A few weeks ago my nephew came up with the bright idea to make homemade pizza. I brought all of the ingredients to make a pizza from scratch. We were both so excited at our first attempt at making cafeteria style pizza. It tastes much better than it sounds.
As my nephew and I were making the pizza, I became overzealous with my skills as a chef and cut myself. I bandaged and cleansed my cut and recovered from my "minor injury". The End.
Although that story seems rather insignificant and possibly a bit random. I learned a lesson from my wound. After weeks have passed and my injury is less painful, the scar from my injury is actually quite hideous. I recently looked down at my thumb where I cut myself and saw that it is not appealing to say the least. Its scabbed over and discolored and it gives new meaning to "sticks out like a sore thumb". While looking down at my scabbed over sore, the thought popped into my mind that "healing is ugly".
As I reflect upon past injuries, nothing about the healing process has ever been easy. In fact, it always seems to get worst before it gets better. Recently I had a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) and the pain was relentless. After being discharged from the hospital, I thought the worst was over but the night I returned home, I was in immense pain and wanted to go back to the hospital. My mom said a prayer and comforted me until I was able to relax enough to fall asleep. The next morning, my condition was much better.
The point of both of those stories of injury is that healing is ugly and it is painful. There is nothing different about emotional pain and emotional healing. It is going to seem more painful and more ugly on the path towards healing.
There are several misconceptions about the process of healing. Some think that being healed means that life is going to be peachy or that the symptoms will never reappear. Some think that there will be no more discomfort or hurdles along the way. Some think that there will be no relapses along the way. Some think that its a process that is positive all of the time. Those are all misconceptions. Healing is ugly. Healing is scary. Healing is not linear. Healing is a topsy turvy path that helps if you have a guide or support (therapist, counselor, life coach, helping professional).
Whether you are healing from a physical pain or emotional pain, it is important to grant yourself grace during the process of healing. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling and reassure yourself that the process is not pretty nor is it easy. Do not avoid the healing process because it is hard because being a healthy individual outweighs the symptoms of discomfort. Healing is worth it but you have to be willing to endure the ugliness.