Whether you acknowledge it or not, there is something in your life that needs healing. We don’t live very long before our spirits are wounded by unkind remarks, unreasonable expectations, or traumas that reside in our bodies, ready to be triggered again by the slightest word or event.
But you have to make the time to heal. This holiday season, with all its sequestering and physical distancing can be a great opportunity to take the time for yourself to heal.
Many people I speak with are filled with raw emotion this year in particular. Their inner spirits have been stretched to the breaking point. This is particularly true for:
- extroverts, who need to be with people in order to get energy, and can’t be;
- the socially conscious who are grappling with racial, economic, and health care justice;
- those who have lost loved ones in the pandemic;
- the unemployed whose job evaporated in this national recession;
- the medical community on the front lines of Covid;
- families that could not say good-bye to loved ones;
- a battle-bruised electorate during this over-long political season.
Healing is not just restoring something to its former state. Healing will always leave evidence of the trauma, whether it be surgical scars, viral anti-bodies, or the wounds of a grieving heart.
It’s the same for your inner spirit, that spark of life that motivates your onward movement and gives you joy. Spiritual scars remain long after the original hurt is forgotten. Yet, in each scar is a lesson, something new to learn that makes you a better person.
What if you used this time to ask, “What is the message my grief and pain are giving me, that I can take away here and now?”
Many may be tempted to go the victim route, to feel sorry for themselves, or to blame others for a less-than-ideal world. Moaning about what has already happened does not heal; it only retraumatizes.
Teasing out the messages from grief needs a period of deep introspection. I find asking the question and then waiting for the brain fog to clear often reveals the answers in time. Grief and spiritual wounds may offer the following kinds of messages:
- Following the status quo long term does not make me happier.
- It’s time for a more realistic reframe of how I perceive the world.
- Blaming others or self is a dead end.
- It may finally be time to take a different career path.
- Death is real, and no one has to like it.
- Living with ambiguity is the norm, not the exception.
- Strong emotional boundaries are a right, not a privilege.
- NO is a great answer….just NO.
- Change is the only absolute in life.
- Loss always leads to gain in unexpected places.
- Where do I find my power in vulnerability, courage, sensitivity, empathy, and intuition?
Every wound to our core spirits changes our identity a bit. We call this maturity, growth, or wisdom. Why not use this quieter holiday season for a time of personal growth? There’s no sense in thinking that denial, the ultimate spiritual tourniquet, will do anything more than staunches the bleeding and postpone the healing.
Get out of your head and into your heart and listen to the gentle whisper of love that will make you feel whole and more successful as a person.
© 2020 Michael Parise