March 24, 2024

11 Signs We Need to Heal (& The Only Reason We Should).

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“Why do I need to work on myself?”

“It’s not my fault! I’m suffering because of others or some situations. So why should I be the one to do all the grunt work?”

“Why should I heal?”

I hear these questions every day as I sit with my clients, holding space for their pain and agony. There are times when I, too, go back to my own therapist to ask the same damn question only to come back with the answer I already know.

We need to heal because irrespective of what’s happening outside, we are carrying the impact of all that within. When the world is busy being unfair, ignorant, aggressive, or hurtful to us, we are also absorbing all of it, holding it all in, and struggling to make sense of it, recover, and tend to ourselves. The problem may be outside of us, but its impact is within, and after a point in time, that impact becomes a different kind of a problem.

Imagine you are walking on the street minding your own business when suddenly some goons come out of nowhere and rob you and throw some punches here and there. While the entire scenario is problematic on its own, your pain, hurt, and agony are clearly because of those goons and it’s certainly not your fault; you are the one who’s hurt and suffering. Now you can spend all your time cribbing, complaining, cursing them, and you may also decide never to take this route again; but what about the wounds you’ve sustained? The pain that you’re going through—the fear that’s now residing in you?

Will you not do something about that? You would, right?

While it’s true that some wounds may recover on their own, there will be some that will continue to pain and cause us discomfort that may only increase with time. Those are the ones that we will have to pay attention to. Those would require more care for healing to occur. Someone or something may have given or caused us the pain, but now it’s ours, and sooner or later we have to make a call. We can either live with it or tend to it because at times, even when an uncomfortable, unpleasant event has passed, the pain remains. Then, no matter where we are, it will keep hurting in different ways. Therefore, our healing is not about others; it’s about us.

“You cannot avoid all pain, but you can absolutely avoid a lot of suffering by staying focused on your internal growth.” ~ Brianna West

A famous quote by Alexander Den Heijer says that “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment  in which it grows and not the flower.” That’s true but what is also true is the fact that even when you fix or change the environment, at times the flower is not able to bloom because of the damage that it’s already sustained. Then you need to take a closer look at the flower to see and understand what’s really going on. Sometimes changing the air we breathe or the place where we wake up isn’t enough. Sure, it takes away the external triggers and stressors, but the internal ones remain. Then going within and healing ourselves is all we need to and can do.

And that’s hard. It’s challenging, tough, and painful. It makes us want to run and hide where we can’t find ourselves. But then again, we need to because if we don’t, fear, insecurity, sadness, a lack of purpose, meaning and connection, anger and resentment will always chase us. We will soon find ourselves in patterns that are keeping us safe from any other kind of hurt or pain and aren’t letting us grow. We will keep questioning our existence and its meaning and will feel that the kind of life we want to live is nothing but a mirage.

At the end of the day we need to heal because we don’t need to live with so much baggage and pain. We can take it off and let it go. It’s only when we look at our wounds and tend to them do they stop hurting and start healing.

Here are some signs that tell us we need to focus on our inner healing:

1. You don’t feel like yourself. It’s as if you’re wearing a mask when you step into the world. You become the person everyone wants you to be but you don’t feel aligned with your own self. 

2. You find it difficult to trust others and even your own self.

3. Your past keeps haunting you and you find yourself replaying stories of past events and hurts.

4. You’re triggered easily and find it difficult to manage your thoughts and emotions.

5. You struggle to take care of yourself.

6. You lead a less-than kind of a life where you’re doing everything that needs to be done but isn’t what you really want to do.

7. You either don’t know what kind of a life you want or you don’t know how to get there.

8. You tend to have strong reactions to situations. You find yourself getting angry, agitated, aggressive, or shutting down and escaping.

9. You often feel that something is missing in life but don’t exactly know what.

10. You struggle to form connections with people.

11. You feel disconnected from yourself to the extent that you don’t even know what you are feeling from within.

There’s a lot more when you are unhealed and holding onto your wounds.

Of course, I can give you a list of reasons as to why you should heal or what might happen when you do.

But the biggest and most life-changing thing that might happen is that you’ll be free—free to move ahead in life, create a vision for yourself, take charge of it, and come home to yourself because that’s what your natural state is. Your healing doesn’t mean that life won’t stop coming or the world will suddenly be different. It simply means that you will no longer be in pain and will be able to navigate through the world instead of hiding. You will be able to move around and breathe.

So don’t heal because you could or should. Heal if you want to. Heal so that you can free yourself from the shadows of your past and the hurt and pain that you carry within.

Heal so that you can be you.

“Healing is returning to how you were before you got hurt, not who you were. The magic is understanding that you can go back to being happy while at the same time less naive. You aren’t ready to heal unless you are ready to take what you’ve learned and make it a part of you, to let your pain inform how you behave and what you will and won’t do and tolerate. When that moment comes you will realise that you’re actually more at ease than ever before, because you can trust yourself now. You know better so can do better going forward. The same way scars heal physical wounds, we are often changed but stronger when we break.” ~ Brianna West


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