When we break a bone can we will it to heal faster? No. The same applies to emotional healing. When our hearts have been broken, when we’ve been hurt or injured, our emotions have a natual rhythm to healing. Trying to speed things up only tends to slow things down. Give yourself time to grieve… to hurt… to be a mess. We do heal. We do recover.
Fire Chiefs are not expected to do the right thing. They’re expected to do the best thing. What’s the difference? After every fire an investigation is done to determine the cause of the blaze and to evaluate the decisions made by the Fire Chief. The investigators are not trying to determine if the chief made the RIGHT call. They’re trying to determine if he made the BEST call with the information he had at the time. There will always be more information available at a later date that was not available at the time of the decision.
Never judge past decisions with current information. Always try to make the best decision at the time without worrying if it is the perfect solution. With more and more experience to tap into you’ll be able to make better and better decisions as you go.
“In recovery, it is necessary to go gently and slowly. What we are after here is the healing of old wounds—not the creation of new ones. No high jumping, please! Mistakes are necessary! Stumbles are normal. these are baby steps. Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.
Too far, too fast, and we can undo ourselves. Creative recovery is like marathon training. We want to log ten slow miles for every one fast mile. This can go against the ego’s grain. WE want to be great—but that is not how recovery works. It is an awkward, tentative, even embarrassing process. There will be many times when we won’t look good—to ourselves or anyone else. We need to stop demanding that we do. It is impossible to get better and look good at the same time.
[In the context of being an artist] Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permession to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.”
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
“New problems bring up old pain.”
A friend of mine went to New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city. He went to help work with the victims who had been traumaitzed. Surprisingly, he spent more time talking with individuals about fears from traumas from years past instead of the new trauma.
When our coping mechanisms become overwhelmed, we are unable to continue to regulate, or keep in check, all the hurts and pains in our lives. All the stuff comes flooding back demanding to be dealt with. It’s important to get our work done as soon as possible so we don’t have to carry more than we’re capable of.
“We make decisions based on our pain and the limited choices we had at the time.”
“As children we have no resources, no power to make choices about our situations. We need our families for food, shelter, and love or else we die. If we feel that the pain around us is too intense and we cannot leave or change it, we will shut it off. We will—and do—switch our pain to something less threatening; a compulsion.”
Geneen Roth, When Food is Love