the answer is in the healing
One of the most difficult things I had to overcome during the healing process thus far is learning to accept what is, and not having the answers as to why.
When I started therapy 6 years ago, I thought I would find the answers to all the questions I held onto since i was a child; that I would have this fulfillment of healing just by having the answers.
I thought therapy was about finding the answers to the questions that laid deep inside of me since I was a child and that was”why?”.
I never thought that a part of the healing process was found in accepting what happened and not having the answers to fix it. The fixing is in the healing, not in the answer. That was a tough lesson to learn, and a painful one.
I have realized more so over this past year that sometimes there are no answers to why something is the way it is.
There is no answer to my past
there is no answer to why I had the life I had.
There is no answer as to why my mom is still sick in bed after 22 years.
There is no answer as to why someone stepped into my life last year, watched me for a year and triggered me so deep into my past that it felt almost impossible to move out of that.
There is no answer as to why things happen the way that they do, and as soon as I let that go, something amazing happened, I had room to accept the things that I do know the answers to – like Love, Faith, Connection, Support, Healing, Comfort – The things I can accept, the things that DO hold the answers.
My therapist made me realize something in this past year, and he reminded me again just a couple of days ago and that is “you cannot make sense of something senseless“. Sometimes there will be no answer to why, all you can do is accept and move through it in a way to where healing takes place.
You can’t change something that wont change, but you can be the change.
I can make the choice to take what I don’t understand and turn that into something I can understand, and for me that is healing, leaning in towards support, talking about what surfaced in this past year for me and healing what it is I do understand like, my emotions, my feelings, my needs and my wants.
I think also there is a grieving process to accepting what is. You grieve what you wished for, or for what you needed that you couldn’t find.
I went through a whole 2 year process of grieving my mom, but yet she is still very much alive. I was grieving knowing that she will never be the mom I need her to be. She is sick and in bed, and has been bed ridden for 18 something years – I don’t know, I lost count.
I grieved last year over this whole “situation” that I could change the outcome of what was happening, but instead I learned to lean on support, lean on my therapist who truly believed in me and knew what was going on was wrong. I had to accept that support seeing and knowing what was going on and supporting me in that was enough – there was no answer as to why, and I couldn’t change something that wouldn’t change – I could only have support in that like giving me a safer place to heal, and allowing me to lean on him when I needed to talk about it.
I grieved the child inside of me; that 9-year-old, because by going to therapy I felt my job was to find the answers to why, and I grieved never having those questions answered, the answer was in the healing!
So I believe that when we finally let go of something, there is a grieving process in that, because we want so much to have the answers to why. But what I learned is, by accepting what is, there is healing on the other side of that.
It’s not easy, I want to know why, I like being in the understanding and the knowing of something, and when I can’t figure it out, it’s so hard for me to cope sometimes – I guess that is why they call it healing, because it’s painful.
Last night I was watching the coverage on the Boston shooting (by the way I am from Boston, so this story really hit home), but one of the questions they keep asking is “WHY”. There is no justifiable reason to why, none! it’s about bringing the community of people together to heal is where the healing is found, not in the answer to why.
Watching that last night it hit me even more.. I don’t have the answers as to why and accepting that gives me more room for goodness.
I am finally back on my healing path since this hard year happened last year and my therapist has done everything in his power to support me through that by believing in me, and helping me to heal in the knowing and not looking for something that was unknown.
I have the most amazing support system, and that I DO KNOW. I know I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. I know I have children who are amazing and so supportive. I know I have my faith and God who stands by my side even when I don’t feel him in my presence.
So there are a lot of things I do know vs what I don’t. There is power in that, I just needed to let go and accept that whatever is, IS and there is healing in that, you just need to trust it.
I love my mom, but I also know she will never be the mom I need her to be. I hate what happened to me in the past, but all I can do is heal and talk about it, and know I wont have an answer. I can’t get back a year I lost by dealing with something that came into my life and steered me into a direction I was not expecting, but I can lean on support and the people who believe in me and support me – that I do know.
I can write about it just like I am now, and connect with people who support me and make room for the things I do know and that is “I am not alone” and neither are you.
April 20, 2013 at 6:46 PM
Thank you for this profoundly wise and courageous post.
