One of the trickiest things about healing is being still long enough to feel discomfort. Discomfort, by definition is uncomfortable. And yet, it’s also what motivates us to change and heal.
If we have been hurt by others, pain motivates us to close down. We protect ourselves from further harm by resolving to let nothing in… at all.
If we have harmed others, intentionally or not, we cope by similarly tuning out of sensation, blocking out the suffering we have caused because to stay in it, means we must face the hurt and damage which can be a lot to bear. We see this play out in intimate relationships, sweeping small acts of hurt under the rug by saying – “Sorry, I didn’t mean it” but doing nothing to take ownership of the actions nor actionable repair of the harm caused by negligent behavior.
We see this in larger contexts too – in racism & white supremacy, white people feeling ‘helpless’, but not being still long enough to feel the weight of the harm caused, collectively over generations. Bouncing back with excuses and ‘what-about-ery’, bracing with defence rather than acknowledging harm & responding compassionately with action & change.
We see this in gender dynamics too whether lovers or friends; women doing more emotional labor, living more spiritually burdened, carrying more social weight, simply because men haven’t learned how to – getting away with it, because it’s just “how it is”. The price women pay in community with men unwilling to share the load, is a life less lived, simply to accommodate those unwilling to do their share & take care of themselves.
Sometimes the greatest act of love is to slow down long enough and feel… everything. Healing begins with feeling.