When we want to give up on something, we hopefully weigh our options. We ask ourselves why we want to give up, and what would the cost and benefit be if we gave up.
“Why live?” is a familiar question to this blog, so I wanted to think on the question of “Why heal?” Why go to therapy? Why read these books and articles about my ailments? Why try being healthy? Why take time to think of things that hurt so much to even recall, and had so little justice or affirmation?
I always told myself that I do these things because I don’t want to end up like my parents, whose refusal to heal turned them into the horribly broken and abusive people I know them to be. I would also remember how I want to be a wife (and maybe a mother) someday; a woman who’s restored and healthy would be more able to love her family, right?
And I realize these are reasons outside of myself. They concern others who are connected to me in a deep way, but they aren’t of me.
So…why am I doing all this for me?
The first thought I have is a simple one: “I don’t want to be like this.” What’s “this”? Moody, frightened, fragmented, etc. These things trouble the people around me, only adding to my distress over having these problems (which is, again, outside), but “this” isn’t a way I want to live, either. It’s not how I’m meant to live.
When God made me, made any of us, He had hopes for us. He wanted me to be happy and whole, and while this world isn’t safe, I’d be secure enough to face the dangers and challenges in my way. That’s the hope any good father would have for his children. Many of those hopes didn’t come true for me growing up, but they can come true as I heal.
But again, that’s an outside reason.
What is it that I long for? Love and acceptance. How do I see myself getting it? Healing. Don’t people love and accept me even now, as I’m still in the process of healing?
I lost a lot of people on this journey, many of which were people I thought would be with me through thick and thin. It’s obvious where my feelings of abandonment would come from. There are still people who did stay, who are here with me as I walk this path. They still love and accept me, even when I’m unpleasant to be around.
I don’t let myself fully appreciate this fact because I just tell myself it’s not going to last; “They’ll leave just like everyone else.” Maybe. It doesn’t erase the fact that they’re here now, and that they actually want to be here.
Why heal? Not to earn anyone’s love or acceptance, not even my own; that love is conditional, and built on empty promises. That love and acceptance should already be there.
Why heal? Because I want a better life than the one I’m leading while driven by my brokenness. I’m denying myself so much by holding onto these lessons and beliefs I learned from horrible things done to me by horrible people looking to break me.
I’m healing because I am in need of healing.
By this logic, I will be healing everyday of my life until I die; every human, no matter how sheltered they’ve been from the dangers and unhappiness of this world, has some brokenness they carry inside. It’s the human condition; there’s no shame in it, nor any shame in realizing that.
No wound is too small to be left uncounted, and no wound is too big to be left untreated. Having outside reasons to heal can be good, but they can bring about feelings of resentment and inadequacy.
Why are you healing?