Language has a simple way to show that an action is in progress: we add the suffix “-ing.”
Those three letters take all the weight off of requiring completion.
Even the most accomplished guy you know is a work in progress. It may seem there’s a finish line out there, a final say on success, but everybody struggles toward something.
This is even true — especially true — for trauma. Healing doesn’t happen in a straight line, or instantly.
The goal is healing, instead of being instantly “healed.”
If you think you’ll be magically cured after taking a pill or attending a therapy session, you won’t see the steps you’re skipping out on to get truly better.
Otherwise, if you don’t instantly reach that finish line you see for yourself, you’ll feel ashamed. That shame can prevent you from allowing yourself the process of healing.
Last week (LINK) we talked about the shame that can accompany pleasure. The feeling that you’re healing can be pleasurable, and you might be tempted to deny yourself that.
I’ve felt this way before. In my book, I talk about wanting to confront my childhood abuser and how that put me in a bad place. It didn’t provide the closure I expected. Instead, I started to participate in anything that would help me heal.
I learned that I could do many things that helped me get better.
But one single thing wasn’t going to be a quick-fix solution.
Don’t expect a quick solution that cures you completely.
Instead, engage in the hard work of healing. You’ll find it to be extremely rewarding. Recognize that it’s going to be a journey, and that’s ok.
So try this: stop visualizing your life after trauma as an unhealed period vs. a healed period.
Recognize the things, big or small, that have put you on the healing path.
What things could you do to find success in the process and milestones of healing?
By Matt Burton