Do you need time to heal? 3 things I learned about healing

Right now I need time to heal.

The last three days I have been sick–suffering from dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.

I tell you this because I’m 52 training sessions into my quest to get physically fit and I’m frustrated. I want to train but, I know, right now rest trumps activity.

But such is life, isn’t it? Things are going well, you’re inching closer to your goal, feeling good, gaining confidence, and then something goes wrong. Plans derailed. Your flight delayed.

Since 2013, I have been struggling to understand my body. It’s been confusing, frustrating journey. But over the past five years I’ve learned about the art of healing. I’ve learned that healing, like training, is an opportunity to learn.

3 Things I Learned About Healing

1.Communicate and excuse judgment

When I was first diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration I didn’t want to talk about it. I felt that no one would understand and that expressing myself would only lead to further isolation.

But learning to communicate and write about my frustrations has been a powerful form of self-care.

When we are wounded, we often adopt a “no one will understand” mentality. We fear that if we tell people about our wounds, they will judged us and think of us as being weird or weak.

Essential to healing, is knowing that other people’s judgments are as fickle and meaningless as our own.

Does your judgment of (insert person who you disagree with) stop them from doing what they’re doing? Probably not.

So why should we let the judgment of another flawed human effect our desire to communicate and heal?

Healing, just like suffering, is uniquely and deeply personal. To heal we need give attention to our bodies and communicate with others. But remember, it’s the act of communicating, not the judgment of others, that really matters.

2.Value your healing time

When I started training I saw the act of resting as a weakness. And though many seasoned runners encouraged me to rest, I was skeptic. I wanted to get into physically fit as fast as I could. I saw rest days as halting progress.

But I’ve learned that patience is an important part of the healing process. From microwaves to Wi-Fi we live at warp speed. But when healing, we need to slow ourselves down, as if transporting to a previous decade.

Our impatience adds unnecessary stress to our healing.

“I want to be healthy now” is like saying “I want a million dollars now.” It’s not practical. And wanting what you don’t have leads to discontentment.

Healing requires an adoption of a healing mentality. A healing mentality that is set in the present.

Ask yourself, “What can I do right know to help me heal?”

3. Remain “Soul Strong”

When you’re sick it’s easy to overwhelm yourself with negativity. Our vocabulary is littered with phrases like, “I will never be able to…” and  “My life is over.”

Defeatist words and phrases are killer. They quickly swallow hope and drain valuable energy.

So how do you remain positive while enduring setbacks? It’s not easy. I spent years in a state of self-victimization. But when healing, it’s imperative to remember that body and soul are separate.

Just because your body fails doesn’t mean your soul has to.

When healing, we need to remember what we stand for: our principals, our goals. We need to remain “soul strong” especially when we are physically weak.

Maybe it’s praying, or talking to a loved one, or writing, or mediating. The most important thing about healing is to be present in your healing. And understanding that healing is a process, like losing weight or saving money.

A process that requires attention, time and remaining focus on your goals.