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Healing is...

I was recently asked in a coaching session with Iya, What does healing mean to me? What does the work look like for me? “Great question,” I thought to myself and I didn’t have an answer. Later, that evening, my nursing brain turned on. I learned about the different phases of healing: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferative, and maturation, in nursing school and have encountered patients going through the different stages when they come into the surgical suite. During surgery, the surgeon initiates the beginning stages of healing when they achieve hemostasis, stopping the bleeding, before closing the wound. That all sounded very scientific to me and as I started thinking about my journey of healing through various habits and traumas that have left me a bit unraveled at times, these phases started to make a little more sense and gave some depth to what I have been experiencing on my journey.

Stop the bleeding, also known as hemostasis. I remember coming to SHYNE with one goal and one goal only, I wanted to have a baby. Although that is still a desire of mine, there were so many wounds that were oozing out of me that I didn’t pay attention to codependency, extreme self-neglect, low self-esteem, fear, shame, bitterness, lack mindset, dishonesty, addiction---I mean the list can get pretty long. What I didn’t know then that I know now through being in this community is that these wounds if allowed, would continue to “bleed” into my interactions with other people and ultimately would “bleed” into my seed IF I didn’t address them. If you don’t stop the bleeding a wound will never begin to heal. Looking at myself in the mirror, seeing my wounds, admitting them, and being gracious enough with myself to give myself the time to understand how I got these wounds and what I can do about them is a continual part of my healing journey. 

Inflammation occurs as the wound starts to get defensive and says “Hey, something has happened to me and I need to fight off bacteria and anything else that can harm me because I need to grow new tissue”. Nurses will sometimes say that the wound looks “angry” and that is because the wound will look red and swollen. This part of healing can be painful and is necessary for new tissue growth. I can identify with this part very well. Healing for me has had its many moments where I have become angry, swollen, and ready to quit, all because I’m learning new ways to cope, new ways to tend to myself, new ways to elevate, and let me not forget ways to set boundaries.  I’ve seen many posts and memes on social media about this particular part of healing and although they offer some comedic relief the inflammation is REAL. For me, parts of healing involve being uncomfortable and some pain.  More than I thought and maybe I was hella naive when I started down this path. I just didn’t think that I would have to prune so much of what I thought was “okay” to allow, think, or do. I’m learning that discomfort is part of the process, not the WHOLE process but a part of it and I am still trying to get better at accepting that without being triggered and regressing. I remember having a poster on my wall that described the woman that I am becoming who will use these challenging moments as “growth spurts” and daggon it if I haven’t encountered a whole lot of them and will encounter many more.

The proliferative stage is the stage where a scab is created. The wound has started to close up nicely, the pain has subsided, and there is evidence of a promising future without infection, as long as the patient doesn’t pick the scab. Sometimes on my journey, I have been tempted to touch the flame to see if it is still hot. Lo and behold, it is.  Sometimes that curiosity, ego, or lack of judgment has caused some setbacks or just stagnancy in a place that I don’t want to be in, but I am used to it because of familiarity and comfort. These are times in my journey when I choose to opt-out or avoid the signs that are around me or, better yet, times when I don’t operate in my awareness. It boils down to choice at this point. I can let my wounds heal and use the tools that I have learned to help and aid in the process. Just like nurses and doctors have different dressings and medicines to help certain types of wounds, I have a toolbox as well.

The scab formation of my journey is pivotal because it is at this point where I have seen significant progress by using different healing modalities: meditation, breathwork, time to self, self-massage, consumption, etc. and I can choose to continue to do what I know that has helped or I can get complacent and say “Well it won’t hurt if I don’t  XYZ this time” That’s how the scab starts getting picked and before I know it, I’m bleeding again. 

The last stage of healing is Maturation and this is when the tissue has rejuvenated and is all healed there may be a scar and there may not, just depends on how deep the wound was. I haven’t yet reached this part of my healing journey, not to say that it’s not possible. I’m just not there yet and that’s okay, I have work to do, and a lot of it. Healing is not a race and healing is not linear either. I’m learning, in my experience, healing is tough and I owe it to myself and my Ancestors to stay on course. I’ve had some trying moments on this path and I’ve had a whole bunch of smiles, laughs, and progress. Healing is a progressive movement toward the reconciliation of who I have been divinely called to be. Healing is a choice to move past the bullcrap of the past and walk toward the promise of a more abundant life. Healing is joy, pain, sunshine, and rain. Healing is the most loving act I can give myself. That’s what healing is to me. 

1 opmerking

Wow. I love how you draw parallels with physical healing and emotional/ spiritual healing. Very well stated. Thank you Nicole

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