As a life coach who has coached over 1,000 people in over 10 countries, one of the most often asked questions is: “How can I heal?” From teens to women old enough to be my grandmother, most of my coaching calls include questions about healing.
Be it relationship wounds, childhood traumas, friendship drama, and more, people want to know how can I move on from this? That’s really what healing is; the ability to move on and not stay stagnant emotionally at the place you were wounded. Below are just a few tips on how to heal.
1. Acknowledge that you are hurting and why you are hurting.
Often times, we don’t want to admit we’re hurt. We can feel as if admitting we are hurt means we are weak or less than. To the contrary, admitting that you are hurt simply means you are human and strong enough to admit you are hurting and need healing. You will never fix what you refuse to admit is broken.
A patient can’t go to the doctor and tell him or her I am hurting without the doctor asking, where does it hurt? How long has it been hurting? When did it first begin hurting? Does it hurt more at certain times than others? No matter how mad or overwhelming acknowledging your pain may be, if you are to heal, you must admit you are hurt.
2. Ask yourself what you think this pain has taken from you.
Often, when I speak to people who are still healing from a divorce, the pain they are complaining of is not just the broken marriage, but the belief that I will never love or be loved again. That means they are mourning what they believe a traumatic event has not only taken from their past, but their future.
I recently coached a woman who loss her mother. While there certainly is hurt that is associated with losing a loved one, I asked her to tell me what losing her mother meant for her future. She said, “I will never be able to celebrate Mother’s Day again.” It wasn’t until I began sharing with her that she can celebrate Mother’s Day as much as she wants, that her perspective began to change. Somewhere, there is a woman who never married or never had children, who is in a nursing home, or lives alone and would love to be adopted as a mother. Somewhere, there is a child who never knew their mother, who would embrace her as theirs if only they knew she existed and she chose to act as a surrogate mother to them.
Very often, pain is deceptive. It will cause you to think you have lost something that you never really lost; you just need an alternative perspective.
3. Act according to your new perspective.
You can’t expect to be happy today, if you are living with yesterday’s expectations. Let go of who your younger self thought you should have been by now. Bid it adieu! Life and her experiences come to teach us a new way of thinking, seeing things, and living that you never could have imagined or accounted for in your younger years. Now that you know differently, dream differently, and plan differently. Chart the next course of your life with your new perspective. In your 20s, you may have thought, I will be a millionaire by 40, only for life to have taught you by 33 that money is not how you will define success.
When your perspective changes, adjust your actions to accommodate what you now believe.
There is an old saying, “the only thing constant in life is change.” It’s inevitable, that sometimes that change will be painful. But, the key to enjoying life and healing is to remember, you can heal as you go if you are willing to acknowledge your pain, ask yourself what you believe the pain has taken from you, and then act according to your new perspective.
To contact Tera, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.