I find many struggling with pain, filling their lives with suffering. It is time to remember that every wound contains within itself the ability to heal. Humor helps.
You are a baby, you have just begun crawling. You are excited- you can crawl, you can CRAWL! You give your parents a big toothless smile and accelerate towards them at the (mind-boggling) speed of 2 miles/hour. Increasing velocity, increasing….increasing…and BANG! (Where did that chair come from?) Of course, you have an in-built program to handle just such a situation
1. Begin phase 1- cry: keep checking to see if strange man or woman notices
2. Gradually increase crying volume till your feet magically leave the ground
3. Allow strangers to say random words in unknown language
4. Go to sleep, forget about it
5. Wake up the next day, ready to bump head (or boneless knee) once again
Fast forward a few years. You are 13. You trip down a set of stairs.
1. You rub your butt. Your head is filled with humiliation, your ears with your friends’ laughter
2. Your friends decide to record this for all posterity with their mobile phones
3. You laugh along with them, making a mental note to yourself to keep your mobile phone handy to capture the instant they fall
4. You forget about your butt. You remember your mobile phone.
You are middle-aged. It is a complex world. Charts and figures astound you, people overwhelm you, your body has decided that it doesn’t like that much beer or street food after all. You read news of world catastrophes, poverty and misery. People keep telling you that if you are (or look) happy, it is sinful and selfish. You need to keep worrying to prove to society that you are compassionate.
Your significant other dumps you. You lose your job…
1. You can’t take it anymore, you (decide to) feel whammied
2. You are unable to cope with the situation- the (painful) scene keeps replaying inside your head
3. You are unable to forget- you rush to your (mini?) bar
4. You fall into a stupor, hoping you don’t get up for some time
5. You get up, wonder why you drank so much
6. You actually remember why you drank so much, and you realize…Your. Life. Is. Ruined. Forever.
7. You research online. You seek therapy. You self-medicate.
8. You decide you will never forget this. You decide to never recover.
9. You realize you need to learn how to heal
Babies heal. Adults forget that they were babies once.
You don’t need to learn how to heal. You have simply forgotten. Healing is like your Windows OS (sorry Mac users) pre-loaded into a corner of your laptop’s hard drive. If your laptop goes crazy, you do a factory reset, a system restore and presto, your laptop’s as good as new. You need to do just that to heal- a system recovery. You need to go back into your past to heal your present, but there is no need to stay there.
So, how do you heal yourself?
1. Stop worrying about getting hurt. You will get hurt. There are tables and chairs everywhere, but how will you know where they are without bumping your (soft 1 year old) head once in a way? Next time, you will be careful. You will handle that table when you are ready- you will DESTROY that table the day you turn 2 or 5 or whatever (you don’t know to count yet, anyway). Until then, the table had better watch out. You can’t stop crawling just because mommy or the table said so. You can’t stop living just because life says so.
2. When you get hurt, scream away. Not that loudly (society is watching), but at least inside your head. Use a few swear words, forget about being a gentleman or lady. That way, people watching you will also become traumatized at your behavior and reach out to you for therapy. If someone wants to comfort you, grant them that privilege. If you want to be alone and laugh it off, that’s perfectly fine. Get it out of your system. Life punched your tire, allow it to inflate back with a pop.
3. Make a mental note to learn about what hurt you. If someone is bullying you, learn to stand up for yourself. If someone dumped you, stop carrying them around in your head. In fact, dump them back (mentally, not on the phone- that might be silly). If you got fired, search for a new job…but learn why you got fired to ensure you don’t end up that way again.
4. Keep rubbing your butt where it hurts. Yes, it will hurt for a while, but one day when you are watching Netflix or reading something on Medium, you will forget all about it (there you go, I just reminded you to rub it again).
5. Focus on better things. Most people who try to heal try very hard to forget pain. You can’t forget pain, you can only deprioritize it till it no longer figures in your todo list (crap, I forgot to heal my pain today, but no time- gotta rush). When you have other things filling up your life, you will have little time to remember when and where you got hurt. Remember that time when you rubbed your hand or finger, wondering where you bumped it because you can’t recollect? That’s exactly what I am talking about. Positive focus and a bad memory are two sides of the same coin.
That is all that healing is, in a nutshell. Just don’t keep picking at the scabs or you will end up having a scar- let nature take care of things. Remember how to heal, but the moment you decide to heal- develop a bad memory.
Four steps…Pick yourself up, analyze and forget the incident (you have better things to think about), forget the pain (you have better things to feel)…but remember the lesson (to make sure your future is better than your pa ** — sorry, really can’t recall that last word).