Clarity Counseling Seattle
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Choosing to Heal

February 21, 2018
Posted By: Justin Pere, LMHC
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I recently came across this passage from Emily Nagoski's amazing & important book, Come As You Are:

A friend of mine left a bad relationship and declared (on Facebook), "I choose to hurt no longer. [Ex-partner] can't hurt me anymore." The second sentence is 100 percent true and is cause for celebration. But the first sentence doesn't make any sense from an attachment/completing-the-cycle point of view. When you leave a bad relationship, you have all this pent-up hurt and rage, and even fear locked up inside you, which must be allowed to discharge safely.

What makes more sense is, "I choose to allow the hurt to heal." Healing always involves pain - if you break your finger, it hurts, gradually less and less until it heals. Same goes for healing an emotional injury. You can't choose for your broken heart not to hurt, any more than you can choose for a broken bone not to hurt. But you can recognize the pain as part of the healing, and you can trust your heart to heal, just as you trust your bones to heal, knowing that it will gradually hurt less and less as you recover.

Sometimes we don't know how we're getting in the way of allowing our hurt to heal, or our tolerance for hurt is so low that it can feel unbearable (or rather we believe we can't bear it) so we turn away from that discomfort, inadvertently stifling our healing. If any of this sounds familiar, therapy can help. Please feel free to reach out.


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