*photo by Sabrina Hill
Last Friday I was in yoga class and the teacher said something that resonated with me. All us students were sprawled out in some relaxing pose, and she said to imagine our bodies healing. To really visualize it. Not just surface level healing. But deep, long term healing.
In today's world we want everything to happen FAST. But when it comes to nurturing our bodies and souls, sometimes we really have to embrace the mindset of patience. Slowness. Space. Stillness. And the power of our own positive energy.
We should acknowledge that deep healing takes time. And that healing often feels like a very uncertain process...
pa·tience -ˈpāSHəns / noun: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
These days, humans brains are hard-wired for speed, for instantaneous results. Snapchat. Twitter. DVRs. Meal delivery Apps. These things speckle our modern day lives and pull us away from the idea that slow and steady wins the race. We forget the strength in the pause. We struggle to meditate, to put away the stimuli. Slowing down, relaxing, taking time off has become a challenge for many of us. How crazy is that?
Speed is everywhere these days. Speed up my computer please. In pain? Pop a pill. Feeling stressed? Boot the stressor. Feeling sad? Put on some happy music. Feeling sick? Give me the cure asap! Feeling blue? Watch a funny YouTube video or read an inspirational meme. Need an answer? Google it! Boom and done.
We all want to feel happy, pain free, better. And today's world has so many opportunities for instant feel good vibes, instant results.
Instant happy. Or instant sedation. Mind-numbing (or pain-numbing) distractions are at our fingertips. (Literally, hello iPhone)
The internet, our phones, technology - these things are all about instant gratification.
Look, I certainly do all of the 'instant happy' things quite often. The memes, videos, happy songs and movies, even a quick text sesh with a friend to bring on some happy endorphins or laughter or inspiration. I even wrote a blogpost on 101 things that make me happy. There is nothing wrong with feeling good instantly or knowing how to comfort yourself. And there is nothing wrong with speed. But speedy solutions and instant results shouldn't be confused with deep, long-term healing.
Ask yourself this: Why were you sad, stressed, in pain or injured in the first place? Distractions or temporary mental boosts are awesome, but making sure you address the the root cause of the problem is also important. And sometimes suppressing feelings or pain can come back to bite you later on. Only making things worse and the true healing process more complex. Basically, ridding ourselves of initial pain or discomfort doesn't mean we are HEALED.
Now back to the healing takes time theme..
Nature. Our bodies. These things do not operate under the same terms as modern day technology. A torn branch on a tree doesn't heal more swiftly if you download the right App. The same goes for a cut on our fingertip. Our bodies and souls live in that same natural world as the tree. We are not iPhones in need of the latest software upgrade. We are so much more mysterious and complex. (Yes, even more complex than an fancy, shiny iPhone.) And complex things usually require more time to process. Heal. Mature. Evolve. Whatever you have going on, just remember that you are magical and complicated - it only makes sense that you take time.
When mother nature brings beauty, it usually comes very slowly. The sun rising. A flower blooming. A tree growing tall over hundreds of years. Fruit ripening. Reflect on those magical things and how you are the same. Whatever you have to heal, you can do it slowly like a sunset splashing across the horizon, the colors slowly changing and shifting with each passing moment.
But this "speed is good" mindset we have isn't our fault, really. In recent years, (I would say from the 1980's and on - basically my entire life) society has been conditioned to crave speed over slow. Fast sells. The one week detox. The thirty day diet fix. The 24 hour juice cleanse. The one hour makeover. Pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less. Thirty second recipe videos. Tweets. Snaps. Short. Fast. Now. But the reality is that our bodies don't thrive in a stressed or forced environment. Our bodies truly crave calm.
How does this all effect me, Kathy? Healing has been a prominent topic in my life the past year. I haven't really talked too much about things here, though believe me, I have tried! Every time I write a draft for personal posts they end up being super long and I start to wonder if anyone really cares about my layered and complex wellness journey. Paragraphs and paragraphs of my own self-reflection. The laundry list of things I have had pop up this past year to challenge me. The main reason I hesitate is due to the fact that I am still figuring it all out - still breaking and re-building - healing, slowly. And I do not have all the answers yet. I just know the truths that have been uncovered for me so far. I wish I could flash forward ten years and have a smart and sassy perspective on all of it. But there I go again, wanting to "flash" forward to the future like a lightening bolt. Speed, we meet again.
But in general, my journey the past year (and few years) has been about this message today. About remembering that authentic healing takes time. And also that, pain, tears, frustration and even missteps are all part of it, the big picture healing process.
