Ever decided that, instead of complaining about the fleeting nature of happiness, you're going to relish those 8-10 seconds? You're gonna soak up all that short time has to give you? Maybe even make it last a fraction of a second longer?
Sometimes it's easy. Lots of times it's not. Healing is funny like that. It doesn't take a whole lot all at once -- maybe a decision here and there, maybe 8-10 seconds here and there -- but it also takes everything you can muster.
A couple thoughts:
- You can heal from something (even if you can't heal from everything) and you'll probably need some help because: being a human means you need help.
- It starts with a decision to try something different. It doesn't end with that decision since healing isn't an event (not usually anyway).
Healing is a moment-to-moment experience, not an event. This prevents everything from happening all at once, giving you time to sort through your emotions and create a life with intention.
Healing yourself begins with a choice or something else that feels like a spark in your heart.
Healing might mean new growth, beginnings, even rebirth for you. Or stopping the growth of what's destroying you. Perhaps through boundaries (being clear about what's right and what's wrong for you) or medication or time away from the screen.
And what if you have no control over, say, your physical state right now or where you live or what happened yesterday? Do you start with what you can control? Not the worst idea.
What can you control?
A decision. One you make now. On purpose. For the sake of your healing (or sanity).
You can decide to be all here, destruction and heartbreak and all. You can decide to spend 8-10 seconds without a past and without a future.
Your access to unconditional love and acceptance in the present moment might have a short shelf life, but it's still a worthwhile experience. And a healing one.
A decision like that feels good to make, even if it doesn't happen to last very long. You might take this respite from mundanity or misery to breathe like you mean to be here. Or check in with what you see, hear, and sense without judging it.
Basically, a moment for mindfulness is a decision to heal. The same for a moment for reflection, forgiveness, or hope.
When you make a decision to be mindful for 8-10 seconds at a time, you give yourself permission to heal just by disconnecting from the sting of past pain and future worry. You let yourself be a human (as a human myself, I find it's hard to love unconditionally for long periods of time or make big changes in a heartbeat).
This, then, is what healing yourself could look like: short moments where you make a decision to love no matter what -- love life, yourself, everything you see -- strung together one at a time.
One at a time isn't so overwhelming. 8-10 seconds at a time is realistic.
"We rebuild, together."
That's something my dad told me. You might remember if you've read some of my other stuff here.
Healing doesn't come in a miraculous burst of light, but steadily, and together.
OK, there might be times when healing could be considered miraculous. But usually, it follows that "one at a time" philosophy.
You're not on your own here. Not in this world and not in what you're feeling.
Not all of us go through the exact same experiences, but empathy is about connecting to the shared emotions underneath the details of our suffering.
You don't have to have lost someone you love to suicide to empathize with things like:
- Blaming yourself for not having been able to control something that you know logically you never had control over.
- Going through all the stages of grief in one day. Feeling exhausted for no outwardly noticeable reason due to the storm inside of you.
- Loving someone completely while also harboring a whole lot of anger and distrust toward them.
- Feeling like you have a stigma stamped on your forehead.
- Feeling rejected.
Empathy is part of healing and connecting with others. It's a choice, and a vulnerable one. It has a way of waking you up to the deepest corners of yourself.
You participate in your own healing when you let yourself accept help from others. It's one of the greatest decisions you could make for your overall well-being. That, too, tends to be a series of moment-to-moment decisions.
8-10 seconds at a time for togetherness: a real salve. You can do that.
. . .
What's something you're willing to do 8-10 seconds at a time, for the sake of healing?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd really love to know!
Love, no matter what, even if you can only do it in brief bursts of human strength,
P.S. Find your favorite handwritten poetry print that helps you heal your own way. Every time you see it, you'll remember who you are. What matters. What doesn't.