Healing Does Not Mean Erasing or Replacing

When the Universe breaks a promise, we grieve. Philosophers and psychologists have been all over this concept for hundreds of years and, yet, there is no single prescription to cure heartbreak. Further, there is NO truth to the phrase:  “Time heals all wounds.”   This is simply a LIE.

Time is indeed important, but what does it do, really? It permits distance from our trauma and an opportunity to discover coping skills to manage life going forward.  But wait – “distance”?  What is distance really?  How is it measured?  Love is not linear.  Loss is not written in a predictable, mathematical formula.  Click here to read about how one woman decided to deal with her own trauma – and how she documented her process.

If you accept that true love is the experience of safety, trust, and a glimpse of heaven . . . and that in your pure love you taste the essence of purpose and even a bit of the Divine, then you would logically conclude that a life without having this experience might, for you, have been a life not worth living. So, if that taste or glimpse was enlightening, but the partner who stimulated it is taken prematurely, in order to recapture that exquisite feeling, you would need to invest in people who might permit you to channel that positive energy again.

This honors the relationship that taught you how to love so deeply – although there will certainly be people around to try to distract you from continuing on with life.  Those people might prefer you simply ‘exist’ in the shadow of the memory – but this might be a distraction from what you were intended to do.  If you have a heart capable of loving again – LISTEN to it . . . SEEK OUT JOY and  embrace life to the fullest. You may begin by defining your goals – and this goes for any life event that is traumatic.

You may begin by asking yourself, “Do I want to get around, over,  through – or a combination of two or all of these regarding this experience?”

  • “What would ‘getting around it’ look like to me?”
  • “What would ‘getting through it’ look like to me?”
  • “What would ‘getting over it’ look like to me?”

I have come to understand that, when one defines a goal as ‘getting around’ a painful experience, the behavior chosen is usually to distract from or numb feeling.  This choice sacrifices joy along with pain.  When ‘getting through’ is the goal, the person looks inward, analyzes feelings, embraces the pain, seeks therapy and/or mentors to help guide, and has a greater chance of rediscovering joy.  Sometimes we begin by getting around, and then discover we need to ‘get through’ but time was necessary to permit us to muster the strength to do so.

The phrase ‘getting over’ is often misleading.  Sometimes it is experienced as abrasive, uncaring and demeaning. I would not recommend anyone use this phrase to oneself or another person as it is a distraction from healing.

Returning to the suggestion that when one feels emotionally ready, one should permit one’s heart to seek out JOY, am I suggesting you go out hunting for STDs or embark upon a path that exposes you to mind-altering substances?  No.  Not at all.  These are examples of numbing activities.  What I am suggesting is activities that enhance, rather than block ‘feeling’ . . . but, let’s take a look at that.  Why on earth would anyone who is ‘feeling too much’ take up a hobby to ‘intensify feeling’?

Excellent question.  The healing process is not one that helps us block feeling; but rather, it helps us embrace and focus on the POSITIVE feelings  that are overshadowed by the sad, uncomfortable, energy draining ones that threaten to throw the mind/body/spirit off balance.  Where does one begin?

Time.  Back to that word again?  Yes. Time is necessary – and in different lengths for different people.  Time permits grieving, and each person has a unique rhythm. Click here f’or additional information.

Healing. What does “heal” mean?  This is also defined by each individual.  Is the goal to erase all memory’?  Not the good ones – that’s for certain. But if one believes that feeling pain keeps a connection with the person now gone, re-framing to embrace JOY as the connection through positive memories is a response that permits the mind/body/spirit balance to reestablish itself. Easier said than done.

Coping. What’s the first step? Some people fill their schedules to avoid time alone and, for them, it might be helpful, initially. Others seek inner peace through meditation, exercise or other introspective activities. These people may take up yoga and find mentors to facilitate self-reflection.  If any coping mechanism is taken to distraction, a person may risk losing him or her self in the activity. If you, or a person you love is experiencing this type of ‘loss of self’ while grieving the loss of a loved one, here is a resource you might tap into to help yourself and/or assist that person:  click here.

What can we expect while healing through our grief process?  Tapes replay.  Pain is relived – yes, even DECADES later.  Old wounds may surface.  The self distraction of, “I wish we had,” and “I wish I said/ did/etc” creep into your mind to distract from present day joy. Does this mean you are not healing?  No. It does not necessarily mean that; however, if you lose more than a night or two of sleep, or experience anxiety to the point where judgment is impaired, seek help. Click here for support:   http://www.depression-test.net/depression-hotlines.html 

Permission to live on. What if someone gave you permission to go on living and loving? In your own time, you might be able to do just that.  But what if one or more people around you don’t accept once you arrive at your “ready” point? What if one or more people in your family or close circle of friends can’t accept your decision to embrace the life you have left to live on earth? What if someone you love and trust becomes one who brings you down?  If you are ready to move on and embrace joy, but outside forces attempt to block you, the time might have come to learn how to set healthy boundaries.  Wondering how?  Click here for some guidance.

Each life is sacred. Every path is a personal journey. I wish you balance and healing along your very unique adventure.

Additional resources:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/joy-feeling-too-nancy-iankowitz-dnp-rn-aprn-fnp-bc?trk=mp-reader-card

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lessons-from-spearmint-learned-going-against-my-nancy?trk=mp-reader-card

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