strong enough to heal.

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They see my strength,

but their definitions

of strength

comprise of deflection

rather than dissection.

– Dissect

***

Healing to me is an amalgamation of treating wounds and growing stronger as a result. A cocktail of growth and self-care.  The growth that comes after a set-back is the most painful of all. But it’s a miracle that is worth it. It is called healing. It uses all the strength that we didn’t know that our minds were reserving for a rainy day- to push through. That subconscious and unapologetic growth that happens from the moment we are let down is a miracle. It a miracle because the heart doesn’t care for it at that moment but our minds and bodies know what is best for us deep down. I’m still healing from things that hurt me when I was 16, healing from the way I was raised and the way others treated and exploited me whilst growing up, I didn’t know it then but these things impacted me in multiple ways. Part of my healing process recently has including re-educating my dad on how to be the father that I want him to be, and this is helping me grow as an individual. I could have ignored my problematic upbringing and ‘push forward’ but I realised that part of ‘pressing forward’ includes attempting to rectify the past. I didn’t want to grow up broken or looking for solace in other men to replace the duties of my father.

Mental health is just as fragile as our physical health. The only difference is that when we injure ourselves externally, we (I hope) treat the wounds and allow them to heal by doing the relevant remedies suggested to us, or what we already know, to encourage the wounds to heal in the best way possible. But when we injure ourselves mentally through traumatic experiences or self-neglect, we don’t actually see the wounds so often we do not treat them or we don’t know how to heal. That’s when you find yourself shutting down mentally, having breakdowns, going through a negative change in character or develop other small but noticeably alarming traits.

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So how do we self-heal? I wish there was a concise answer to this, there are so many interpretations of how people can begin and sustain the journey to healing and it gets complicated because everyone is different so they react and respond differently to different methods. But I have broken it down into 3 stages for myself, awareness, aim and practice. Awareness, implying the process of realising what I want to work on or heal from. Aim, what I would like to be like instead or how I want this healing process to end, what results I would like to see and practice, and how am I to achieve this? What methods am I going to indulge in or what changes am I going to incorporate into my life? For instance, one of my immediate responses to hurtful situations is to cry first, cry unapologetically and I don’t see crying as a display of weakness- I see it as releasing all of the bottled up negative emotion so that it doesn’t stay polluting my system. I also, listen to relevant music, read relevant pieces (as of recent I have been reading Rupi Kaur) and write about it. If I do these few things, (especially writing profusely) in rotation I will eventually come to terms with things so much so that I won’t feel the same level of pain or discomfort when I think of what was affecting me. It’s a process that cannot be rushed- trust me I have tried to speedup up the process* but all it results in is me ignoring or covering the problem rather than dealing with it. (*Gods time is the best time).

I have incorporated certain things into my daily routine so that I can continuously be practicing healing and coming to terms with things in my everyday life as opposed to waiting until I am hurt or affected by something before I take care of myself. When we think of healing, we either think of fancy rituals and routines that seem out of reach for us. But the beauty in it is that it occurs so often even when we don’t notice it, speaking about particular situations can count as healing, being able to think of solutions to things bothering you is an aspect of healing, even taking care of yourself, like indulging in self-care is a form of healing. The same way that our bodies send little platelets to the surface of a wound and our immune system defends us involuntarily is the same way that I feel like our minds can look out for us if we allow it to and heal us without us really knowing it. I continuously voluntarily engage in healing techniques that work for me to encourage my body to do it involuntarily also. That why sometimes I will be down and all of a sudden I have an urge to visit my favorite spot in London, or read a certain author or read a specific Biblical verse. This is my mind prompting myself to do what I find strength in to allow my mind to be at peace, and most times when I do these things I’ll be able to pinpoint what exactly was bothering me in the first place and begin to get through it. Don’t stunt your growth, allow it to happen. Let the leaves push through.

Strength to heal,

Kemi.

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