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  • empowell1

On the Healing Journey

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

One of the central tenets of my therapeutic journey – both personally and as a professional – is that healing is not linear.

Healing is a journey that we never really conclude. It is not an entity to be obtained, nor is it a place to arrive at. We do not enter a domain of being “healed,” and then permanently stay there.

Healing is akin to the way that we do not just convert into a state of being “happy” and then stay, “happy,” as though it was a trophy that we obtained and maintained possession of.

Like happiness, healing is not a status, but rather, an eternal movement…a verb in which we engage in throughout our lifetime.

And the thing is, we are all doing it.

We are all healing daily.

What this looks like is individualized and personal.

For some folks, healing today might look like a battle to get out of bed. From there, it might look like spending most of the day tearful, ruminating on taking their medication, wishing things were different.

Another person might deem this person-in-healing, “lazy,” or “boring,” or “doing the bare minimum.” Realistically, this person-in-healing is a fighter, someone forging forward in their healing process when that process feels entirely suffocating and all-consuming.

This person that is judging the other person is also in the process of healing. They are also a person-in-healing. They might be overwhelmed by their negative judgments that harm themselves and the people around them. It is likely that they learned these judgements from external messaging that became an integrated part of them. This messaging reads: You must work, consistently and relentlessly. You must be in constant motion. You must produce to be worthy in this society.

This person-in-healing, the second one I reference, might be at the initial stages of reckoning with the judgments they inflict on other people – people who are also suffering.

Perhaps they are beginning to consider that their judgement of other people reflects the skewed, capitalistic ideals that they have fallen victim to – ones that they are desperately trying to break free from – ones that have made them question their own self-worth, generated an incessant need to work, and stripped them of agency over their truest desires and passions.

I have been in the shoes of both the people-in-healing outlined above. I have struggled to get out of bed in the mornings due to depression, and I have judged myself and others for “doing nothing.”

When I began to acknowledge the shared and innate intentions to heal within each of us, I began noticing a profound shift in how I moved through society. I felt less compelled to judge. I admitted how harmful judgement was for not only my internal world, but the external landscape I exist in. This shift in perspective felt like relief.

Compassion and empathy are in an inverted relationship with frustration and anger. I try to navigate this world in the lens of healing – we share this communal desire to heal, to feel okay.

The point is, we are all in motion.

The velocity at which changes occur differs person to person. Oftentimes, we feel like that motion takes the shape of an arrow pointing backwards.

Despite our perception, we are moving forward. We are in a different place than when we began our healing journey. We have different tools, knowledge, relationships, and experiences.

I wonder how the universal consciousness of society would and could alter if we all grasped this understanding: the understanding that we are all healing.

How would compassion grow? How would judgement dim? How would understanding intensify? How would polarization alleviate?

How might we feel connected to strangers?

How might this connection serve as a healing, collaborative force that allows for collective restoration in a society that aches of loneliness and misunderstanding?

Consider: how would your life begin shifting if you acknowledged that you, and all those around you, are people-in-healing?

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