Quick Fix Syndrome. We all suffer from it when it comes to big things. Let's say you get a tiny scrape on your knee, most people expect to wait 1-3 days or so for it to heal. Maybe longer for your skin to remove all signs of the injury. But when we do decades of damage, slowly and deeply, mentally or physically - usually a bit of both - even without much intent or maybe even without fault, it is so funny how we think "quick miracle fixes" will work. We shouldn't expect instant turnaround, but we do. Thus the "detox" "diet" "results in 30 days" world we live in.
But we are not the vampires or werewolves in Twilight. Our injuries do not heal in seconds or minutes. We are humans. Humans fall, fail, get scratched up and feel pain. But in the end our desire to rise again from injuries big and small, physical and mental - that is what makes us beautiful. What makes us human.
Mistakes are always part of the process. Wrong turns usually turn into beautiful lessons and inspirations.
Life is a constant journey of being broken down and built back up again, again and again.
So with each quick fix or bandaid, we all embrace those, just remember that your wider, long-term healing goal in mind.
Feeling Lost? If you find yourself zipping in between quick fixes or temporary pain relievers, suppressing feelings, feeling numb, well that is a perfect opportunity to do some self reflection. Pause and look inwards and find some space to figure out what healing you want to take place. What goals you seek. What your vision for happiness and health looks like. What pain you want to remove. What wounds you want to heal. What picture you want to paint for yourself.
Can we heal from anything and everything? And then this question pops up in my mind. Towards the end of this super optimistic post on healing. Here, I have to bring my realistic, life-weathered voice to this post. No. I don't think we can heal from everything. The truth is, we are all broken in some way. We all have chronic conditions of the head, heart, body or soul. Conditions that challenge us or even hold us back sometimes in life.
But sometimes "healing" isn't all it's cracked up to be! Sometimes our weaknesses and deficits actually make us stronger and more empathetic, more sensitive and more aware. Sometimes our problems, our injuries actually give us super powers in other parts of our lives.
We all want to feel 100%, but guess what, then you wouldn't be human.
It is true. There are some conditions that never seem to "heal." No matter how much energy we bring to them. Depending on what they are, life gets more challenging, but it certainly doesn't mean we are any less whole. You are still you, no matter what.
So for all those things in your life that may never heal, embrace the pain they bring you. Talk about it. Connect with others. Keep searching for answers. Keep hope. Things like cancer or chronic health conditions or mental health issues like anxiety or depression. These things lead to uncertainty, but you can handle it. The fight will make you stronger. And the "healed" parts of your life will feel even more vibrant, special and profound. And that is a blessing in itself.
Last thing: Uncertainty. Uncertainty is actually one of the most profound parts of the healing process. We never know 100% if something will heal. How scary is that? I mean really. Even a gash on our knee could get infected and kill us. Ha. What? It is true! Maybe we will have our heart broken and never fully recover on some level -- or maybe we will. So embracing, and learning to live with uncertainty is a huge part of the magical healing process.
(BTW, sorry, I have used the word magical three times now. But healing is just that, kinda magical...)
So to close up this long and twisty post in and out of my brain..
Sometimes you heal.
sometimes you don't.
And if you do, it will probably require patience, time, uncertainty.
(And yes, a little optimism and hope always helps to stave off the temporary discomfort.)
Sending you deep healing vibes and a whole lot of love,
1. We should acknowledge that deep healing takes time, and healing often feels like a very uncertain process.
2. Ridding ourselves of initial pain or discomfort doesn't mean we are healed.
3. Whatever you have going on, just remember that you are magical and complicated - it only makes sense that you take time.
4. Often times, pain, tears, frustration and even missteps are all part of the big picture healing process.
5. Humans fall, fail, get scratched up and feel pain. But in the end our desire to rise again from injuries big and small, physical and mental - that is what makes us human.
6. Mistakes are always part of the process. Wrong turns usually turn into beautiful lessons and inspirations.
7. Sometimes our problems, our injuries actually give us super powers in other parts of our lives.
8. You are still you, no matter what.
9. Life is a constant journey of being broken down and built back up again, again and again.
10. We never know 100% if something will heal. So embracing, and learning to live with uncertainty is a huge part of the magical healing process.
pps. If you hated my gifs, I apologize, but I kinda love them so please deal with them for me :) haha #GifAddict #ISpeakInHashtagsAndGifsInRealLife
GIF credits: All GIFs were obtained from GIPHY and copyrights are those of the creators.