“It just occurred to me that many people are actually afraid to heal because their entire identity is centered around the trauma they’ve experienced. They have no idea who they are outside of trauma, and that unknown can be terrifying.” – Ebonee Davis
When you think about it, what good would it do to be healed of blindness if a person is just going to keep his eyes closed?
What good is healing a crippled person if they still refuse to walk?
If your trauma could be healed, how might you choose to live differently? Or would you just keep living in the way that’s always been familiar?
Personally, I have desired healing changes for myself, knowing deep down inside that I have little desire to live out those changes or change anything else in my life to fit the new life I’m asking for. I think this has a lot to do with my identity and my willingness to envision myself in radically unfamiliar ways. My willingness to think outside my own experience, and believe I have the power to be different than what I’ve experienced so far.
- Do you identify yourself by the limited worldview of the people you grew up with?
- Do you identify yourself by dysfunctional family patterns?
- Do you identify yourself by a toxic or abusive relationship that destroyed you? Or a pattern of them?
- Do you identify yourself by a workaholic, consume-aholic, or serve-aholic mindset?
- Do you identify yourself, ultimately, by the oppressive pain or disempowerment you have suffered?
- Do you think, “It can’t get any better than this. I could never live like that. I just can’t picture it.” ?
These are all important parts of our story, but they are not meant to be our whole identity. Our identity includes our healing, which means we get to say, “I was ____________, until my healing came and then I became _______________.”
So let’s start asking ourselves if we can even see ourselves living life in a “healed” way – with all the new changes that will bring. How much time have we really spent envisioning a healed life for ourselves? How good are we willing to let our lives get? Are we ready for this to happen? Have we counted the cost of things we may need to let go of? Some of us are heavily attached to our comforts and protective parts. What are the changes we’d be willing to make, if only we could be healed enough to live like this?
Essentially – how much do we really want it?
How long will our healing last, or what good will it do – if we have no vision or real desire for it?
I am daring to envision myself healed. I’m asking myself, “What would this look like?” and “Is this something I seriously want?”
To be honest, the healed life I envision is a bit daunting to me. I don’t know if I can live up to what looks “healthy” in my mind. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to choose to sustain it.
But I want to believe it.
It can be scary for a prisoner to finally be released after a long prison sentence. We might call this crazy, but some prisoners are terrified to get out. Some get out, but wish they could go back. Freedom can bring new challenges. Sometimes abuse survivors long to go back to oppressive environments, because the freedom of healing brings the new challenges of an unfamiliar life of freedom.
As hard or destructive as the old life was, the familiarity made it less scary, less intimidating, and easier to fathom as reality. After living with limitations, healing challenges us to believe we have power and abilities we never had before.
Do you want to be healed?
Do you even want a new paradigm, a new way of life?
People who regain sight or mobility have to believe they are capable of even more skills –– because now they will be able to work, take care of themselves, play, and do all the things that able-bodied people get to do! In those activities, there will be new things to learn. New challenges. New responsibilities.
May we have the courage to envision and take hold of a radically-healed life.