You cannot heal the world until you heal yourself.
– Katrina Mayer
The first step – the very first step – toward healing old wounds is to acknowledge that you have them. If I don’t know or recognize that I have old wounds or if I do know and chose to ignore them, then I am allowing them to control my every thought, action and relationship. And that in itself is a scary thought.
I was in my mid 20’s before I truly recognized I had been wounded so badly. As a child I buried both good and bad memories deep in my subconscious, never realizing how I was shaping my future. When I took a creative writing course in college I wrote the most horrific stories – rape, murder, bloodshed, violence – and I didn’t know where those images came from. I didn’t read violent books or watch violent movies or TV. I wasn’t a violent person and didn’t think violent thoughts. Yet vivid images of bloodshed crept up from my subconscious into the written word. (Those stories are posted on this blog – unedited or changes since I wrote them. Compare them to the stories I write now after decades of healing on my Orange Marmalade Press blog.)
Those stories disturbed me greatly and I talked to my professor about them. He told me that all artists and writers have wounded souls and I shouldn’t worry about where the stories come from because those wounds are what make artists great. That conversation prevented me from seeking help for a long time. I didn’t seek help because I desperately wanted to write and create. I did continue to create but my art took a darker turn, so dark it scared even me and I stopped releasing my pain creatively and instead turned it inward and did some really crazy stuff before I finally began the true healing journey.
My point is this – as long as I refused to acknowledge that I needed help – much like addicts – I was not in control of my own life.
But through God’s Grace I found my way toward healing and toward me.
So – the first step – the very first step – toward healing is saying – “something is wrong and I need help.”
Simple words for a momentous occasion – an occasion that will make a difference in your life and in the lives of everyone you encounter from now until the moment of your death.