During the evolution of our species, humans developed the ability of foresight. Perhaps it was due to our vast diversity, the spirit of innovation, or simply the need to survive. Whatever the case, our brains are able to see situations and try to predict what’s next. Not everyone has the same level of perception and rarely is it always accurate. But when it is, it can benefit us and even save our lives.
In some instances, when our perception is incorrect, it can be comical. Have you ever spoken to anyone over the phone and tried to imagine how they looked simply from hearing the sound of their voice? How many times were you even close to being correct? Although these scenarios never provide accurate clues, it’s still something our minds do nearly on their own.
For the most part, these can be innocent games and something we humans do to amuse and entertain ourselves. Other times, they can be life-changing. Those are the crucial times when we need to do our best to be clear about what we perceive and how we will benefit from those powers of perception.
The other day, I was listening to an interview with a top health official discussing the need for providing opportunities for mental health counseling to school-aged children. Citing the global pandemic, she stressed the importance of making these services available so children can heal emotionally. If there is one subject that grabs my attention, it is emotional healing.
I have been reading and listening to reports about emotional healing for several years even prior to the pandemic. While COVID-19 has exposed massive inadequacies in our mental health care systems and brought this issue to the limelight, there is one detail woefully absent from almost every story I’ve encountered, and it is unquestionably the most important aspect of this vital subject.
No one is going to refute the need for emotional healing. But proclaiming its importance is the same as telling someone it’s essential to eat or drink. There is no denying it. But most people have an idea of what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s common knowledge that living on a diet of fast food and sugar-laden drinks will never provide us with the good health we seek. Individually, we also must be aware of personal food allergies and basic nutritional requirements.
But how often do you hear an explanation of what emotionally healing is? How many people have been successful in their attempts to overcome past traumas?
Admittedly, this is not an easy answer nor is it a one-size-fits-all remedy. However, for our journey of emotional healing to be successful, we ought to have an understanding of where we are headed.
The big picture
Never in the history of any living person has there been an event that has impacted the world the way COVID-19 has. With the end still not insight, no one can predict how it will look, but it is certain life will not resemble something similar to 2019 again. This is neither good nor bad; it just is. It is how we move forward that counts. Emotional healing will help us forge that path ahead.
Often, I use physical healing as a way to compare certain aspects of its emotional counterpart. There are numerous kinds of injuries to our bodies, everything from a minor scrape to major surgery. Emotionally, there are similar extremes. Also, depending on the severity of our injury, it may require the assistance of trained and skilled people to help.
Many of us have suffered devastating injuries during the pandemic. For those who have lost a mother during this time, I can empathize with your pain. But our losses were not completely alike, and our remedies won’t be the same either.
However, it is up to each of us to discern what our healing needs to look like, and this can be troubling if you haven’t experienced much emotional healing in the past. Unfortunately, many of us ignore our emotional needs by distracting ourselves with work, hobbies, or other destructive measures like alcohol or drugs.
Although some people may have felt successful using distraction, not facing the issue doesn’t provide a clear picture of what healing should look like. When the time comes to see how our healing should appear, we may get the wrong impression and not recognize it when it does occur. If our vision of what emotional healing is supposed to look like doesn’t match what is truly needed, it will only prolong or worse, eliminate our ability to heal.
It is not a guessing game; we must treat it with more urgency than “hearing” a few things about it and guessing what we think it’s supposed to look like. Many times, our healing journey will look nothing like we anticipated it to be.
When we have a severe gash in our skin, healing may mean there is a scar for the rest of our lives. If an amputation is required, we simply cannot count on that limb growing back. We need therapies that will help us learn to thrive despite the devastation we experienced.
Some mental traumas can be as devastating emotionally, and since, for centuries the stigma of counseling has left a terrible impression in the minds of many, they may refuse what could be their only hope of an attempt at a healing journey.
Emotional healing is vital, and each of us is ultimately responsible for our own journey. We can help by continually creating a greater awareness of ourselves and what our healing will look like, making the journey a whole lot more fruitful and productive.
If you or anyone you know would like additional help in their healing journeys, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation session. It is my privilege to help guide you along yours. I look forward to your comments.