Griefs and Joys in Healing

I remember trying to pray when I was so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed.

It honestly felt like punching a brick wall.  As exhausted as I was, I often wondered, “Why am I hurting myself more?”

But there is this one moment I remember, and I’ve been coming back to lately.

I had just woken up. Sunlight was streaming in from the window on my right.

Gently I heard, “You’re not going to be the same person when you get better.”

It seemed obvious enough.  I knew that the struggle with chronic illness was shaping me.  Getting out of bed every day, making food and going for a walk were my greatest triumphs.  I knew that I was brave in the midst of feeling extremely fragile and broken in social situations.  I knew that I didn’t fit in with people my age anymore.

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For these things, I grieve, and I still grieve. I often feel like I’ve lost my 20’s.  I’ve lost the time to experience the spontaneity of life as a single 20something–and I’ll never get it back. I’m learning to be gentle with myself and let myself grieve that I can’t rewind time. I spent time in bed instead of going on dates.  I roast chicken and make bone broth instead of going to a bar.  I learned to stay put instead of travel.

And as I heal-I still spend hours in the kitchen.  I plan out where I eat and where Chipotle stops are along a vacation route.  I read in quiet more than I go out with friends.

But I am noticing these quiet gifts, joys that I wouldn’t have known before. I can sit still.  I can create an environment of peace, and hopefully people feel more peaceful after spending time with me. I can make yummy, healthy food and I love sharing food with others. I’m not scared away by hard questions.  I can speak my nuanced perspective much more confidently. I can take care of myself and not apologize for it. I allow myself to be refreshed daily.

I’m not the same person I was, and yet I am.  

This gifts were in me, waiting to be seen.

What I really did, slowly, was remove facades. I didn’t need to appear extroverted, or be a power-house single female who was an accomplished career-woman.  I got to drop these images of myself, and get in touch with my fragile, vulnerable self.

I learned to cherish and find great strength in my vulnerability.  I had the opportunity to claim honesty as one of my greatest gifts.  I got to slow down and learn to be friends with myself.

What healing journey are you on? What griefs and joys are you experiencing?

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