My brother – a young man – died suddenly about 6 years ago. I wanted to hear Why he had died, and What caused his death>?
I sat with my doctor, and tried to enumerate the reasons my brother had a heart attack: was it stress, was his own sense of loss, was it worry?
My psychiatrist listened, calmly, and said this:
“We don’t know.”
I struggled with this answer – until I realized that we do NOT know why exactly my beloved brother died.
~Now, when I am in pain, thinking about his death, I stop myself.
I tell myself that we do not know why he died.
And somehow, I heave my love over the parts that hurt and I rest in “Not Knowing”….
And, it is okay. It really is okay.
Thanks for letting me share.
Blessings, Karen, blessings…………………………………
April 20, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Hi Leslie … I am SO sorry to hear about your brother.. my heart goes out to you. But I am also glad that you have come to realize that finding the answers is not the healing.
Thank you for sharing your story…. that must have been such a hard time in your life.
April 20, 2013 at 8:21 PM
It’s a lot like the serenity prayer. realizing what is in our control and what is not. Releasing what needs to be released and holding close what needs to be learned. You are on a good path.
April 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM
Hi Sharon … yes the serenity prayer is a huge help in letting go and healing.. it’s the base of all prayers 🙂 Thank you for your comment 🙂 nice to see you here again
April 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM
There is so much in this that is Deep Truth. You wrote it very well. Again.
I also want to know why…..about so many things. All the energy gets focused there as if the knowing why could do the healing. Sometimes it does help to know why if there is a reason for something. But in this hard stuff you are writing about it’s seems more accurate that in the senseless there is no reasonable ‘why’.
When I was facing my past abuse and had some memories, I wanted to know why and I wanted to know if there was more that I don’t remember. I still wonder. But I’ve let go of needing to know why, for now, because it struck me that focusing on ‘them’ and trying to understand them and their sick actions only kept me from healing the pain in me now. It took the focus off of me and keeps me chained to them, the abusers. And kept me in my head.
Well there is still a lure to wanting to know if there was more that they did that I can’t remember. But it helped me to realize that the healing is in grieving which is something I can understand and I can do now.
To me your theme here is much like the Serenity Prayer as the other commenter mentioned. The beauty of the Serenity Prayer is that it holds in it a question that can be used as a tool ongoingly….as well as it offers solace. It keeps asking me to discern what is mine to change and what am I being called to accept and let go of.
Thanks for writing this. It is so full of wisdom from the heart and through experience.
April 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Gel …. I love your quote here
“t took the focus off of me and keeps me chained to them, the abusers. And kept me in my head.”
That is so true.. it’s hard to live life when you are chained to the questions that hold no answers. It keeps us far away from those who love us, and the support around us.
Thank you for knowing … This is the wonderful thing about writing and connecting.
Thank you Gel 🙂
April 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM
This is so well written, thank you for sharing. I’ve been ‘learning’ about much of this over the last year. To me, this is the process of ‘letting go’. the purpose of this process, is just as commented, is in the Serenity Prayer. As we let go, we allow ourselves ‘room’ to move on. I think of it as similar to the acceptance and commitment therapy…to forgive, not to forget and to honor our feelings to whatever we are needing to heal from! For me ‘learning’ that not everything is like maths, one plus one doesn’t always equal two. I find this very difficult as i’m a maths ‘brained’ person. As I ‘move’ slowly, along the lesson of ‘letting go’ of NEEDING all the answers, is a constant, but worthwhile lesson. I really think you are brave, insightful and I believe you are working really hard, hope you are giving yourself credit for this.Here’s to healing, freedom, joy and PEACE!…..lol
April 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM
ZIGGY 🙂 you always make me smile.. you and gel just put a smile on my face.. actually EVERYONE here who comments puts a smile on my face! In the past month I have had so many people comment on my blogs and it warms my heart because it’s a community of people who heal together and that was my purpose in writing …
Thank you so much for your comment .. letting go is hard, but man it really leaves more room for other great things! I am so blessed to have come out of this hard life to see the goodness that the world holds and not just the abuse I endured. Thank you for your comment
April 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM
I don’t like “alone”. Been there. Done that. But sometimes God has to take us there so we can filter out all the distractions that keep us from seeking His face and His peace in His presence. Thanks for sharing and for your awesome transparency.