“Freedom is recognizing that healing is a journey — not a destination.”
I’ve spent much of the last four years navigating through significant and unexpected trauma with several important, foundational relationships in my life. The losses piled up high and at a dizzying pace. When I finally came out of the haze and took emotional inventory of the rubble, I suddenly had one singular, desperate goal — to heal.
Two words, one glorious objective: to heal.
I realize now the mistake of making my end game an infinitive verb with a very clearly defined finish line. However, back then, I felt satisfied with my self-administered marching orders. So I soldiered on from that starting point, anxious to feel better, to mend, to heal.
Things didn’t go according to (my) plan — at least in the beginning. In fact, most of my efforts then weren’t actually spent on anything remotely productive or restorative. Instead, I spent countless hours, days, weeks, and even months simply wallowing in rage — at myself.
Why? Because I was so angry at not being able to make a nice, neat, straight line to healing.
I was furious with myself for being unable to feel better, to push through, to just “get over and on with it” and start living life again without the hurt.
Healing is More Curves and Crookeds Than Straights and Narrows
It took me months of navigating the curves and crookeds of my hurt to finally realize this fundamental truth: not every recovery takes the same path. More importantly, I finally discovered that, sometimes, the hurt runs so dead that the goal isn’t to HEAL — but to simply commit to HEALING, in whatever winding, perpetual, progressive form it may take.
Most importantly, I finally stopped being angry with myself for failing to reach the finish line when I stopped viewing my healing as a destination.
Now, four years later, healing for me often feels like ocean waves. Somedays, I am able to ride the top of those hurt waves, navigating and soaring like a MF boss. Other times, without warning or explanation, a rogue pain wave crashes right over me, forcing me to momentarily lose my breath, footing, and bearings.
But then I get back up and continue on my journey, periodically pulse-checking the horizon for the next wave. Because I recognize there will likely always be a next wave and varying, intermittent seasons of riding high and getting washed ashore.
Freedom is knowing that sometimes healing simply means increasing the time between the soaring.
Today’s’ Soft Never
Today, let’s put a Soft Never on assuming we’ll never heal if we take the long, winding path. Let’s lean into the truth that healing is more curves and crookeds than straights and narrows, and everyone’s path is different.