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Being the wound and the healing
“Life has detours
And along the detours I have met wondrous friends,
The breaking of the heart along the way
has brought a healing
and I am the combination of the wound and the healing.”
Omid Safi, “Fail Better”, On Being
“I am a combination of the wound and the healing.” Maybe this should be our motto or phrase for the year.
I’ve never really been one to have a word of the year. Resolutions were certainly never my style and any intentions I might have set for how I wanted a year to be were long forgotten by March as life inevitably went however it was going to go without any concern for my feelings about it.
But if there is going to be something to remind ourselves of this year, as we begin to navigate our way out of everything the past twelve months have wrought, the idea that we are both the wound and the healing might be worthwhile.
Like every other thing that has happened in our past, we can’t change this last year. My higher-minded, more spiritually inclined self wants to say that acceptance is the only thing we have left. Another part of me wants to say screw acceptance and scream and cry and wallow. There is an inelegant beauty in doing both, in being both at the same time.
I read articles and talk to friends about the silver-linings that have come, the things that we have learned, the ways we have changed for the better, the routines and mindsets we will carry forward into our “new normal” and I can find meaning and take comfort.
I read articles and talk to friends about the anxiety that still hasn’t gone away, the constant cortisol drip we’ve been on for so, so long and how it has affected us, how our brains and bodies have literally, physically been changed by what we have gone through and I rage against the world and numb myself with Negronis and Netflix.
We are human beings, full of multitudes. Capable of acceptance and rage milliseconds apart. Capable of making meaning and feeling bitter resentment. Capable of being the wound and the healing at the same time.
Ultimately, it is about a kind of acceptance. It’s about choosing not to judge ourselves—being okay with our full range of emotions, every thought that comes to mind, every way in which we cope. Because the world will continue to wound us in some form or fashion. We can pray the cuts are less deep and that we recover more quickly, but the cycle of pain and healing doesn’t stop.
All we can do is choose how we carry the wound and the healing—and the scars that inevitably follow.
Add your Echo:
In what ways do you see the wound and the healing at the same time in your own life right now?
(Reply or tap the heart to share your thoughts)