Do you allow yourself to truly acknowledge that emotional healing takes time? Do you rush yourself in your healing journey?
Think about how long you’ve been on your healing journey and all of the healing steps you’ve taken thus far. Now, really think about that.
Emotional healing takes time and my guess is that you probably feel like you should be further along in your healing journey. If that’s the case, then this post is for you.
Often, we get lost in our healing that we don’t recognize how far we’ve come. It’s easy to focus on where we want to go on our healing journey, that we forget all of the healing steps we’ve actually taken.
As a psychotherapist, I see clients beating themselves up because they believe they will never get to a place of true healing. When that happens, I guide them through the healing steps they’ve taken and how far they’ve come.
Now, let’s do that for you. How long have you been on your emotional healing journey? It may have been a long time or you may just be beginning.
Either way, you are right where you are supposed to be right now and in this moment. If you’re feeling lost though and don’t believe me, you need to read my post Feeling Lost in Life.
Exploring Your Healing Journey
Here’s an easy way to look at your healing growth. Think about all of the people whom you know who go to therapy. That’s probably a small percentage of the people you know.
Why is that? The answer is that healing takes time and is hard to do. Most people never begin a healing journey at all because it’s hard.
So, no matter how many healing steps you’ve taken in your healing journey, you are farther than most people in the world. Sadly, most people die without ever doing any healing work.
Since you’re reading this, emotional healing is important to you. That’s good, but you also have to learn how to have patience in your healing journey.
Growth in Your Healing
I’ll give you some examples from my life and the lives of others with whom I have counseled. You will probably relate to some of these.
My emotional healing journey started about twelve years ago. There were many times that I got angry at myself for repeating behaviors that were unhealthy for me and I knew it when I was doing it.
That still didn’t stop me. My anger was a big issue for me. I knew that part of my emotional healing journey was to decrease that intense anger I’d carried my entire life. Now, think about that for a minute. For twenty-eight years, my response to just about anything that caused me pain was anger.
That’s a long time and not only that, but twenty-eight is fairly young to start a healing journey. Many don’t start for years later and that is perfectly okay. There is no wrong time to start an emotional healing journey!
A few years into my journey, I was still working on my anger issues. At the time, it felt like I’d barely done any healing at all on that. Looking back, I was very wrong.
I remember an ex-boyfriend ending our relationship out of nowhere. Before I’d begun my healing journey, that tough experience would’ve ended in a rage for me. There’s no telling what I might have done or said if I’d not begun working on myself. Instead, I just let myself melt into a puddle on the floor and cried for hours.
The reason I am mentioning this is that my anger was actually years of repressed sadness that I didn’t know how to handle. If you want to read about Anger is Often Repressed Feelings of Sadness, click here.
As soon as my ex-boyfriend’s words hit me, I chose a different path for the first time in my life. I let myself cry and recognize the intense sadness instead of turning it into anger.
Healing Steps are Bigger Than You Think
Can you think about times where you let yourself actually feel and/or name what you were feeling in the moment? Those are major healing steps that you may not have recognized at the time.
Let’s look at some more examples of emotional healing that you may have dismissed or thought it wasn’t enough. On a side note, these kinds of thoughts about not being good enough are related to your Not Good Enough Stuff. Click here to learn more about that.
Here’s an example for you. Lorrie is a thirty-five year old who has had multiple toxic romantic relationships. She started her healing journey at age thirty.
When she began that journey, she was in an “on-again/ off-again “relationship with a man with whom she was very codependent on. They were in a toxic cycle known as the Drama Triangle.
I’m not going to explain the Drama Triangle in this post, but you can click here to read about that codependent cycle that we’ve all participated in at some point in our lives. It’s tough to get out of, but not impossible and it’s a huge healing step in your journey if you take it.
At thirty-five now, Lorrie has had a few more relationships that were quite similar to the one I mentioned. Each time the relationship ends, she beats herself up for having repeated the same behaviors and allowed the same toxic behaviors from those partners.
So, it would be easy for Lorrie to believe she’s gotten nowhere on her healing journey. However, she is very wrong.
Remember that emotional healing takes time. Lorrie has actually taken important healing steps in each of those relationships. She ended each relationship more quickly each time when she saw they were toxic.
That is healing! Lorrie was learning how to recognize her behaviors and the behaviors of partners that were not healthy much more quickly than she had in the past.
Missing Signs of Healing
When we begin an emotional healing journey, we falsely create a belief that the next time a tough situation occurs that we will instantly make a healthier decision. If it were that easy, everybody would do it.
There would be no need to take healing steps. There’d only be one and we’d do it with ease if it were truly that easy.
Let’s look at another example of how you might be missing the signs that you are healing. People who have never done any personal healing work blame everybody else for their own short-comings or perceived failures.
Did you used to do that? I bet so because I know I sure did for quite a long time. Now, when you recognize those shortcomings of failures do you look at how you can make changes?
