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Healing & Time: A Burden We Buried but Continue To Carry

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

Emotional trauma changes people. Once someone experiences trauma, they will never be the same. Because of this, it is important to know that emotional healing does not restore someone to a “pre-trauma” state of mind – but it can regenerate. Regeneration: To be re-born; brought again into existence; formed anew; restored to a better state. Emotional healing is a difficult, important process, and it cannot be rushed. No matter how badly someone wants to heal, it does not happen instantly. “Time heals" is the cliché so often used, reminding us that we are incapable of moving through the process “overnight”. As you begin the healing process, it is important to understand that, while the emotional trauma may not be your fault, the healing is your responsibility. No one will do the work for you. Discovering how to heal requires patience, which will enable us to walk through the process in a healthy way. So, how do we go from here?

-Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. writes that "Emotional healing is a little like climbing a difficult flight of stairs with some bumps along the way. You go up a few, then maybe pause or take a step backward, and then climb a few more. The problem is that the down moments can feel insurmountable to someone who has been traumatized or suffers from painful mood swings, but these are mere moments that you will overcome sooner than your fears would have you believe."

In July I visited my family, and my parents and I shared a moment together in the car. At some point, we started talking about the importance of making wise choices regarding the people we invite into our lives. They mentioned I should be careful about the person I choose for my future, taking care not to invest too much in someone who carries significant emotional baggage. I teared up. , and my stomach sank as I began to cry in earnest. How could my parents say this without remembering the reason for my visit home? Didn’t they realize I was suffering from immense trauma and that I myself carried a suitcase of baggage? The week before this trip home, I experienced something truly traumatizing. The reason for my trip home was so I could take some time to be with my family to heal. My parents were not intentionally trying to harm me or trigger me in this way through their words. However, unintentional, or not, we cannot change what other people say, we are only responsible for how we respond. As soon as my parents realized the effect their words had on me, their attitude changed from engaging in a thoughtless conversation to concern and remorse. Even if they hadn't apologized and shown an effort to listen to how I felt at that moment, it would still be my responsibility to heal. Wanting to heal is not enough - healing requires action. Primarily, action in actively managing the things you have control over – how you react to emotional triggers, how you react to others, facilitating healthy communication with your support structure – things like that. There may also be some “actions” within your control that allow you to remove external obstacles to your healing, such as toxic relationships.

Little by little, we can take steps toward healing. We climb a few steps and pause. Some take the steps one at a time, with periodic setbacks. Some run up the stairs with less of a struggle

At the end of the day, we need to be mindful that being “healed” does not mean being restored to our original state. The result is not restoration, but regeneration – a new “me”, built back better, bearing the scars of my experience. However, you get there, take it to step by step, one day at a time. The path to healing is something that must be taken if we seek to move past trauma toward continuous growth.


How do YOU handle the tough moments? Do you push these thoughts down?

If you're someone who has an avoidant conflict style, try to register these emotions and thoughts, instead of holding them in.

Do you think that someone would look at your from an outward perspective and notice your motivation to heal?

What is one way you can take a small step toward your healing journey this week?

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