed!” Healing certainly doesn’t occur because of a celebrity bellowing about an “aha teaching moment” no matter how convincing she sounds. Even a big-hair psychic waving crystals and telling you that your father loves you does not possess the power of instant healing. (Oh wait…I am the big-hair psychic waving crystals. And your father does love you!) Anyhow…while instant healing may be an illusion, a shift in personal energy is possible as a result of any experience. And that shift will provide an opportunity, an opening to receive life-giving insight, not unlike a tightly bound rosebud unfurling to receive the waiting sunlight.
Startling, intense incidents can serve as catalysts to motivate you to pay attention to your yearning for relief and to finally act on your own behalf and commit to your emotional wellbeing. Strange coincidences and unsettling events that occur seemingly out of nowhere—like a message from that big-hair psychic—are always connected to information about you and your life. Should you listen for the underlying meaning, you will recognize that you are being offered powerful validation and encouragement at the precise moment needed to foster your growth. And that includes opportunities to progress along the road of healing.
When you truly understand that healing is not a superficial, fixed state of happiness but rather an unfolding pathway to ever increasing emotional freedom, you liberate yourself from the artificial cultural rules that demand of us the humanly unachievable goal of bliss. Every time you support yourself with compassion rather than condemning yourself for perceived failure, you are building inner strength. That strength will continue to grow and continually propel you to progress and develop in a way that is natural, healthy and sustainable.
Healing, though, is not magic. It does not erase traumatic experiences from memory or remove visceral reactions to imbedded pain. Profound soul healing does not…does not…involve exoneration for those responsible for despicable acts. Presuming that a militant abuser must play a role in your healing process is a dangerous misconception. Every frozen smile, every automatic birthday greeting, every perfunctory invitation to a family celebration you extend to a militant abuser under the burden of duty is battery acid injected directly into your tender, healing heart. Healing is not la-la land: it does not imply a happy place where all is well and everyone is wonderful. Healing is breath and light--breathing and seeing. An expansion of understanding, of learning to acknowledge and manage reality as it is, not as we wish it was, or as others insist it is.
Healing is our luminous, intelligent energy—our forever self—blossoming, gaining power, developing deep inner peace. Healing is not a place. It is not a finish line with a trophy. Healing is a path. A road full of potholes, twists and turns, and slippery slopes. Healing is an ebb and flow of rising inner strength. A constant tiptoe toward brighter and brighter horizons.
Healing is not passive. It is not a miracle. It will not fall upon you like fairy dust. Healing is personal action. Healing is doing. It is your deliberate act of attunement with the resonant forces of harmony that surround you and live beneath the darkness of entrenched trauma. Healing teaches power while gaining power. Through the on-going process of healing, you learn how to shift your precious energy from feeding emotional pain and focusing on all that cripples your life, to listening to the quiet whispers of your longing heart.
Healing is opening your mind to all that is possible, allowing the mystical to guide you along the radiant path to clarity where you will find your untapped potential. Healing is available to anyone who makes the personal, courageous decision to commit to themselves and to seeing.
What is healing? Healing, of course, is you.