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The Healing Journey: Embracing the Pendulum Swings

As humans, we crave predictability and control, especially when it comes to our emotional well-being. We want to believe that healing is a straightforward process, that once we start working on ourselves, we will inevitably progress towards a state of constant happiness and inner peace. However, the truth is that healing is not a linear journey. It’s more like a pendulum swing, with ups and downs, twists and turns, as we navigate the complexities of our emotions and relationships.

The Pendulum Swing of Healing + the Myth of Linear

The idea of linear healing is a myth perpetuated by popular culture, which often portrays personal growth as a Hollywood-style montage of self-discovery and epiphanies. In reality, healing is messy, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright painful. It’s a process that requires us to confront our deepest fears, traumas, and insecurities, which can be overwhelming at times.

Furthermore, the idea of linear healing can be harmful because it sets unrealistic expectations and creates a sense of failure when we inevitably hit roadblocks or regress. It can also lead to self-judgment and shame when we compare ourselves to others who seem to be making more progress.

Expert Voices

According to practitioners, the idea of linear healing is not only unrealistic but also counterproductive. They emphasize the importance of embracing the swings and accepting that healing is a nonlinear process. “The healing journey is messy, and it’s not a straight line,” says therapist and author Lori Gottlieb. “It’s more like a spiral, where you revisit the same issues, but from a different perspective each time.”

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, a clinical psychologist and professor at Pepperdine University echoes this sentiment: “Healing is a journey, and there will be highs and lows. The lows are not failure or evidence that you have lost progress. Instead, they are opportunities to gain insight and learn how to better navigate your path.”

There is an emphasis on acknowledging and processing our emotions, rather than trying to suppress or control them.

Embracing the Swings: Tips for Navigating the Healing Journey

So, how can we embrace the swings and navigate the healing journey with more ease and compassion? Here are some tips:

  1. Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself and recognize that setbacks and regressions are a natural part of the healing process.
  2. Stay present: Instead of focusing on the destination, focus on the present moment and the small steps you’re taking towards healing.
  3. Seek support: Connect with others who are on a similar journey, and consider working with a practitioner who can provide guidance and support. (contact me here!)
  4. Cultivate self-awareness: Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and notice when you’re starting to swing towards one extreme or the other. Use this awareness to make conscious choices that align with your values and goals.

In conclusion, the healing journey is not linear, and that’s okay. It’s a process that requires us to embrace the swings, accept the messiness, and practice self-compassion along the way. As we navigate the ups and downs, we can cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness, resilience, and inner peace.

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