#9 in the Overcoming Challenges Series
Today, I welcome AJ Smith of Soul Rehab to share her wisdom on Having Hope to Confront Your Pain and Heal Your Soul. She has a powerful message about deep healing for warriors.
By AJ Smith
Soul Rehab it’s all about doing the deep healing that goes way beyond the surface. It’s more than just posting self-care quotes and having facials and a cup of tea in the morning (although these are all great things). It’s confronting the deepest darkest pain and through courage and maybe even a little bit of fear. Soul Rehab is about making a commitment to yourself that no matter what it takes, I am going to get to the core of things in order to restore who I really am.
The issue with healing is that most people don’t realize that, just like a broken bone, sometimes you have to break the bone even further in order for it to be restored to complete healing. This means more pain, more confusion, more fear, and uncertainty. Honestly, healing is messy and it’s painful. It’s not glamorous. It’s not cute, but it is 100% needed.
Related Reading: How to Heal from Trauma
Something I’ve been encountering in my own story is that healing doesn’t stop and sometimes when you’re so used to things going bad, you don’t know how to be prepared and open for good things to come. You unknowingly develop an expectation for disaster and for things to go wrong. This is a normal response to dealing with trauma and disaster in your life, however, the issue with this mindset is that it leaves no room for hope.
Without hope, your understanding of good things happening is minimized and often times even destroyed. It’s not that you are hopeless, but more so just accustomed to things not going your way and that’s not your fault. But despite all the disappointment, you have to learn to trust in life to bring you good. This is often a challenge yet it is such a necessary part of the healing process. I used to think I was healed if I was able to be OK by not crying every day about my situation or my pain.
However, I didn’t realize that was just phase 1 of healing. The deeper healing comes when you can still have a soft heart and still be open-minded to the good that is to come because good is always there but it comes in waves. Just like life there are ups, there are downs and sometimes the downs seem to overwhelm the ups but the two need each other to coexist because without ups, you would have no downs and without downs, you would have no ups.
So today as I write this I too am in the process of healing as we all are. I encourage you to check in with yourself.
Are you healing or are you simply just not experiencing the extremity of pain you may have once before? Are you hopeful and expecting good things to come or have you just become accustomed to being grateful that things aren’t completely on fire in your life? Do you have actual peace with everything that has happened and is happening or are you just thankful to be here? Do you feel joy?
I am not here to oversell the glamour of healing because the truth is, healing is hard work. Just like when you break a bone, even after the initial pain and break is over you still have to go through physical therapy which honestly is even more painful than breaking a bone because you’re having to exercise the very thing that’s been hurt. Just like that, committing to healing and doing your own soul rehab means committing to exercising the areas that hurt the most. We all are having to learn how to trust, learning how to have joy, and learning how to have peace with everything that’s going on. And sometimes it’s painful.
I realize the issue with hope is that it opens the door for disappointment to also occur and if you’re like me, you want to control the probability of getting hurt again. So why with a chance of being hurt again when I could just not hope and have zero chance of being hurt? Sometimes we lock ourselves up in this box and want to be immune to all feelings. I want to be shielded from any possibility of any further disappointment. We tell ourselves “Who cares? Because I don’t” but really it is we just can’t fathom the possibility of dealing with any other pain or disappointment.
Although this seems somewhat logical, the issue with that thinking is that the pain puts you in a box of no pain but also no joy and it’s a fake place of perceived control. The only real control we have in this life is understanding that there isn’t much control at all. And once we can control our mindset and our reaction to that, we’re freed from the shock of things when they don’t occur as we had hoped for.
“No good can ever come from being locked up in a box.“
Honestly, I don’t blame you for feeling this way. I felt this way and still get tempted to feel this way multiple times, but the reality is no good can ever come from being locked up in a box. Not feeling feelings and being numb isn’t a sign of strength or emotional maturity. Instead, it’s a sign of being wounded. It’s a sign of wear and tear caused by disappointment and disarray. It is a sign that joy has abandoned you and safety and trusting yourself has left you. All that there’s left to do is to shut it down. No matter how nonchalant or desensitized you pretend to be, it doesn’t remove the fact that we’re human beings with needs and desires.
Hope and joy and peace are all feelings that we all deserve to experience on a consistent basis.
I’m here to remind you that it’s OK to hope. It’s OK to have feelings. Give yourself permission to feel and if those feelings include disappointment, that’s OK too.
So as you look over this, know you’re a warrior. How do I know this? Because you’re showing up. Because you’re taking the time to read this, which means you’re taking the steps to expand your capacity and willingness to heal.
There is no perfect way to heal. There’s no blueprint. There’s no ideal image of what it should look like. Your journey is your own. Sometimes that means crying. Sometimes that means screaming. Sometimes that means being super happy, and that’s all OK.
But regardless, know that you are indeed a warrior and you don’t give up. You understand what’s at stake and you recognize that even if it’s painful what awaits you on the other side of healing it’s so much better than sitting in this mundane place of hopelessness and expectancy for disappointment. Keep going. I’m rooting for you, sis.
AJ is a life coach and the founder of Soul Rehab – a wellness brand that focuses on self-love and mental health through healing and realignment of self by confronting pain. She also is the host of the Soul Rehab Affirmation Podcast, which puts out 5-minute episodes of powerful affirmations combined with a solid beat. The podcast also features the one and only Trap Meditation.
Follow AJ @ajology
For more information on Soul Rehab go to www.soulrehab.org and you can follow them @mysoulrehab on Instagram.
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