A word about this activity before we dive in: Seeking help is, quite possibly, the toughest part of healing. Why? Seeking help can be awkward, embarassing, frustrating, demoralizing, uncomfortable, exposing, shocking and just downright overwhelming. There's a lot to consider:
- Who do we approach for help?
- How do we find it?
- How do we know what's right for us?
- Whom do we trust?
- How much help do we need, how often and for how long?
- Are we strong enough?
- Are we ready?
- Can we do what will be required?
- Can we bear where healing takes us?
- Will we be safe if we let other people into our lives and heads?
More importantly: We do need help. There's no denying it, we cannot heal alone in an oasis of fear and a mind that is stuck on the wrong backward track. In order to conquer the past and create the future we desperately need someone who can help us find and read the right map.
The day we decide we need help is not a pretty one. It means we're having such a tough time and are in such despair that we come to the conclusion we don't know what to do or how to do it. We reach a day when we are in the gutter of our minds and lives and we realize, lying there, that we're not going to be able to haul ourselves onto the curb without some major assistance. This particular thought needs to sit for a while. It needs its space before we reach out a hand to someone passing by.
And that's OK. Sometimes, we need to hang in the gutter as we gather strength to get out. We want to heal quickly, but we don't need to rush the process to the point that we can't keep up and the stress of healing itself becomes the most overwhelming sensation of every day.
So we take our time. Some days, it's enough just to sit with an idea about healing. Like today, for example, sometimes it's just enough to think about it, and then to walk around tossing the idea of help like a small ball in your hand, a tiny sphere you can hide in the curl of your fist, that no one can see but you know has a weight and a shape and will, if you bounce it, come right back to you, as the good ideas always do.
(Photo: Don Nun)