I’ve been hurt. Have you been hurt?
I’ve been lied to and rejected. Cheated on and replaced. I’ve been forgotten.
I’ve been led on and misled, and I’ve felt foolish for letting it happen (sometimes again and again).
I’ve neglected my spirit and my body. I’ve knocked them down as they tried to fight their way back up.
I’ve also experienced deep regret for the pain I have caused others. I have felt shame for my mistakes and oversights.
But you know what else I’ve felt?
I’ve felt hope and gratitude. I’ve forgiven, and I’ve been forgiven. I’ve loved more than I ever thought possible.
And I’ve healed.
Have you ever healed?
When I look in the mirror, I see a past of love and loss, dreams and disappointments, and growing and healing. For all the pain my heart has endured in its time, I don’t see my story as a painful one. I’m no victim here.
My story is one of growth, like the grass that rides out the fires in the savannas.
This is not just my story.
I wholeheartedly believe that we all have this same story inside. This story of resilience and healing is the story of those that came before us, those who stand beside us, and those who have yet to be born.
You see, my pain is not new. Believe it or not, neither is yours. Our pain is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. Our pain is a thread of our collective human experience.
When I’m in pain, I remember that we’ve all felt pain. We’ve all cried. We’ve all raised our voices, and we’ve all been stunned to silence.
And we’ve all healed, too. Every. Last. One of us.
The more pain I’ve experienced in my life, the more profound appreciation I have for our universal ability to keep going. Even if the going is awkward and messy.
Even if we have no idea where we’re headed, all of us can keep going and heal from pain.
I believe that ours is the story that shows you can heal from anything, and I remind myself of this whenever living hurts.
I remind myself that after being starved of everything a person needs to thrive, this body put itself back together ounce by ounce and has since carried four children.
How does the body do that?
I remind myself that these hands that once secretly wrote of my flaws in countless journal pages are the same hands that write the words on this very page.
How did they learn to write words like this?
I remind myself that these feet that shuffled along in a time when I was lost are the same that carried me through the happiest days of my life.
How did these feet find their way?
And I remind myself that the heart and lungs that kept me alive during my darkest moments one beat and breath at a time are the very same that swell with joy when I wake to greet each morning.
I know I am not alone in this. I believe each one of us can look back in amazement at where our path has taken us. We’ve all healed, even when we thought our pain would surely last forever.
The more I see and the more I experience, the more convinced I am that we can heal from anything.
It’s incredible, really. I mean, how do we heal from anything in this life?
My story’s taught me that healing begins with trusting that you even can heal in the first place. It comes from trusting that you’ll find a way to right yourself, just as the atmosphere rights itself after a storm.
You can right yourself after pain.
You can come back from all the tears, the pleas, the questions, confusion, the anger and hurt. In fact, it’s often when we meddle in it or doubt in our abilities to navigate them or we push them away because we don’t want to see them that healing feels most impossible.
You can heal from anything when you allow yourself the time to actually heal. Healing isn’t instant. It’s not fast or easy, either.
Healing isn’t even a single event.
Healing is a process that requires time and energy. Sometimes healing uses every bit of your body’s resources. When you honor that and give yourself time, encouragement, and love, you can heal from anything.
You can heal from anything when you accept that healing doesn’t mean everything goes back in place exactly as it was before.
Believe me when I tell you that I have scars. You’ll have them too.
Know that those scars aren’t blemishes. They aren’t the mark of being damaged. They are proof that we can heal from anything.
You can heal from anything when you don’t go it alone. The world is full of your brothers and sisters all in the process of living, loving, healing, and moving forward.
Even when we heal in private, we heal together.
And you can heal from anything when you find the courage to tell your story, if only to the pages of your diary. Healing comes about as we put our pain into words.
Pain is raw. It’s vivid and engulfing. And sometimes it make zero sense on its own. You can heal when you hold that pain with a tender heart and gentle hands and put into the words that will tell your story.
So here I am, telling you my story.
This is me telling you that I’ve hurt, but I’ve also healed.
This is also me telling you what I’ve seen to be true with my own eyes: you can heal from anything.
Leslie Ralph helps working (and otherwise busy + overwhelmed) moms work a happy lifestyle. With her signature blend of happy living projects, positive psychology tips, and delicious meditations, she’ll get you bringing back the balance, transforming chaos into cozy, and savoring time with your sweeties. To get you started, she’s whipped up a 2-Minute Revitalizing Meditation for you to enjoy on the house at http://www.ayearofhappy.com/revitalize.
Image courtesy of Jena Postma.