For me, healing has been a messy business.
I spent many years running from pain, and thus running from solitude and self-awareness. To keep from looking at the wounds on my heart, I bandaged myself head-to-toe and, on those bandages, I wrote stories about who I was.
I wasn’t that person at all.
Removing those bandages was, at first, a horrible experience. The wounds I had spent so long running from had become infected. I experienced more pain than I ever thought possible. It didn’t make it any easier that my head was full of thoughts that compelled me to drink, smoke, take a pill, find a warm body—anything to escape facing the darkness within myself.
But, kicking and screaming, I faced it.
I would not say my healing was an act of courage as much as an act of necessity. Those infected wounds were killing me, and if I didn’t choose to heal, I would not have lasted. But maybe, it is courageous to do what is necessary instead of stubbornly self-destructing.
I stepped up and became the hero I so desperately needed. I chose to take responsibility over my life experience rather than identifying myself as broken and blaming other people for breaking me.
Just the decision to take care of myself, instead of waiting for some saviour, has been profoundly transformative. I am the one I was waiting for all along!
You might remember my saying this in The Love Mindset. When I wrote the book, I was in a healing honeymoon. I got to see myself in the light of my highest potential. Then, the training wheels came off.
I had to learn to make self-healing a constant practice—to accept that I’d always be learning those precious lessons and that, like the people who reached out to me, I was always on a journey.
I cannot tell you that I have “healed myself” in any sort of final way. I healed myself yesterday, and I will heal myself tomorrow. I have processed through past trauma only by being vulnerable, and being vulnerable has meant embracing pain. I get hurt all the time. And then, I heal again. Now, I do have so much joy in my life, but that joy is balanced with sorrow. And I’ve realized that this beats numbness any day.
On my path of healing, there have been many quotes that guided me like torches in the dark. I hope they can be as helpful to you as they were to me.
- “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~Rumi
- “Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” ~Gary Zukav
- “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ~Brené Brown
- “You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.” ~Robert M. Pirsig
- “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli
- “Your pain is an opportunity for you to learn about yourself.” ~Gary Zukav
- “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~Kahlil Gibran
- “I must have been incredibly simple or drunk or insane
to sneak into my own house and steal money,
to climb over the fence and take my own vegetables.
But no more. I’ve gotten free of that ignorant fist
that was pinching and twisting my secret self.” ~Rumi
- “Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up, with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past.” ~Shannon L. Alder
- “If it wasn’t for all of your torture
I wouldn’t know how
to be this way now
and never back down.” ~Christina Aguilera
- “In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” ~Brennan Manning
- “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” ~Kenji Miyazawa
- “Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” ~Rumi
- “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” ~Mexican Proverb
- “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron
- “We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” ~Marianne Williamson
- “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” ~J.K. Rowling
- “Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.” ~C. JoyBell C.
- “Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life.” ~Akshay Dubey
- “We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” ~Marcel Proust
- “Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” ~Robert Gary Lee
- “What happens when people open their hearts?
They get better.” ~Haruki Murakami
- “The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” ~Paulo Coelho
- “You are not broken. You are not a problem to be solved. Solving your “problem”, whatever you perceive your problem or problems to be, is not the key to happiness.” ~Golda Poretsky
- “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~Anaïs Nin
- “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” ~Kahlil Gibran
- “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
- “And when they’ve given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it’s not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger’s wall.” ~Pink Floyd, The Wall
- “People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.” ~Jim Morrison
- “The cure for pain is in the pain.” ~Rumi
- “Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex; but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, Stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories and make peace with them.” ~Iyanla Vanzant
- “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.” ~Albert Camus
- “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster. For when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
- “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” ~Carl Jung
- “You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” ~C. JoyBell C.
- “Like a snake, my heart
has shed its skin.
I hold it here in my hand,
full of honey and wounds.” ~Federico Garcia Lorca
If you are on a journey of self-healing, I hope you’ll also consider joining the 30 Day Self-Love Challenge. The first ten days contain tasks for healing the past. And that’s something we can all stand to do a bit more of!
Now, what about you? Do you have any favourite quotes about healing that I haven’t mentioned? Please share in the comments below!