The Art of Healing

the cycle

What do we do when people have hurt us? How can we emerge whole again? There were a few stages that we have personally gone through that have helped us as a person.

First stage is ranting. It doesn’t matter if all you talk about are your heartaches and bad feelings. Speaking to people helps ease the pain, and brings encouragement to oneself. Let it all out. Take advice from people who you trust. Pour your heart out. It is true that some people shun away from listening to the problem of others but find people who are willing to listen. Someone who listens helps take the burden off you. Later on, we’d notice that all the topics lead to the people who have hurt us, how bad our situation is, or how angry we are. At this stage, it would be good to go out, go to cafes, relax a bit, and try to change the usual scene. Get away from the conflicting environment and reflect. Just that, stress seems to follow us wherever we go, but taking a walk does help to calm our nerves and relax a bit.

Second stage is acceptance. Accepting that we can’t do anything about our situation after several tries. We can’t really change the people around us so we have to change ourselves. Acceptance is the key to letting go. By accepting what is happening, we don’t give in to fear instead we take control of our situation. Acceptance is a brave step, of seeing that these problems do happen and so we tell ourselves we have to do something about it. If we are in denial, nothing will change. At this point in time, there will be a lot going on on you’re mind. You will struggle a lot, would find it hard to read or write, which happened to me. It helps to find some diversion along the way to get back on track. Protect yourself is what my mentor would always say. If no one else will, you should learn to think about yourself. Accepting doesn’t mean accepting everything as they are. It means you are ready to do something about the problem.

Third stage. Talk to the people you are experiencing conflict with. It doesn’t matter if you have to speak with them several times or if they don’t listen to you. It is discouraging though to speak with those who aren’t ready to listen. After saying your piece many times over and the other party still doesn’t get it or not even trying to understand, let it be. Wage a “silent rebellion” to make a statement. You can also choose to stage a “mini rebellion”, voicing out your concerns and questioning the status quo. In our experience, things have become too unfair that we have been blamed for things we did not do. No one is standing up for us, so we had to stand up for ourselves. Being in the Chinese family, I have learned about accepting everything as is, of not breaking the “peace” but there comes to a point when it becomes too much to bear that finally we had to cross that barrier. Somehow our voices have been heard, no matter how difficult that was to get our message across. They were able to tone down a bit to the inequality of the treatment among us children. You’d be able to know that you are not a superhero and thus it is not your responsibility to solve everyone’s problems. They may rely on you and even expect you to do the job because you are more understanding and able to grasp the circumstances. Just remember that, you don’t need to carry all the burden on your shoulders.

Fourth stage. You will finally be able to laugh about your situation, at first you might still be bitter about it, but as you go on, you can easily joke about the topics related to the people who have hurt (or still hurting) you not in a bad way. Somehow laughter is the best medicine. You laugh about how people are acting and you find it funny how things turn out. When you can genuinely laugh at your situation, that’s the point where you really have accepted your situation. You start thinking that life is short and you don’t want to waste it on hating and hurting. You have more important things to discover and experience. Our problems are very small compared to others but it doesn’t mean that it’s unimportant; we just have to know that the world is big and we are minute beings in it. There’s a lot going on out there and we have to value the life we have.

Reaching this stage needs a lot of work, you might falter back and forth to the first to third stage.

Fifth stage. You couldn’t care less about what’s happening to those that wronged you. It is okay if you meet them, hear about them; if we relate it to our tastes, you’d say that it has become bland. It doesn’t erase what happened in the past; you can still experience the sting whenever the subject is touched, but it doesn’t hurt as much as before. Surround yourself with good and positive vibes, with people and things that would nurture your heart and mind. Try to avoid negativity (including people who don’t have other things to do except put people down). Some relations though don’t get patched up easily. This is the point in time that you have established the distance and realize that you’re okay with that.

Sixth stage. You might realize that you have let “it” go because you were able to process everything, tried your best to make things work. If it didn’t that’s okay. You should start focusing on you, because after all the hindrances you’d come to know that you have left yourself out of the picture and let others live your life. They controlled your feelings and you were numbed of your senses. You’d remember that you’d wasted so much time. You are able to establish your worth to the people around you. Finally, you’d be able to share ranks with the untouchables or simply because you have learned to ignore what other people are saying. You gear up and have shifted the main point to something else.

It is time to focus on what you can do. As my mentor would always say, if you have something more important to do, you wouldn’t be bothered by the conflicts in the family or relationships. They wouldn’t turn to you and put the problems in your hands.

Seventh stage. Start doing activities or things for yourself. Let the weight shift from focusing too much attention on things that don’t really concern you. I noticed that I am able to read and write when I have let things go and not dwelt too much on the problems. Try cooking, it is a therapeutic activity for me because I get to explore different recipes and let my family try them out. I took up online courses with different courses and already finished about 20 of them. Having something else to focus our energies on will help divert our attention to more important matters. Make yourself busy, not just in your work but find creative activities to spend time on. Find your balance. Never ever let the weight of your problems drag you down. Find an anchor to look to, it can be a companion, in the books you read, movies you watch or places you explore.

Eighth stage. Healing is one thing you’d realize you have attained. In retrospect, wounds are being healed up even if they could never be non-existent. After all, the pain has been caused. The good thing is that we have the choice how to live our life, if we want to succumb to other’s commands or establish to them that we have a life of our own; we respect their decisions and way of life but we also have our own principles. Go on trips and you’d see that you were finally able to shed off the excess weight. You become more carefree and appreciative of your surroundings, of relationships and of going through this process until you reach the stage of healing. If you look back and are able to see how everything added up to this day, to who you are today, that’s attaining the balance. Finally, you are able to breathe freely and are able to accept more challenges.

We grow because we permit ourselves to.

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