“Emotional pain cannot kill you, but running from it can. Allow. Embrace. Let yourself feel. Let yourself heal.” ~Vironika Tugaleva
“Healed enough” is a myth, not a fact.
“I’m still too broken. I can only date when I’ve done all my healing work.”
“I still don’t feel ready to apply – I can still hear my father’s voice in my head, that means it’s not time, right? Not if his voice is still there.”
“I’ll think about doing it next year – I just worry that I haven’t been in therapy long enough yet.”
Since I started my healing journey, I have almost heard each of these statements almost every month in some variation.
Each of these claims is rooted in the core conviction that I’m not well enough to do X, Y, or Z.
Although it could seem like a core belief, this is a fiction and not the truth.
And it’s a widespread fallacy that, for those who buy into it, may, ironically, prevent them from engaging in the activities, relationships, and locations that would otherwise be the most therapeutic for their recovery journeys. I’ve written about this before, but I’ll say it again: people who originate from relational trauma backgrounds may endure a variety of complex bio psycho social effects due to their traumatic early childhoods that last well into adulthood.
Having maladaptive attitudes about one’s own “brokenness” (such as low self-worth) is one example of these effects. People with relational trauma histories frequently believe they need to be “all healed” before moving towards the things they truly want (dating, having children, going to graduate school, or pursuing their dream career) because they feel “too broken” to have these positive things in their lives right now.
This notion is widespread. It’s appropriate and organic. However, just because a belief is common and natural doesn’t imply that it is true.
Therefore, even though you might not feel “healed enough” to sign up for that dating app, ask that attractive person out, or undertake the necessary research and preparation for the satisfying career your heart and soul long for, your feelings don’t always correspond to reality.
The idea that you’re “healed enough” is untrue. And it most certainly does not imply that you must wait until you are “fully healed” before pursuing the people and activities you desire in your life.
Acting even before you feel “healed enough” might be healing on its own. Starting even though you don’t yet feel “healed enough” may be the most healing thing you can do.
Because moving in the direction of the things you desire—those people, places, and endeavours that would give your life purpose and fulfillment—and more specifically, moving in the direction of those things before you feel ready—can actually hasten your healing process by enhancing your sense of agency and competency and supporting the restoration and healing of your self-esteem and self-worth in the world.
If you can identify a part of yourself that is holding off on moving towards and taking action towards the future you want because you don’t feel “healed enough” yet after reading this post, I invite you to think about this reframe: perhaps the most healing thing you could do for yourself is to start before you feel “healed enough.”
Of course, I want you to balance what I’m saying – that there is no such thing as being “healed enough” and that starting now might be the most healing thing you could do – with your own, inner wisdom.
Only you are the expert of your experience – not me, not your partner, your best friend, or some guru on Instagram.
Even though you may want something, it may not be the right time for you to move towards it at this time. For instance, even though I knew deep down that I wasn’t ready for a relationship, boy was it life-changing and healing in ways I never could have imagined.
Please consider what I said today, but always apply your own experience and insight to it because only you know what is best, right, and true for you.
And if you want to learn more about this subject, consider asking yourself:
- What do I yearn for and dream about that I’m not currently pursuing?
- What assumptions do I make about my ability to accomplish that?
- Are these notions constructive or destructive?
- Do these beliefs feel like voices and ideas from my past—perhaps a familiar voice from a family member or friend—or do they originate in my body, from some innate wisdom and inner knowing?
- What do I envision might occur if I start acting in the direction of what I want?
- Which scenario is the worst-case and which is the best-case?
- Is there anyone else I know who “started before they were ready” and who has the kind of successful outcomes I want for myself?
- What would I have to do in order to be like them? Do I want to do this?
Find a therapist if, after reading this post and responding to these questions, you feel that you might benefit from expert guidance to start taking steps in the direction of the people, places, and activities your heart desires.