There's this riddle that you've likely heard. The kind that automatically makes you roll your eyes.
"What's black and white and read all over?"
If you haven't ever been asked this (you're one of the lucky ones). The answer is a newspaper, the clever part being found in our tendency to initially hear,"What's black and white and RED all over?"
Well, while I can tell you this question is beyond overused, on a particular Tuesday night in my apartment... I happened to be in a black and white pajama set (a total steal from Nordstrom Rack), washing a knife I had just finished cooking with when I sliced my finger. There was blood. Lots. And I did, in that moment, look down and think "black and white and red all over. wow."
Now, I admit I have a tendency to be dramatic. Especially when it comes to illnesses and injuries. However, this really was a big cut. I went to see an urgent care doctor a few days later who scolded me for not coming in that night to get stitches. However, after a few days, she agreed the cut would eventually heal on its own and prescribed me an antibiotic in case the cut got worse before it got better. She also gave me a little splint to keep the cut closed while it healed and sent me on my way.
This cut was not my first injury, but it's certainly the most inconvenient. A gash on the underside of my thumb, right on the knuckle...on the hand I write with. Ugh.
Inconvenient, but meaningful.
You see, spending a few weeks with my cut showed me the kind of process that we rarely get to see up close: HEALING.
One of those words we hear all of the time, especially in quotes on Instagram. A word with so much meaning and weight, but a word that gets tossed around a lot until you take the time to unpack it. To look at it, focus on it and see how it applies to you.
Our bodies have this beautiful ability to heal themselves from so many things. Not every single thing, but so many things. And I really believe our hearts work the same way. I think our hearts have the power and capacity to heal from a whole lot.
They can, and they will. If we let them.
You have to grace yourself with the space, energy, focus, love, care, support and time to heal. You have to call things out. You have to do the work. You have to accept the pain that comes with working through issues.
You have to accept that sometimes things get darker before the light comes. Sometimes you need an "antibiotic" (aka a few therapy sessions, some time away from social media, nightly calls to your best friend or a few weeks without wine) in case things get worse before they get better.
You have to believe that the process is worth it. You have to believe you are worth the process.
I named my cut Curtis.
I name everything. Cars, zits, inanimate rubber ducks on my desk. If you've ever given me a stuffed animal, it's got a name. If I interact with it a lot, it's likely got a name.
My cut was very much in my way. I couldn't write, drive, cook, shower, wash my hands (thank goodness Coronavirus wasn't a buzz word quite yet), etc. normally because of it. So, he became Curtis. And I introduced him as Curtis, so other people started asking me how "Curtis" was doing and healing.
I named the thing that was hurting me.
Y'all, there is a power in calling things by name...in calling things out for what they are. When you look something in the eye and speak to it, you take away it's power over you. You step into eye level.
I think praying works that way, too.
Not to get too dramatic and preachy in this post, but if you've ever prayed against a negative head space, someone who's hurting you or feeling overwhelmed and you've called your enemy out directly, you likely know there is a lot of power there.
If you've ever spoken directly to Satan and told him to leave your home, your family, your friends, your relationship, your mind, your feelings,your temptations, etc., you know. There is so much power in clearly identifying something. Calling it by its name. Depression, trauma, heartbreak, abuse, self-hate, insecurity, guilt, anxiety. Whatever it is. When you call something out by its name, you give yourself the space to deal with it.
When you call something out and share it with someone else, you give other people the permission to pray for you more specifically, to know what to ask you about.
And once you call something by its name, you have to pay attention to it. Time heals all, but prayer, attention, care, good conversation, grace and space really help the process.
You can bury something or you can actively love it out of you.
You can ignore something, or you can replace it with the kind of you thing you actually deserve. However, you have to create the kind of space and environment where the stuff you deserve can actually grow.
Obviously, this isn't about finger cuts. But I will say this, every time I had to clean my cut, change its bandage and try to use it to do normal things each day, it really hurt. I dropped baking pans, teared up and hissed in frustration so many times.
And that's how healing a heart kind of goes, too.
Swallowing the fact that someone's fallen out of love with you. Remembering moments that make your stomach drop. Deleting the number. Ripping up the love notes. Walking away. Muting the post notifications. Blocking the numbers. The deep breaths. These are all choices. And while you definitely cannot choose everything that happens to you- not even most things, you can make the type of choices that help you heal from the things that hurt.
I want to be really honest with you for a second.
I've seen and felt the nastiness that comes with letting your wound, whatever that wound may be, just sit there. I know the kind of fear of being alone that keeps you in a relationship that doesn't make you feel loved, honored and respected instead of cutting the ties and healing your heart. I know the kind of desire to fit in that keeps you in friendships where gossip and cutting comments fill the places where unconditional support and trust should have been all along.
I get it. I've been there.
People are healing all the time, all over the place. Healing from hurt and heartbreak and abuse and trauma. From the lies they've heard and, unfortunately, believed about who they are and what they're capable of.
Healing, moving on and (truly) being okay are always available to you. Whether you're in a new valley or a valley that's been plaguing you for years, you are never too far gone to come back to your center. In a world where anxiety, stress and drama are the norm, I think it's really important to remember that peace should actually be the benchmark. Loving yourself and believing you can do things are brave decisions to make, but they are actually the decisions you've always deserved to make for yourself.
And if it's hard and the regret from your own mistakes are hanging heavily over your precious little head and the pain beneath the scars of broken relationships and shattered trust is pulsing, I think you should know it's okay to call it what it is. Out loud. In writing. To who you trust.
Then, I think you should give yourself the space, love, resources and time to heal.
After about a month of wincing, holding pencils weird and avoiding handshakes, Curtis is nothing more than a faint scar that essentially blends in with the lines on my hand.
However, I still feel him. Just a little. When doing certain tasks, I feel an extra tinge of sensitivity that reminds me that he was once there. He was once something I cried about, avoided help for and eventually had to deal with.
Give yourself grace. Learn the steps to the dance that makes you feel your bravest. You can. You will when you decide to. You deserve to.
With Love and Glitter,