Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Healing is taking that first step and many more amid the darkness.
People think healing has a timeline, and everyone falls within it. But healing is a process. It’s not always linear but goes around in circles, even reversing course, before making leaps and bounds.
The world is so full of traumatic events many of us are triggered by the news: The memories of lost loved ones, those killed or permanently disabled by police violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, homelessness, etc. Adding to the trauma is harmful, discriminatory care masquerading as healthcare or mental health. No one can see the extent of your trauma. However, there is no future living in the past.
It took 12 years to recover from a misdiagnosed head injury, and I am still healing. From out of nowhere, unexpected triggers evoke flashbacks, memories that involuntarily give rise to anger, bitterness, rage, and resentment, and I feel traumatized again. While I can’t control those feelings, I manage my response and how long those feelings live in my mind for that moment.
In healing, I found love, wisdom, and the courage to move on and take control of my life. I took a leap of faith and jumped, not knowing where I would land. At one time, my past looked like a dark tunnel foreboding a future of hell. What was the point of living when the future looked worse than the past? I felt defeated– helpless and hopeless.
While the past is the past, I learned from it and did not bury it because I couldn’t. It’s a pervasive part of us that seeks expression in profound ways. Acknowledge it as a test of life and an emblem of surviving the loss of loved ones, the emotional and physical turmoil of being traumatized, and the resilience to move on. Today, I look at my past as sprinkled with many moments of joy and miracles. The battle scars are proud reminders of courage and resilience.
There is a difference between grief and healing. To heal, you have to grieve. There is no shortcut, and each person has their unique timetable. Healing was a commitment to self-acceptance, love, and living my best life here and now. I gave myself compassion instead of waiting for others and stopped worrying about what others thought. I avoided stress like a plague. I wore armor or avoided people during stressful times. The body has a natural protective system called the fight or flight response when it perceives danger. Listen and respect it. It’s part of your gut instinct.
In anger, too often, we want to fight. People get into daily battles and feel stressed despite “winning the battles.” I used to be that person until I learned those battles were not worth fighting if victory did not come with feelings of well-being. Choose your battles and fight the ones that help you move in your desired direction. You’ll be healthier, less stressed, and enjoy life. Amazing opportunities present themselves when you’re not caught in a loop of fighting and putting out fires.
I was thinking about how far I’ve come since the head injury in 2012. I went from an #angryblacklady, a bitter, sad, hopeless, and helpless creature, to someone confident in me. Healing was a long journey that began with faith and self-love. Now I have various lenses to understand what I want and appreciate the here and now of the journey.
The universe works in mysterious ways. Sometimes we worry about things out of our control instead of focusing on healing and appreciating the here and now. The silver lining is in taking that first step.
4 thoughts on “Healing Is A Leap Of Faith and Love”
“Like!” Nice rumination, Angela! May you continue to grow and prosper in spirit and body….
“Faith, hope and love” — those are what Saint Paul required(s) of us, and MLK Jr’s quote above lends depth in this modern (sic) era…
Happy Mother’s Day!
Hi Bob, Thank you! I had the best Mother’s Day. You’re right. Amazingly, his words live on to inspire new meaning and depth to help us in these dark times.
Beautiful piece. And great that this is happening for you now, Angela. Looks like you found your way. But what if a person (e.g. me) already for a long time wants to take that first step, but doesn’t know where to go?
Hi Roald. Thank you. Trust yourself and just do it. You’ll figure it out on the way.
When I jumped, I didn’t know where I would land. I only knew I could not stay and trusted myself to find the way. The universe gives signs to guide us along the way.