You may be very aware of what needs healing, or you may think you know what needs healing. But I often find that what I think needs healing differs from what my conscious mind presents to me.
Imagine that you have been blackberry picking. I love blackberry season and that they line my daily walk. On our way home, out will come a poo bag, and I’ll gather only enough for breakfast. On many occasions, I’ll get scratched trying to get the juicy ones that are just out of reach. I have this picture in my mind that the wild animals come in the night and wee on the lower branches.
Anyone who has been scratched will know that the body is quite remarkable and will set to work to heal the wound. The first thing that happens is the body wants to stop the bleeding and starts the clotting process. Next comes the scabbing process, where platelets come together and plug the wound, along with fibrin, a protein that acts as glue. The wound that your body is healing will look inflamed, and that’s a good thing as the cavalry has arrived to help. Next is rebuilding and growth, supported by constant repair and strengthening.
The body is quite remarkable when given the right healing ingredients.
But of course, you may be impatient or irritated by the itching and pick at the scab, which means the whole process takes just a bit longer and will probably leave a scar.
These scars are nothing like the unseen emotional scars left from a lifetime of abuse. I use the word abuse advisedly because abuse is personal in what it was or is, how it affects you, its intensity and propensity to stop you from being all you can be.
I may have lived in a conflicted home and found it hard to form loving relationships. You might have trust or confidence issues. I may have been sexually abused and groomed, and you may have been raped. You may have been constantly beaten or watched someone else beaten, while I may have witnessed emotional beatings.
All of these things manifest differently, which is why there are so many healing modalities. I have found my way via writing to heal, a group of things that I do that allow me to explore the deeper, craggier parts of me very effectively. Which is supplemented by something else such as EMDR when needed.
Allied with the emotional healing, I am always listening to what my body is telling me and believe you me, it talks. So, for example, when I am irritated, the postherpetic neuralgia (post shingles) that I have in my spine flares up. There are other signs where I suddenly become very impatient. This one makes me smile as I am normally so chilled and laid back, and whoop in it swoops. Thankfully short-lived, but causing stress to my body nonetheless.
The story that triggered the healing process
While sitting in a lovely outside bar overlooking the sea, my reverie was broken by the screams from a neighbouring table. A young girl was having a tantrum. I wondered how she’d gone from playing on a blanket on the floor to a howling banshee.
Mum and I laughed because earlier at our table, I’d had a bit of a meltdown too. I don’t have a QR reader on my phone, which it transpired was needed to access the menu. The sun was bright as I attempted to find an app that didn’t want my credit card details – I had come out with cash only. My mum very helpfully suggested moving tables to one with a menu. She certainly didn’t understand how these things worked. When we asked the waiter how else we could access the menu, he pointed at a board in the distance and walked away.
And then it happened I lost my temper. Not in a raging way, more of a lot of expletives way. What should have been a simple and pleasant trip to the beach turned into a fest of bad customer service and frustration at not accessing the tech that I needed. When the food did arrive, it was horrible and all covered in some garlicky white icky sauce. And so we giggled as we put it all into a plastic bag to supposedly eat later after washing all of the muck off. My mum didn’t want to send it back. I did but acquiesced. So instead, we smiled and toasted her recently passed over friend and reminisced. Calm restored.
Later we chatted about anger and how it manifested in both our lives. As a child, mine was like a raging recently shaken and uncorked bottle of fizz while she let hers fester. She was scared to express herself, and I had no trouble letting anyone know I would not be told what to do. But we both have healing to do.
We both believe that the last few years have a lot to answer for in people’s mental health and old demons coming back to bite you on the bum. I, for one, thought that I was super chilled and that anger, frustration and irritation were distant memories. However, for my mum, it has exacerbated her catastrophising and worry. This stress is not good for either of us, and it won’t be good for you either.
So what needs healing, and why has it raised its head now?
Personally, I see this as a gift.
There is always a lesson and a gift in all of life’s challenges. And yes, they can be uncomfortable to face, but face we must.
I have a great exercise in my writing to heal book and course called timelines and turning points. This provides a picture of your journey, showing up stories, themes, links, patterns, pictures and best of all, lots of ahas.
Years ago, I met with a fab cranial osteopath. During our initial meeting, she explained that my system was wound up like a top from the 48-hour traumatic birth, through all of life’s trials and tribulations to this point. We also discussed generational stuff, but that’s for another day. It made sense.
Chatting with my mum was fascinating. I needed to make sense of the conflict I’d witnessed growing up, that I won’t share here, but to tell you that hearing my mums side of her marriage is heartbreaking. Although I witnessed many arguments, I always chose not to take sides despite not agreeing with my dad’s morals and drinking.
Of course, living in a war zone and being confused by alcoholic behaviour has affected me. One minute I could have anything I wanted from a playful parent, and the next, I was told children are seen and not heard. My dad taught us to disrespect my mum in the most hurtful way, and she never felt heard or worthy. This hurts my heart.
From the current world instability and chaos, I am reminded of my inner chaos and the child that needs healing and to also be heard.
Why this healing and why now?
I think it’s simple, I can allow what is going on in the world to affect my mental health, or I can heed the warning and heal what is coming up. So to me, it really is that simple, but to you, maybe not. I can fall into the void, relive and reenact old patterns or continue to learn how to fly.
In my world, I welcome warning signs as gifts. By being aware and taking action, I can restore some semblance of calm and be reminded that I can only control myself and my reactions.
Each time I am triggered, I take to my journal and embrace one or two writing to heal techniques and explore.
Ask yourself these healing questions:
- What do I want to heal?
- Why do I want to heal this thing?
- How do I know that I want to heal this?
- What will healed look and feel like, and what will I see?
Then reflect. Come back and ask:
- What do I need to heal?
- How do I know that I need to heal this thing?
- What will healed look and feel like, and what will I see?
There is a big difference between what you want and need to heal.
The need to heal may feel uncomfortable, and that is good. Explore, become a witness and allow the healer within to support you.
It’s not enough to heal your symptoms when the source is usually much deeper. Healing comes from exploring the inner you. Therapists and mental help professionals can’t heal their patients unless you are first willing to face and resolve your fears, emotions and past. I believe that life happens for us and not to us. We cannot change the past, it is certainly not a place to dwell, but it is a fabulous encyclopedia to support your growth.
Healing and learning to fly means taking responsibility and committing to your health, happiness and inner peace. It seems to me that the healing that we do is something that we need to learn to teach and be a guide for others. And that things come up at the right time so that we can co-create a better world.
You can’t make healing happen. It has its own pathway and timeline. But know that whatever is coming up for you is meant, explore with an open heart, take responsibility, allow the healing to come, acknowledge the challenges, lessons and gifts and then use it to support others.
Make friends with your past, draw a line in the sand, start here with all of the tools, skills, knowledge and experiences that you have. You are far braver and more resourceful than you think. It’s time to heal and share your gifts.
Dale Darley, AKA The Word Alchemist. Dale is a prolific writer and journaler. She teaches others how to write to heal and then how to heal others through your writing. She has used writing to heal for understanding and healing the effects of childhood trauma, narcissistic relationships and illness. Writing has supported Dale in her journey to love herself and refind her wild.
Join me on the Writing To Heal adventure.