This past week in The Gifts of Imperfection course, we have been focusing on Self-Compassion and treating ourselves as we would treat someone we love. One of my personal practices in the last week has been around practicing self-compassion for how long things take. Those “things” may be creating changes in habits or patterns, growth or personal evolution, or in the process of healing. In some of these areas, we may be able to create a shortcut or a hack, but we cannot rush healing.
As we are moving through the necessary steps to support our body or our minds in the journey back toward wholeness, we have to recognize that the healing process is going to take the time that it takes. And healing from different things at different times in our lives may present with various timelines. We may become impatient and we may judge that things are taking “too long”, but healing takes all of the time it needs for us to be able to come back to wholeness with integrity.
When we attempt to rush our healing, we can actually get in the way of our ability to heal, prolong the healing process, or even reinjure the wound, setting things back to square one. So, it can be helpful to let go of our own personal expectations around how long the process may take and to practice being kind to ourselves as we make the journey.
This pertains to any and all types of healing- physical, mental, relational, emotional, spiritual, etc. No matter what part of ourself we are healing, the process will take time and will move at its own pace. I have worked with many mental health clients in the process of overcoming trauma who question how much longer the process will take and how much longer they will have to endure the pain. This is something else to be mindful of- that although we are on the healing path, we cannot assume there will be no pain there.
Healing, growth, and personal evolution are all painful and uncomfortable as we are transforming out of the state we have been in and into a new one. Although we are attending to the injury, it still is not whole yet, so there will continue to be pain through the process. That pain is a sign that we are still healing and a call for continued self-compassion.
When we can attend to the pain and treat ourselves with love and kindness like we would a friend or a child, we can find more ease in the process. It does not mean that the process will be EASY, but we can allow ourselves to flow with the process rather than fight against it. We can take ourselves out of contraction and into the expansive state that allows healing.
Yes, we may wish the process were moving at a faster pace, we may tell ourselves stories about our experience along the way, and we may clearly be able to see the distance between where we are and where we want to be, but let’s also be gentle with ourselves as we are overcoming. Let’s look back at how far we have already come. Let’s allow ourselves to be in the process– a work in progress.
This week, I invite you to practice kindness with yourself in the healing journey. Look back and see how far you have come rather than only how much further you wish to go.
And, as always, I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,