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Reflections on the Healing Process

Updated: May 31, 2022

The transcript can be found under the video.

In today's video, I will be discussing the healing process, a few reflections that I have on it, and some tips to make it more bearable.

I got a lot of feedback about this one picture that I showed about the healing journey. This inspired quite a few conversations on the journey itself. It also made me reflect and realize that we don't really talk about this journey. We tend to think in terms of either sick or healthy, wellness or illness, but that gray area in the middle is not discussed much.

Let's say that you've been diagnosed with an illness. You've read up a little bit on it, now you're at the point where you're experimenting with various things. Maybe different medications or different lifestyle interventions etc., so effectively you're now on your healing journey.

Healing Takes Time

I'll often offer free discovery calls where people are able to explore and see if an engagement with a health coach is a good fit and if I could help. I enjoy doing these conversations and meeting new people, but what I find really fascinating about them is that people frequently disclose: what they are currently doing, what they need more of, and where they are. A lot of times, people will come and tell me something that has worked for them, but it's something that they're not consistently doing because they notice it only works for a little bit of time but the effects are not long-lasting or they don't feel inspired enough to keep going with it.

This is where I believe it is important to realize that healing does take time. There are very few quick fixes, and feeling better overnight isn't always as simple as popping one pill or making one magical lifestyle change. Sometimes you need to implement and just have patience. Even a dietary change might take weeks to take effect on the body and months to demonstrate visible health improvements.

So we're used to medications that have a faster effect, but when working with the body's natural workings, it takes a little longer for either neuron to be rewired, for changes to be noticed, and for healing to occur. It's a process, and it cannot be rushed.

There are many ups and downs within this process. It's not very linear. It can feel like you're going backward at times. Even if it feels like you're going backward, you might actually be going forward as you've now tried that one thing. You are wiser. You now have a better understanding of whether or not that particular treatment or therapy is appropriate for you.

Let's say you've implemented a new healthy habit. You now have a way of implementing further healthy habits successfully. You have a track record. You know what works and doesn't work for you. Although it's not always easy to be patient, rushing through the process does not do much. So do not give up.

Healing is Multidimensional

I broke my foot two years ago, and the process was quite simple. I had a cast, then once the cast came off, I was given some physical therapy exercises to do, and within six months, my foot felt just like before.

With chronic illness, it's not so simple at all. My symptoms started with a high heart rate, which was during the summers only, for a few years. I focused on the heart for those few years. I focused on seeing cardiologists, and then I was finally diagnosed with POTS. I started having more symptoms that affected me neurologically: my gut, muscles, as well as other parts of my body.

Each of these problems took different approaches and modalities to work with which I was not capable of doing all at once. Sometimes I would have to focus a lot more on one, then another, and so on. So, that's where healing is multi-dimensional.

Pay attention also to the parts that you don't want to work on and simply reflect on them. Some people struggle with dietary changes and they avoid going anywhere in that direction. Reflect if there is some kind of resistance to a change that you'd not feel that comfortable doing. Take a look at where the resistance is coming from and what's going on over there.

Don't forget to focus on your mental health while focusing on all these modes of health. I focused a lot on the physical effects. I ignored or just pushed down a lot of the emotional effects that I had on me, on my thoughts, abilities, self-esteem, and identity, so don't ignore that. Also, have grace.

Have grace with yourself as you remember and tackle each of those areas. I remember I used to feel so overwhelmed. It felt like I had to do so much. But take baby steps and be kind to yourself as you go through this.

Getting a Fresh Perspective

You can only do so much on your own. Sometimes it takes a third party, whether that is a friend, specialist, coach, therapist, relative, etc. to share a light and a new direction. Don't be afraid to reach out for help when you need it.

We could sometimes only ever see so much on our own, and it helps when we have others who can see us and who can see our situation from a different lens. What are your blind spots? What are new things you could try?

It's both needed that we do the work ourselves, of course, but sometimes it's needed to reach out to others for help.

Finding Meaning

As you embark on this journey, reflect on how can you make the best of it. Look for lessons you can learn from this. A lot of us want to rush this process because staying here for too long is uncomfortable. We want to get past the physical or emotional suffering, but what can we do in this in-between period? How can we, at least temporarily, sit with the pain and suffering?

This is related to the bigger question of what makes a meaningful life? Research has found that suffering and sadness are necessary ingredients for happiness. We have no real way to achieve and appreciate the kind of happiness that is true and pure without some level of pain. Pleasant and happy moments do make a happy life, but it's the meaning that we associate with our life's challenges and struggles that shapes it into this narrative and story that we have in our head about what it means to live a meaningful life.


Zoom in on the day-to-day rather than just thinking about the big picture of the journey. What exactly is there? What can you appreciate in your daily life? Perhaps, it's the way that the sun came out today. It is sunny, and I'm loving it, or that you were able to walk a bit further now than you were a month ago, or perhaps you had a wonderful talk with a friend or family member.

It doesn't matter if it's a small win or a big win; it's still a win. So be grateful for it. I'm not suggesting you be glad for your disease, but rather for what it taught you about yourself. How can you use this opportunity to understand yourself better and get to know your strengths, your weaknesses, and yourself? You're a lot stronger than you think you are, and you could deal with adversity probably a lot better than you thought you were able to do.

This experience is showing you how to appreciate every single little step you take. It requires a lot of courage and strength. Do acknowledge that and reflect on it. Remember that this is not necessarily a route of perfection if there are any slip-ups or downhill slopes along the way. Everything has to go a certain way, but it is just filled with just ups and downs.

What has been your biggest reflection from the healing journey? I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway down in the comments below.


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