Why It’s Important To Take Responsibility For Your Healing
by Fatin Hafizah |
“Why did this happen to me? “Does God not love me?” “What did I do to deserve this pain?”
Let’s be honest. How many of us have said these lines whenever something terrible happens to us? Don’t worry; you are not alone. It is normal to be woeful when life is being mean to you, but that does not mean you have to be that way forever. What happened to you may not be your fault 100%, but making a choice to heal is definitely up to you. Here are some of the reasons why you must take responsibility for your healing and how to do it.
1. The only way to end your pain
To first end your pain, you must first recognise and not be afraid to feel it. Pain is uncomfortable, and rather than tackling it head-on, most of us will tend to avoid it by burying ourselves in work, making drastic decisions, etc. Though it is good to distract yourself, doing it without first recognising, your pain can make matters worse. You must remember that no one is capable of healing yourself but you. Sure, you can lean on your closed ones for support, but the will to carry on must come from within yourself.
In this article written by Dr Margaret Rutherford, she touched on self-compassion and how it can help you connect with your pain. In short, there are four steps for you to follow which are: see yourself as you might view others, recognise the defence mechanisms or strategies you used to cope with it, actively challenge the habits and beliefs that fuel that detachment, and confront your feeling of pain. These steps are by no means easy, so take your time and do it slowly.
2. What has already happened is beyond your control
No one on this earth wants anything bad to happen to them. Having been rejected sucks, breaking up is devastating, but when all of these are said and done, there is nothing else you can do but move forward. Take a deep breath and accept that there is nothing you can do about the past. What you can do, however, is take control of what happens next. Your past has been written, but your future is still a blank slate. So, pick up the pen and write a new journey.
When something bad happens, it is easy to blame ourselves. Admitting to our own mistakes is good, but there’s a difference between doing so and wallowing in self-pity. So, be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for all the mishaps that have happened. Concerning point number one, make self-compassion a habit, and always remember to be kind to yourself and don’t let your past dictate your future.
3. Time helps, but it does not heal all wounds
Ever so often, we hear the phrase, “time heals all wounds”. I used to believe it, but after being in a rough patch myself, my perspective began to change. It’s true that time lowers the pain, but it will never make it disappear entirely. With or without your effort, it will keep on ticking. To get out of your rough patch, you have to put in some work. No matter how small that action seems to be, do it. Nothing is ever too big nor too small when it comes to taking steps to heal ourselves.
Self-reflect and admit to your mistakes
Contrary to point two, now you are required to do a bit of self-reflecting. Self-reflecting and owning up to your mistakes are a part of forgiving yourself. For this case, I would like to use one of the methods made famous by Katharine Woodward from her book Conscious Uncoupling.
In one of the five steps of healing your emotions, Woodward emphasises the 97-3 method. Woodward explains that even though 97% of what happened is another person’s fault, we still have to look at our 3%. No matter how small or big your mistakes were, correcting your ways will help you in your healing. Even though this method was explicitly made for broken relationships, it can also be applied in other aspects of our lives as well, such as falling outs with your family or failures at the workplace.
4. You deserve more than being stuck in the past
Last but not least, the reason why it is vital to take responsibility for your healing is simply for the fact that you have to move on. After all the pain and trauma you went through, you deserve to be happy again. One way to do it is to settle all your unresolved feelings. Whether you notice it or not, having unresolved feelings can hinder you from fully moving on. So, take notice of those feelings, no matter how uncomfortable you might feel.
If it is difficult for you to see a therapist, try seeking help from other sources. There are various podcasts and self-help books that will be able to give you a new insight on how to fix your problems. One method that you can try now is the Love Letter Technique as made by Dr Barbara DeAngelis and Dr John Gray. The Love Letter Technique is a more structured way for you to write out your feelings. Emotions are messy, and it can get overwhelming, but this method helps you to see your feelings more clearly and work on it one step at a time.
For those of you who are finding it hard to move forward, I hope this article was able to help you take the first step in your healing journey. One thing for sure, healing is not a linear process - it’s often messy and confusing, so take it day by day. You’d be surprised by how far you’ve come when you look back at yourself later on.
You can learn more about the writer on Instagram.