As I find myself in the midst of postpartum again, I keep thinking to myself I’m getting too old for this. It’s a lighthearted sentiment recognizing the energy and time it takes to heal after carrying a baby and nourishing that new life once they are here. In the midst of all this, you, the life bearer, are also supposed to be healing. Being careful and intentional about moving your body, but not exerting yourself too much so as to necessitate the need for additional healing.
It turns out healing is hard work.
I find myself returning to this conversation with people again and again. “I thought it was healed from this. I thought I was over this. I thought this couldn’t have an impact on my bad or on my self-esteem.” And then almost always after these sentiments, there is a resigned, “I guess I still have some healing to do.”
It turns out healing is continuing work.
In those conversations, I hear an undercurrent of shame and blame. I can hear it in my own head too, at times: I should be able to go further. I shouldn’t complain when I am hurting. Those voices come from a belief that healing is something we can accomplish. That the ultimate goal is to wear the badge “healed.”
But what if that’s not it at all? What if healing isn’t a task to check off our list?
It turns out healing is a way of being.
Healing reminds us that we can’t white-knuckle our way through life by pure willpower. Our bodies will give out. Our hope will waver. Our vision will blur. And when we find ourselves there, we realize we can’t do this life alone. Healing teaches us that we need each other. We need community and belonging…we need help.
It turns our healing connects us to each other and the Divine, that’s why it’s such hard work.