Refusing to Heal

One thing that has struck me lately is the concept and the reality of healing. Do I want to carry around old wounds the rest of my life? Do I constantly want to live as though I had one arm in a sling?

I think some people make their pain and their hurts some kind of cause. I don’t even mean something as farcical as Mattress Girl. I mean in their own lives beyond the reach of the cameras and the outrage media, they wear suits made up of broken bones, and dresses dyed in blood, as if to say, “You cannot hurt me any further, for you have already hurt me enough.”

To heal is not to act as though trauma never occurred. It is not to deny the reality of the past. It is to rob the past of its stranglehold over the present. To heal is let love ease pain, is to let the throbbing subside, and to be made whole. Those who want to live in perpetual memory of their pain, never healing, are those who want to be diminished.

“I was hurt, so I’m not responsible for what I do!”

“I was hurt, so I can’t do that!”

“I was hurt, so you can’t expect anything of me!”

These are the lies and the hiding away.

So many people make a false heaven out of injury and tragedy; yet if these were meant to paralyze our lives, the word healing, the concept of recovery, the idea of overcoming would be impossible to express. The normal – that is fully-functioning – state of mankind is not injury. What these people dislike is an idea of renormalization, because then they will have to make choices, take risks, and face life. Why do that when you can hide and paper over your past with a cocoon of excuses?

My identity is not in my injuries. I am not constrained by the past. I am not destroyed, paralyzed, or ejected from the stadium. Pain is a teacher, and the lessons I learn are scars. By his stripes, we are healed; and our wounds open pathways to the healing of others. How can we then hide in the past and never absorb the lessons that pain teaches?

We all hurt and we all bleed, but few are those who learn from pain and are healed so that they can help heal others. Everyone falls down, but few rise up.

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