Today I wanted to look at healing. Many thousands of people have died in the UK, but there are also many thousands of people who are convalescing at this time. And there are many families who are grieving and healing from the pain of losing a loved one.
Healing can be physical, but it can also be emotional. So how do we heal? What makes it better or worse? I think it is useful to consider the model below, which is about grief. Obviously this model isn’t definitive, however I find it helpful.
The feelings listed above are normal, especially anger. Why did you leave me? Why did you die? And anger at someone’s life being cut short. In the case of George Floyd, which we discussed in the blog ‘I can’t breathe’, anger at a corrupt police system.
I won’t explore every aspect of the model, because it is fairly self-explanatory. I want to say a couple of points about the healing process. It is a process. And it takes time and can’t be rushed. Another word for healing is ‘recovery‘. This may be from an addiction, such as drugs or alcohol. And sometimes, as in the latter example, the recovery comprises a daily battle to keep going.
Having had major battles with my own mental health over many years, I think the key to remaining hopeful, is to show self-compassion. Sometimes things may seem too hard to face; that is okay. It is okay not to force yourself into situations which may trigger deep emotional pain. It is good to realise what is helpful and what is not and avoid those things that may set you back. I think facing our fears is important;I have done this, however there is an aspect of timing about this and sometimes it is better to be kind to ourselves and just not put ourselves through things which will trigger toxic memories.
Here, self-knowledge is essential. Because we know how much we can take, or not take. And sometimes the kindest advice may not be right for us. I have in the past been a ‘people pleaser’, wanting to win the approval of others, sometimes to the detriment of myself. And more recently, I am becoming a ‘gut listener’, following my own inner prompts, which is invariably accurate. If something (or someone) doesn’t feel right or safe, it generally isn’t. So I am following that path a lt more and feeling a lot safer as a result. That is intuition.
Today’s recipe of hope is to look at the model above and if you are in grief, then consider what stage you are at. If you feel ‘stuck’ in a particular stage, such as anger, now may be the time to consider getting professional help. There are great telephone support services in the UK and excellent therapy available on the NHS. And medication can help too. And for those of us who have a Christian faith, God offers healing. I find the Psalms especially comforting. Psalm 23 and 91 are absolutely beautiful.
May everyone who needs healing find this X