An itchy scab. Weeks in a cast while our bones mend and fuse. Discomfort. Often invisible to others. Painful, solitary. Complex and layered. Healing is patience. Surrender. Allowing. Hope and trust that we will be made whole again. Healing is frustrating while our psyche drums a mantra, "when, when, when?" When can this be over? When can I resume my life, my patterns, my routine?
Healing can look like dishes left in the sink for too long. Getting through, or just getting by. Falling apart before gathering. And then maybe falling apart again. Things get messy as they heal - and often not in socially acceptable ways. It's ok, and more than that, it's important to let it fall apart.
Healing is potent and full of quiet magic.
This is what I'm learning about healing after almost a year and a half into a powerful and difficult chapter of healing in my life. Everything I knew and held dear: the dynamics, labels and identities which kept me safe, secure and sturdy, were stretched and forced to break. And then, those same components of me had to try and come back together again in a new way. I have shed seemingly endless layers of myself. There were moments when everything was too tender and raw. And then as I got up off the floor, moments where everything was far too delicate and fragile.
We know so little about these human homes we rent. Rumi's poem, The Guest House depicts our emotions as all equally important visitors, shaping us for our journeys:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
My own emotional visitors tend to come in seasons: weeks of beauty, sychronicities, intuitive downloads, joy. Lucid dreams, fluid and freeing sensations in my body, and feelings of gratitude, expansion, trust and growth. These weeks of understanding, awareness, and powerful consciousness can be followed by a season of shedding, when I'm poised for more work and deeper growth. That shedding can look like deep fatigue, nightmares, tears, limited capacity to be in social situations, and grief. It's usually a time of purging what is no longer serving me - of release. It's hard work, and during the shedding and the healing, I commit to serious self-care (like extra sleep, gratitude meditations, more hours alone, and only extraordinarily supportive friends around me.)
Healing always leaves me confused, rattled, resistant, and then finally grateful and committing to allow all that is arising. I'm learning that staying in it - all of it - provides a form of deep soul relief on the other side and gets me closer to my authentic self than I was before.
I'm surrendering and allowing all that wants to be seen from within: a crowd of sorrows, shame, and empty quiet when my intuition wanes. Hoping and trusting that I am being cleared out for some new delight.