How Healing Happens

My friend Jessie fell on broken glass when she was sixteen. She had been messing around on her brother’s skateboard and fell hard on pavement littered with pieces from a broken bottle. Bleeding, picking out sharp slivers and certain she had found them all, she realized how lucky she was because her injuries could have been much worse. However, years later, she discovered that another sliver, apparently one that had been lodged rather deeply by the fall, had come to the surface and was ready to be plucked out. Although it took time, her body had known all along how to heal, working to push out another splinter from what had happened regardless of how long it took to do so. I think emotional healing is a very similar process.

Initially, we may get out most of the pieces, those shards of loss along with what can feel like neverending bits of grief. But in reality, there may still be splinters imbedded far below the surface due to the abrupt impact of that earlier fall. These pieces remain out of our vision and out of our awareness…until we are ready. In the mean time, we spend our time extracting the more obvious slivers. The mind, just like the body, knows what to do and will eventually push out what may be preventing us from fully healing, but only when we are ready.

Removing those last remaining bits of glass can be painful and many of my clients feel as if they have taken a step backwards when another piece makes its way up and out. Old pain can suddenly feel fresh long after the original injury. We have to remember that the skin around these deeper splinters can feel raw once they are removed. It is skin that has not been exposed to fresh air for quite some time and the sting of fresh oxygen and blood flow may feel uncomfortable at the very least. But as more show up, exposed in their own time, the wound can fully heal and the pain of new growth is most certainly proof of that. In matters of our own healing and recovery we are ready when we are ready, whether it is right after the fall or years after the fact. As soon as another one shows up we just have to take a deep breath, remove it, and let the skin feel the fresh air.

Clear Reflections

Write about the splinters.

What pieces have you been able to take out? Think about what may still be lodged below the surface and find the proof that it is working its way out. What have you learned about your own ability and process to heal? How can that knowing move you forward on the journey?

Speak Your Mind


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