If so, then you have taken a huge step on your emotional healing journey. That may not seem like a big deal but trust me here. It is a huge deal!
Self-exploration is not easy, but neither is avoiding it. So, if you have done any self-exploration whatsoever, be proud of yourself for that.
There is no set amount of time for emotional healing. Not only that, but emotional healing doesn’t have an end date.
Please don’t let that deter you from healing. Again, the alternative is to never begin emotional healing and that results in the same life you have now.
If that’s the life you wanted to have five years from now, you wouldn’t still be reading this. You are still reading this, so that leads me to believe you want a more peaceful, happier life.
I tell my psychotherapy clients that my emotional healing work will be done the day my soul chooses to leave my body. Now, that does not mean that I am not happy and at peace with my life as it is now because I am.
What that means is that I can always grow and become a better person. There will always be things that I need to work on. That’s the case for everybody.
The point I’m making here is that emotional healing takes time and if you rush that or don’t give yourself that time, then you are making a huge mistake.
Patience in the Healing Process
Beating yourself up when you find yourself in a similar unhealthy place where you’ve been before is simply an opportunity to go deeper into your emotional healing. If you beat yourself up, then you’re missing an important healing step.
The reason that we find ourselves returning to an old pattern during our emotional healing journey is actually a blessing. It can show you how you’ve healed previously because now you are recognizing what is going on for you.
Before your healing journey, you just continued the same, unhealthy patterns you’d always had. Returning to an unhealthy place allows you to see what you are doing this time.
You get to make a conscious decision to do something different. Now, you might not decide to do something different this time.
That’s okay. We’re all guilty of that in our healing journeys. The growth lies in your ability to recognize what’s going on for you. If you never recognize it, then you can never change it.
For me, I know I revisited the same “issue” in the same way many times. I would get frustrated with myself for not doing something different.
You Are Healing More than You Realize
Looking back, I realized that I needed to continue what I was doing that was unhealthy for some reason, until it became important enough for me to make the needed changes. Just simply recognizing what I was doing and the reasons why I was doing it was my emotional healing at the time.
At some point when you are ready, you will take healing steps beyond just the recognition stage. You will be able to make the healthy changes more quickly when you recognize the opportunity.
If I had bypassed the times I revisited the same unhealthy patterns, then I would’ve bypassed a lot of the healing I needed. Now, that may seem weird to you.
Why wouldn’t I want to bypass revisiting old patterns in my emotional healing journey? The answer is that I still had healing to do before making those changes.
Making Changes is Healing
Here’s an example from my own life. When I was single, I continued to date men who were emotionally unavailable. I saw the warning signs earlier and earlier each time.
However, that didn’t result in my ending the relationship when I recognized what was going on that was unhealthy. One of the relationships taught me that I didn’t need make-up for a man to think I was beautiful.
Another relationship taught me that I could be adored and deserve that adoration that I never got as a child. One relationship taught me that I could completely be myself and I would still be accepted.
If I’d ended those relationships as soon as I recognized the unhealthy signs, I would’ve never learned those important things. I would’ve never found a man who could give me all of those things.
Instead, I would’ve continued to believe there was something wrong with me and that was why I never got what I needed. Revisiting old patterns in relationships allowed my emotional healing journey to go deeper each time.
That resulted in my emotional healing journey leading me to a man who could easily give me all of the things that I learned I deserved when I was in those relationships. Gratitude is the only word that comes to my mind when I think about the relationships that overall were not healthy for me.
Are you beginning to understand why I say emotional healing takes time? Can you see that maybe you’re further along on your healing journey than you realized?
Surround Yourself with People Who Push You
If so, then you also need to be aware of one of the most important healing steps. That is to surround yourself with people who push you.
If you are always around people who don’t accept and encourage your healing process, it will slow you down. So, make sure you surround yourself with people who push you to become the best you can.
Hopefully, you are now able to recognize the healing steps you’ve taken on your healing journey. When you start feeling like you should be further along in the process, remind yourself that you are right where you are supposed to be.
Remember that you do not want to rush your healing process. That will never go well for you. So, be kind to yourself and allow yourself to recognize how far you’ve come already.
Let yourself be right where you are to learn whatever it is that you need to learn for you to grow. That is how you’re able to move towards creating all that you want and deserve in this life.
As always, share your comments or thoughts with the Not Good Enough Stuff Community by commenting below this post. Let us know where you are on your healing journey and where you’re headed on that journey!
It may seem like you have so much work to accomplish in your healing journey. However, if you rush that then you are probably missing some important healing steps.
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This site is only intended for people who are truly willing to look at themselves with an open mind and have the ability to truly be vulnerable with themselves and others. Please understand that this site is in NO WAY THERAPEUTIC ADVICE. However, this site can be very beneficial in learning the causes of your Not Good Enough Stuff. This site is not intended to provide or replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Mary Beth HIGHLY RECOMMENDS finding a licensed therapist to help you process the information from this site and all that you learn about yourself. Visit Psychology Today to find a licensed therapist in your area.