Working in psychology for years and having been a client myself, I frequently heard the word “HEALING” which, in the past, was an empty concept for me. It was connected with other phrases such as “reclaiming your voice” or having “a strong sense of self”. These were hopeful terms, but somehow blank in meaning. When I first heard these terms, I had already accomplished significant goals in my life and, people told me that I was strong. However, I did not feel strong, nor was I happy.
After years of experience, I now have a better understanding of this concept. I understand terms such as “Emotional Healing” or “Personal Growth” to be the development of skills, knowledge, and self-esteem that was not possible during one’s early development. Maybe because someone was raised in a dysfunctional family in which chaos or violence was recurrent. It could also have been that one’s caregivers were too busy with life, felt overwhelmed, or were traumatized themselves. We all know that life can be messy.

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Usually, healing happens with the establishment of a trusting professional relationship that permits the processing of personal issues. This is necessary in order to uncover the negative self-belief system and emotions that have created a confusing approach to reality and, prevented the normal pursuit of happiness that occurs when one is healthy emotionally. Sometimes we think we are happy by partying or travelling or feeling desirable. However, as life unfolds, we may feel that something is missing and that true happiness is not so readily available.
At the end of it all, healing, or emotional health, is simply that eagerness and exuberance that is part of normalcy. It is the feeling that you can accomplish goals, feel heard, respected and appreciated by others. It is something as simple as greeting someone with confidence and not being as painfully shy as you used to be. It is the experiencing of new behaviours that you know that otherwise you could not do. It means remaining positive in the face of adversity, knowing that you have ways in which to cope. Healing is really, knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel in spite of any messiness that is a natural part of life.

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