Growth and Healing

Happy Self-Love Sunday!

This Sunday I want to focus on Growth and Healing. I know that sometimes I get caught up in the idea of being this unaffected, perfectly functioning, healthy member of society and frankly that’s not realistic. I’m learning to be at peace with the fact that I’m not always going to be able to handle things perfectly and pretend to be unaffected by the trials of life. There will be seasons of healing and those seasons may look like painful journeys towards self-realization. There will also be seasons of lessons and those seasons may be just as painful as the seasons of healing, if not more. During the seasons when you may not look or feel your best, how do you operate? How do you make it from day to day? And then, when the season is over. How do you heal? What does your growth look like? When the rhythm of your existence doesn’t seems to match the smile you once had, how do you keep up and make sure you don’t lose your path?

This Self-Love Sunday we’re talking about Growth and Healing, two extremely important topics when it comes to Self-Love. This week I’m going to feature my very good friend Mike Bonner. I’m going to offer my suggestions for successfully growing and healing and then he’ll share from his perspective.

Words from Briana

When tragedy strikes, as it often does…it often occurs when you:

1. Least expect it

2. Feel least prepared to handle it

&

3. Have a lot going on, already

During these times, the last thing you actually want to do is take time to really address and understand your emotions. I’ve noticed that sometimes my emotions feel so overwhelming that I end up just ignoring them. The issue with ignoring your emotions and suppressing your feelings is the fact that they don’t actually go away. I’ve learned a lot from suppressing and ignoring. Two years ago after a series of unfortunate events (did you get my literary reference??) I found myself in a place I had never been mentally. I used to tell myself that I was too busy with school, extra-curricular activities and my personal life to address what I was going through. I didn’t feel that I had time to process tragedies and the stresses that were on me. I put up a wall to separate myself from my family and friends and I tried to handle everything on my own. Every day was a struggle but I assumed I was better off ignoring my true feelings than addressing them. I can speak on it now because I’m no longer in that place but I was having anxiety attacks at least 7 times every single day starting at 6:00 a.m. every morning. When you suppress your emotions, you’re just turning over an hourglass & hoping for the best. You don’t have much time before the sand runs out…and when it does, you have no choice but to face the music. Unlearning and cutting out unhealthy habits from my life was the most important part for me. I had to step away from the situation and learn that I needed to find healthy ways to deal with tragedies. I had to unlearn the unhealthy habits I had been practicing and start implementing practical changes in my life.  I’m the type of person who loves to read encouraging things but I also need practical applications so here are a few suggestions that worked for me:

  1. Step away from the situation, I do this by calling everything for what it is. Your heart isn’t “broken”. You’re not “incapable of loving again”. Use definitive language to address your emotions. Try saying things like “I feel….” “I will…..” “I am…”
  2. Instead of isolating yourself, it’s important to turn to people that you trust. There may be someone who has gone through the exact same thing you’re going through and could have advice for you.
  3. Take the time you need for yourself. Mental Health Days are so important! If you have to step away from school or work for a day or two, don’t be afraid to do so. You know yourself better than anyone else.
  4. As you’re actively addressing the issue, find ways to move on. Don’t wallow in guilt, guilt will have you crippled and afraid to move on. Allow yourself to learn lessons about life during this time. Your feelings are justified. You are allowed to hurt. However, you don’t have any control over what life hands you…you’re solely responsible for how you handle it. You can’t beat yourself up for the cards that you’ve been handed.
  5. Give yourself time, there’s no rush to recover. There’s no expiration date on healing…it’s a daily process. Don’t run from it and don’t rush it.

One of my favorite poets, Malanda Jean Claude, tweeted: “What you don’t heal, your children take on. unresolved issues don’t disappear with time, they grow into anger, seasoned depression & irrational fear. cut energetic ties with stories/emotions/people who don’t serve you anymore. that’s how you release the next generation.”

Growth and healing are not only for your benefit but they’re also for all those who will come after you.

Mike’s Words:

So a lot times the idea of “growing & healing” is looked down upon because it may suggest that you need a little help. Well the truth is, you do. And with a different perspective, you’ll come to realize that there’s no shame or harm in knowing that. As most of you may have experienced, death has attacked my family. So what’s helping me grow & healing responsibly?
Here are 3 small keys that have unlocked the doors to me becoming healthier. Both mentally and emotionally.
Key 1 = Admitting
I believe as it is told in a lot of rehabilitation centers, that the 1st step to recovery is realizing that you need help. Just because you need some assistance, doesn’t mean you’re helpless. It just means & shows you that you can’t always do it alone. Admitting frees you from confusion. When you don’t admit but yet know the truth, you bind yourself to neglect. Free yourself by being honest with yourself!
Key 2 = Talking
I know the feeling of not wanting to talk about what’s affecting you or hurting you. You just don’t wanna talk about it. The truth is, though you may not realize it, simply talking about it relieves a lot of extra weight on your heart & mind. When you speak about your “hurt”, you not only confront it but you also show that you’re willing enough to be vulnerable even if it’s uncomfortable. You don’t want to be like a soda bottle that’s been shaken up but hasn’t opened up. Then when it does, it explodes. Little by little take the time to talk to someone you trust (or even try talking to yourself) and begin to slowly open up to the real truth about how you’re feeling.
Key 3 = Set aside some “you time”
I can’t express enough how healthy it is to take time for yourself. I know individuals who are so caught up in being around other people, that other people begin to dictate their life. “You time” is key because if you don’t get to know yourself, other people will define you. With everyone being different and everyone going through different circumstances, no one really knows what you’re feeling or going through but you and God. People can say what they want but only you know the truth. You come to realize that setting aside time for yourself is something everyone needs. Sometimes you just have to block out all the noise. Time to yourself is time well spent.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed today’s post! What are you doing this week to improve your methods of growth and healing? ✨

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