In case you feel that the pain is too great, that your heart hurts too much, that you can’t go on. STOP. Listen to me. Everything will be ok.
Once a year, the picture below shows up in my Facebook memories. It was taken just a few months after my first marriage ended. I’d gone walking in the woods with a friend whose relationship had taken a turn for the worse at the same time as mine.
Back then, I felt like my life had fallen apart. As it turns out, it hadn’t although my little family certainly had. “Dear diary, this is the worst day of my life,” wrote my seven-year-old daughter that day.
I managed to move on with my life but it took a long time for the pain of betrayal to dissipate. For years, whenever this image showed up, I’d recall my disbelief that someone who had professed his love to me so publicly for 10 years could have privately felt otherwise, leading me to seek the solace of my friend and the forest.
I’d remember as if it were yesterday the unrelenting scream I belted out in my car just a few weeks before that photo was taken — a scream that literally left me voiceless for two days, so great was my pain. Whenever that memory arose, it felt like a punch in the gut. And then, suddenly, it didn’t. It just felt like a memory.
I now see this photograph for what it was: a moment in time.
Intellectually, I can still conjure up the feelings it once evoked, but emotionally, those feelings are behind me. Not buried. Not stifled. Just history. And history helps us measure progress.
While there are certainly ways we can expedite our own healing, progress is a slow process, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. The fact you can’t see it happening, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust that it is.
In time, perhaps with the help of Facebook memories or journal entries, you will be able to see just how far you’ve come. Until then, have faith that bit by teeny bit, you are making progress in your healing journey. Granted, the past will never change, but the way you see it in the present and the future will.
Viv for Today xo
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