As kids, it can be hard to fully grasp the idea of healing because of how futile our problems are. You could be one of those who are capable of addressing their feelings or those who struggle to understand their emotions and still go through your childhood just fine. It’s so much more different once you’ve reached adulthood because your problem won’t just be getting your parents to buy you the toy you saw during a commercial break, it could be something as serious as choosing between staying in a toxic relationship or living a peaceful life.
While choosing between two things seems relatively simple, it’s what comes after that makes things more challenging. No matter which decision you make, there will always be consequences and it’s up to you to decide whether you want to dwell on or heal from them.
One of the most important lessons I learned in life is that people heal differently. Some heal through time, while others by addressing the problem at hand. I like to believe that I’m part of the former, but the truth is that I’m one of the third kind—those that don’t know how.
Turning 20 and still not knowing how to heal is a different kind of struggle. The way I’ve dealt with unwanted emotions and uncomfortable situations was to suppress them—denying their presence and then pretending as if nothing happened.
While it is possible to get through life with this approach, it does have its consequences. For one, it will feel a lot heavier in comparison to letting it out. It’s true that expressing your feelings to someone, especially when they’re negative, is easier said than done. But trust me when I say it’s way more difficult to carry these feelings your entire life. If you let these emotions stay for too long, a time will come when you will lose the option of getting them off your chest. While people move on with their lives, you are stuck with that feeling of pain, anger, or sadness.
I can’t tell you how many times people have called me lucky because they thought that other than academic and extracurricular demands, I have had a perfect and carefree life. But the reality is that I’ve had my fair share of painful moments—times I questioned if things will ever get better. Although things do eventually get better over time, there are those that remain unresolved simply because they were kept inside.
Other than taking a toll on you internally, not knowing how to heal also causes you to hurt others. Oftentimes, we feel like we have the right to be mad at the world because of what we’re going through. When things start to get tough, a common response is to demand that others adjust. Although there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little consideration, it’s important to remember that we’re not the only ones having to face life’s trials.
Deciding to overcome my introversion was a struggle, but I knew I had to the moment I decided to run for a position in the organization. While socializing is just as draining as it used to be, I have come to appreciate how much it allows me to understand the different kinds of people I encounter.
In the last six months that I’ve held this position, I’ve been receiving the same comments from those around me–”You’re too nice, you need to be more firm.” Although I do get where they are coming from, it’s also difficult to dismiss my reasons. Talking to different people everyday and listening to their thoughts has helped me see where everyone is coming from. It made me realize that all of us want the same things—to fix whatever’s broken and to make everything better.
Growing up, I always thought that in order for you to heal, a confrontation is necessary. Now that I’m older, I realized that it’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s difficult to heal in the same place you were hurt, that’s why there are those who find the need to ask for space in order to reflect. This is how you know what next step you want to take. Perhaps for some, this is running away, but to me, it’s finding the peace you once lost.