Time is an interesting way of measuring emotions. Maybe that’s one reason why I love dates so much. I like being able to say “Oh, on February 3, 2015 I crawled inside a dressing room at my mother’s dance studio and cried on the phone to Cheyenne…but on February 3, 2018 I am closing a show that has brought me great joy and then I get to journey into the sunset with my boyfriend.” Sounds nice, huh? I sound “healed.” Reformed. Cured. Don’t you wish it were that easy? That someone could give you a specific date that grief would end. A precise moment in time when the hurt would ebb and the pain would disappear. I remember thinking, those many years ago, “If someone could tell me when this agony would stop I could make it. I can hang on if I just know how long it’s gonna take.”
The downside to giving yourself a time limit for suffering is that different parts of you will heal on different schedules. This is not something I fully understood for a very long time. First off, there is the practical side of healing. The part of you that must get out of bed in the morning because the world doesn’t stop turning just because you are dying on the inside. You must feed yourself. You must shower. You must go to work. This will take more energy than you ever imagined, but you will complete these mundane tasks because you must and before you know it, they won’t seem so difficult and voila!…a small part of you has mended.
Then there is the “learning curve” part of healing. You must learn to complete tasks you haven’t had to do before. Filling up air in your tires, getting the cell phone bill put in your name, even learning to make choices on your own instead of letting another human make them for you. This healing is especially lovely because you feel accomplished at the end of each new mission you undertake. I, personally, wanted some kind of medal saying to the world “I’m doing it! I got this!” It should also be noted that during this period of your life the most wonderful souls will appear to help with your new “education.” Special shout outs to Duane Snyder for filling my car tires with air, Craig Smith for writing me a small novel about where to go with car questions, Jake Delaney for providing me with a way to make my own coffee, and Giovanni who got stuck helping me at the Verizon store. I am a better and smarter woman because of the “good men” who have helped along the way.
Obviously, the hardest and most time consuming healing exercise is healing your heart. Unfortunately there isn’t a marker to tell you when this undertaking will be complete. I think it’s an ongoing process. Most worthwhile accomplishments are. Which means, no end date. Ever changing. Always evolving. In many ways I am super proud of my progress, but in many ways I thought I would be further along than I am. I think the key is to continue to grow in love. Self love. Learning to love the “new you.” Worldly love. Learning to allow yourself to love others. And, most importantly, learning to continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, the author of love.
I suppose this post is as good a marker as any to assess how healed my heart may or may not be. And hopefully will serve as my own reminder to constantly increase in love.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 – “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”