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Her Voice

No, You Don't Have To Make Healing Your Entire Personality

It's an interesting thing to find ourselves in a generation where healing can feel trendy. Across social media, #healing is one of the most popular hashtags to date, with over 41 million posts associated and 3.5K posts daily related to the subject. When I first began my healing journey, healing was not trendy.


My first therapy session was when I was a pre-teen. My family was in a transitional period, and I was acting out, so my mother took me to therapy once a week. We went a few times. I don't think we ever told anyone, and we never really discussed therapy again until I was in college. In my early twenties, a few months before graduation, I was experiencing a great deal of depression and social anxiety.

I started going to therapy, and it changed the entire trajectory of my life, but there was still a lot of shame.

Therapy in Black households and communities was taboo, and if you needed therapy, you were met with comments like, "That's for white people" or "You're not crazy. You don't need therapy." So, it didn't necessarily create an environment where I wanted to shout about therapy from the rooftops. Additionally, my then-therapist was on my college campus, so I literally went to therapy in secret.

Once a week, I walked to the other side of campus and went to therapy, and it was there that I found parts of myself that I thought I lost and discovered that therapy is a tool needed for a happy, healthy life, not a resource of the rich or something to be embarrassed about. Almost a decade later, it still amazes me that scrolling social media content from celebrities to influencers, it's nothing to see now reflections post-therapy, discussions on healing, and even in pop culture with music and television.

As someone who finds themselves within the wellness industry, I initially thought this is amazing, especially because the pandemic showed us how important mental health awareness is. I found comfort in knowing that this work has become mainstream and that, as a culture, we can begin to have discussions about wellness and well-being. But somewhere along the way, healing became entirely too trendy.

It became this thing that you purchase, and not a journey that's authentic to your needs. Healing is now seen as an aesthetic, where if you purchase a shadow work journal, burn sage, drink water out of a Stanley cup, own a matching workout set, and understand the concept of boundaries, then your healing journey is legitimized.

I'm not here to debate if daily writing, increasing your water intake, purchasing workout clothes, and establishing boundaries aren't healing, but what I am saying is - healing is not one size fits all and doesn't have to overtake your entire personality.

Healing is now being packaged as this season of life where you do nothing but focus on self-improvement, and after you're done, your life is better. True healing is layered and ongoing, and it's not just found in books, physical exercise, or even therapy.

It's looking at the parts of yourself that you don't like, and learning to find the love and gratitude in them. It's finding joy during the darkest moments in your life. It's allowing yourself to be a person worthy of love, support, and a life filled with balance, even while healing, because, contrary to social media, healing never ends.

For our entire lives, we'll be growing, learning, and unlearning, and as long as you exist on this earth and are committed to growth, you're healing in your own way.

Your journey doesn't have to have an aesthetic, and you don't have to announce to social media that you're healing in order for your journey to be authentic. If you want to heal, ask yourself what are the areas of your life that require self-reflection, and with a therapist explore a path to wellness that fits your needs and lifestyle.

And even once you find that path, don’t wrap your identity up into healing because even at the lowest point in your life, you are so much more than self-work, your life isn’t a project that constantly needs repair, it’s meant to be lived, don’t forget that.

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Featured image by AJ_Watt/Getty Images

 

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