My Summer in the South: Healing and Change.

“And take my past
And take my sense
Like an empty sail takes the wind
And heal, heal, heal, heal” – Tom Odell, Heal

Before I left Seattle, my heart was broken.

Rather, I broke my own heart by making an incredibly difficult and painful decision. Sometimes, in order for growth to take place, necessary measures need to be taken, even if this means temporarily hurting people we love…even if this means temporarily hurting ourselves.

This decision is like re-breaking a broken bone that healed incorrectly. The initial break was terribly painful, but in order for proper healing to occur, the bone needs to be rebroken and set properly. This second break is excruciating, yes, but necessary for the bone to heal as it should have in the first place.

With friends surrounding me with love, I was empowered and encouraged to be brave and make the break — the painful, excruciating break — in the hope of properly mending something that was broken.

Now I find myself in the liminal space, between suffering and healing.

North Carolina was planned well before this decision was made, yet this trip has become my saving grace and a beautiful pilgrimage. Unknowingly, I have given myself the gift of distance and time away from Seattle. As the painstakingly slow process of healing occurs, I have also been given the gift of clarity, and I have realized:

Pain is a catalyst for change.

I have suffered in many ways this past year, but I have also changed in many ways. The pain and suffering I have endured in Seattle was worth it. It was worth crying into Costco-sized boxes of Kleenex. It was worth all the lament and anger. It was worth sifting through painful childhood memories and reflecting on past trauma and abuse. This work is costly and it was worth every ounce of energy I put in.

It was worth it, but pain can only be a catalyst when healing is part of the process.

The wounds we carry are heavy. They take up precious space in our hearts. The energy we put into reliving or repressing these painful events and emotions is overwhelming. We will go to great lengths to hide the shame we feel around the trauma we have experienced. We try to cover our tracks, we try to erase memories, we try to hide the fingerprints of past abuse, but the tragic stories of our past can never be hidden.

So, we do the work and name it. We shine the light on shame. We mourn, grieve, and cry heaping sobs of sadness. We refuse to allow ourselves to repress and instead, we gather every ounce of strength we have to do this brave work.

This is healing.

The healing process purges our hearts from the heaviness of tragedy, making room for change to occur. Healing is the key player for pain to be a catalyst for change. Healing relinquishes the old, broken, unhealthy parts of our stories and creates room for new, beautiful stories to be written.

Naming our pain, addressing shame, and mourning rewrites our narrative. This is the work I am being called into. This is the work you’re being called into.

Are you courageous enough to step into healing?

North Carolina is a sacred place. North Carolina is my spiritual pilgrimage. Newness is being cultivated in my heart, in this place, and I am choosing to walk this broken, painful, courageous road of healing for the goodness of change to permeate my heart.

My broken heart is reshaping the story I get to tell.

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