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Healing hurts.

Often in life when we hurt, we promise ourselves that we will never be in the same position again. We mask the pain with positivity and hope that it will dissolve sooner than later. That it will disappear without confrontation. A few occasions later, we are then forced to come face to face with ourselves, and to deal with the hurt we experienced. We are forced to heal.

There is something that must be demystified about the notion of healing, the lightness with which we take healing is quite shocking. The belief that healing is sweet, and is an opposite to the pain we have experienced may be the very reason we always feel we are not doing enough to heal.

“Healing is personal, healing must be contextualized and personalised, some of the things we do on a daily basis contribute to our healing, it might be little things we do not take notice of, and we heal as we heal, if we are able to heal, we are healing” Zuko Gqadavama. 

The truth is, healing hurts, at the very core of our beings, that is why we are scared of it, perhaps healing is more painful than the very pain we have experienced. Healing is not about making the pain fade away.

“Experiences leave behind memories, memories in their very nature never fade, sometimes they are merely suppressed in the museum of our past, in the cubicles in our minds that we never want to open, but they never fade away, like scars they will occasionally remind us of what we have endured” Tokelo Hlagala. 

Healing is about bringing the pain closer to us so that we can really see the lesson that will come out of it, more than anything it requires honesty, honesty about the situation, honesty about our role in the situation and the results that unfolded. We often converse about healing pertaining, or in the context of the victim, while we overlook healing from the view of the perpetrator, at times it requires the one who was responsible for inflicting the pain, to be the one who ignites the healing process for the wounded, not always, but sometimes. 

Sometimes the one inflicting pain has not healed from the pain s/he has endured, s/he has not confronted the past experience, hence sometimes we see people become abusers because they were abused, sometimes the abused become counsellors for other abused- for they know all too well the temperature of the shoes worn by the abused, the practice of helping others becomes their coping mechanism, it becomes their methodology of healing themselves.

“Sometimes it may take a healing person to heal a healing man” Zuko Gqadavama.

In the early days of our healing journey some are filled with hope and positivity, with vim and vigour, a phase and point where we feel that we are ready to let go of what was, in order to make room for what will be. After some time, we lose that zeal because reality hits. We then recognize and realise that we are not trying to heal, but running away from something, trying to make something disappear, and this is not healing, it is escaping.

In healing, we have to go back to the pain, the terrible experience, to revisit and relieve it. Only after we have truly confronted it, can we say we have begun the healing process. 

It became no longer possible to put a bandage on a wound that needed surgery, I had to go under the knife” Jhene Ikz.

We have to keep going back just to see how far we have come and to remember why we started the journey, this is why, at some point in the journey, we feel like we are back where we started, we feel that way because we need to “check” how far we are from talking about the pain without crying. That feeling is a sign of progress, it is a sign that we are vulnerable, it is a sign that we are human.

“Healing is one of the reasons that I decided to venture into the psychology fraternity, it takes time and requires one to be proactive, it is a long process, perhaps a lifetime process, but it prevents the wounds from bleeding again when scratched” Zuko Gqadavama.

Healing is not a sign of weakness, if anything, it is a great depiction of strength, bravery and character. It is human nature, it is a tool we use to survive. But as the inspired humans we are, we want to do more than just survive,we want to thrive and live, to be the best versions of ourselves. Healing is a tool we hold onto with our dear lives, because we know it will redeem us. 

Healing suppresses and effaces any thoughts of vengeance and revenge that our minds and hearts may harbor, it protects us from being our own enemies, from venturing into a path of self destruction” Tokelo Hlagala.

 Healing never ends, the end of one healing journey is the beginning of another. 

Blogpost by: Selokela Molamodi  Edited by: Tokelo Hlagala

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