Mental Health & Wellness

Growing Pains: The Discomfort of Healing

Healing is uncomfortable. 

It’s a fact and often one that’s not spoken about in our inner circles enough. On the outside, we see healing as this romantic act of falling in love with ourselves, feeling healthier, and your skin glowing as you present your most authentic self to the world. And, it can be that. But, healing and growing also mean sitting with discomfort, acknowledging overwhelming emotions and memories, and pushing yourself to find value in it all. That’s the work. We want to dance with our favorite selves, but we can’t do that without asking the parts of us that live in the shadows to the floor. 

It’s hard to admit that you haven’t cared for yourself as much you needed.

It’s hard to admit that you didn’t receive the type of care that you needed in different areas of your life. 

It’s hard to admit that not all your coping skills are healthy.  

It’s hard to admit that your household dynamics were toxic.

It’s hard to admit that you have been silently struggling for nearly your whole life.  

It’s hard to do these things, but it’s so beautiful and worth it. Truthfully, you’ve done much more difficult things to have to cope and experience the life you have now. 

As we relearn ourselves and our truths, it’s not unheard of to experience the following:

  • Grief
  • Resentment
  • Discomfort
  • Anger
  • Sadness 
  • Confusion 
  • Loneliness
  • Shame
  • Guilt 

And simultaneously feel:

  • Compassion 
  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Safe
  • Confidence
  • Peace
  • Freedom 

Your feelings are all beautiful. They don’t always feel good, but they are yours. You get to decide what to do with them. You can manage them.  

I have always been a sensitive and intuitive person, but I never had a mirror on my feelings. I didn’t have names, language, or a healthy way to identify and process them for myself. When it comes to other people and their feelings, I can navigate them and help uncover different things; meanwhile, my own were locked away, intellectualized into the furthest corners of my mind. When I started becoming very intentional about myself, I was overwhelmed with how passive I have been in my life. I now look at myself with grace instead of shame because there was so much that I was taught and modeled after; I honestly did not know better.

When it comes to other people, their discomfort with you adds to this uneasiness. Not everyone is going to respect or understand your intentions as you navigate prioritizing yourself. If you come from a culture where family is first; where sacrificing your happiness is normalized; and, where respect is a misnomer for silent obedience, then you may feel like you’re going against everything you’ve ever known. You will disappoint people. You will make people angry. You will receive reactions that you didn’t expect, but it does not mean that what you are doing is wrong. It’s a lonely road to be on, but that loneliness isn’t a negative thing; it’s making room for the goodness and rich experiences you deserve.  

As you become more self-aware and honor your complexity, you will learn to sit with and appreciate the vast feelings that move through you. You will not always want them, not all of them are true, and sometimes you can’t pinpoint them exactly; that’s all okay. We’re complicated individuals. 

If you find yourself in this space, you’re not alone. The inner work that you’re doing is courageous, valuable, and helping more people than you know. This discomfort is temporary, it will resurface time and time again, but that’s okay. It’s not easy for flowers to break through dirt or concrete, but they find a way and grace us with their beauty. We are all flowers.  

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4 replies »

  1. I loved this line: “When I started becoming very intentional about myself, I was overwhelmed with how passive I have been in my life.” I related to that thought quite strongly. It’s odd how timely much of what I’m reading today is. I’m both amazed and terrified by the universe when that happens. This was another important truth you shared: “not everyone is going to respect or understand your intentions as you navigate prioritizing yourself.” Thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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