There’s Some Hurt that Comes with Healing
You run the risk of hurting people when you are hurting.
You also run the risk of hurting people when you are healing. It isn’t deliberate, it just happens. It’s one of the short-term, yet painful, byproducts of deciding to live for REAL.
Mending your Self is a process that sometimes leads to surprising decisions, unpredictable changes, random isolation, and plenty of other unappealing circumstances (particularly unappealing to the people not doing the mending and likely unaware of the fact that you are).
Healing Requires Selfishness
When you are completely immersed in the journey back to REAL health, the all-consuming nature of the process can create a version of you that appears quite careless and thoughtless from an outside perspective. And the truth is that you do temporarily forget about everyone else when you make it your mission to get well for REAL. Self-exploration and self-improvement involve a high level of self-absorption. When you are self-absorbed, everyone else’s needs fall second to your own. That’s REALity. And it’s OK.
To anyone accustomed to receiving a healthy dose of your attention, however, none of it feels OK. The less-than-attractive shifts that REAL healing causes can feel unsettling at best. You are suddenly either not as available or completely unavailable, and that can be jarring. It’s a situation which inspires the kinds of factors that have a cunning way of quietly backing you into the role of villain in someone else’s story (maybe more than one someone and more than one story). By the time this unintentional dynamic makes its way onto your radar, it’s typically too late to do anything about changing the outcome.
You can certainly reflect on it, journal about it, meditate on it, bathe in sage-infused salts to cleanse yourself of the anxiety that comes from it, and practice all of the treatments that the wellness world prescribes (I’d be disappointed if you didn’t!). At the end of the day, however, all you can reasonably do is resist the knee-jerk urge to repent and press on with the business of healing. You must, as Elsa reminds us in the movie Frozen, “let it go.”
Release the Need for Redemption
I can be funny about it now, but the REAL tea is that it can be a pretty confusing scenario that generates an irritating state of ambivalence for everyone in the mix. For you, especially, it can create tons of inner conflict.
On the one hand, you are SO tempted to offer up apologies and justifications (two of your favorite addictions, if you’re anything like moi). On the other hand, you are fully aware (perhaps for the first time ever) that you’ve done nothing wrong (and assuming there have been no deliberate acts of unkindness, you haven’t). There isn’t anything tangible to apologize for, yet you still feel the strong urge to do so.
This is usually about the time when you notice that you are teetering on the edge of that fragile line most people tend to either ignore or step over on a fairly regular basis. You recognize it more clearly now, though…it’s the one that distinguishes the responsibility you have for your reactions, emotions, and experiences, and the responsibility others have for theirs.
Wait for It…
Eventually the most liberating concept floods your field of awareness, like a soaking rain following a relentless drought: You no longer have to atone for the way someone else feels.
The clouds part. The dust settles. The cartoon lightbulb above your head flickers on. If there is a raving televangelist anywhere in your vicinity, he runs up and slaps his palm to your forehead proclaiming, “you are healed!”
The epiphany that comes with the profound realization that you are only accountable for your own life, actions, thoughts, and feelings can be quite exhilarating. Yet it also leaves you slightly mixed and disturbed, because you want the people you care about to be happy with you. Ultimately, though, the new revelation liberates you enough to resist crossing that line and to avoid giving into the habitual urge to justify the steps you have taken to heal, or to beg for pardon because of them.
Scared shitless but resolute (for REAL this time), you march on and bravely fly the flag of wellbeing, intent to speak and live out your truth with love and to find fresh ways to outwit your apology-pushing ego. You know it will be a lifelong process. You understand and accept that prioritizing your REAL healing will undoubtedly piss off, baffle, disturb, and perhaps even hurt some people. That won’t be anything you root for, but intuition tells you that it will come to pass just the same (the key word here is pass…because none of this will last forever).
Let’s Be Honest (&Heal)
You will recognize that it’s all worth it, because the REAL tea is that you aren’t sorry that you finally found the right medicine for your dis-ease. You are at last tasting REAL freedom for the first time in your human life, and you have no regrets about how you made it to the table.
Shedding the worn-out cloak of remorse, you channel your inner alchemist and set out to transform any lingering guilt into the powerful energy you will use to remain in this new healthy space. It will be the energy you will channel to swiftly guide others to that same space.
It will be the force that will fuel your efforts to continue Heading in the direction of greater Energy, Awareness, and Love. It’s a direction that will result in some painful side effects for all involved, but you know full well that the most curative tonics are always the hardest to swallow.
And that, my friends, is the REAL tea.
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K.T. Wilson is a health and wellness blogger and speaker dedicated to helping people discover and harness their personal power to create balanced lives of joy and ease. She resides in Harford County, MD, with her husband and two daughters, and is currently writing a book on the benefits of REAL living.