193. Healing is a choice.

I cannot believe the day has come when I finally write out this entry. I knew it was coming, oh, I had faith it was, I just never knew it was going to come this soon.

But no, I am not complaining. The time is right. This is the time for me to finally sit down and put the jigsaw pieces together. This is the time for me to finally close this particular chapter of my journey and have perspective on everything that has happened.

SAM_9074So what exactly does the day hold?

Oh nothing really… It’s just..
I have finally and satisfactorily found my closure, alhamdulillah. (:

I cannot, with justice, express this sense of freedom. The anchor has been raised; I am truly free to roam again.

It has been one interesting journey, with many peaks and falls along the way. I’ve travelled His lands, I’ve crossed paths with different kinds of people, I’ve faced some of my greatest fears and I acknowledged with an open heart that this is just the beginning.

Y’know, I started writing my EyesofWonder journey back in January as a means of keeping in touch with family and friends while on the exchange programme. I admit I’m absolutely horrible at picking up the phone to call or text because err, I don’t know how to handle the awkwardness of silence during phonecalls. So I got into the habit of Instagramming everything in the moment (my parents even get worried when I don’t post anything, lol) and keeping the longer reflections and photo spam to my blog posts. Little did I foresee that the habit of writing would come in handy when I embarked on my journey of healing.

man-journal-writingWriting gives perspectives and it puts into words what the heart feels. Many a times it doesn’t encapsulate the entirety of the emotions, the chaos and the confusion but it’s a step in the right direction. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of journalling but, hey, I’ll keep this for another day.

Some of you have been with me from the start of my healing journey, from the moment I realized that my entire sense of the world was crashing down around me, all the way to this day.

Link: Breaking up long distance.

I started out my physical journey of healing with a two-week solo trip around Spain, and I remember saying this prayer when I was in the train station at Malaga at 11pm, with few people around and no Spanish language proficiency whatsoever.

“Here I am, entirely alone and under Your mercy. Guide me as You will and protect me as only You can. I am open to whatever You have planned for me so lead me. Verily, You are the best mender of broken hearts and souls, and You are the best of planners.”

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Link: Seeking Spain: How it all began

I latched onto the idea of wounded healing –  I was a wounded healer.

This is the idea I wish to share with everyone on this day.

The idea of a wounded healer first came from Carl Jung, and its basic premise is that it is only by being willing to face, consciously experience, and go through our wound do we receive its blessing. To go through our wound is to embrace, assent, and say “yes” to the mysteriously painful new place in ourselves where the wound is leading us. We allow ourselves to be re-created by the wound. Our wound is teaching us something about ourselves. Going through our wound means realizing we will never again be the same when we get to the other side of this initiatory process. Going through and embracing our wound as a part of ourselves is radically different from circumnavigating and going around (avoiding), or getting stuck in and endlessly, obsessively recreating (being taken over by) our wound. (Source)

Going through our wound essentially means recognising that it is a process. It is not a miracle that happens instantaneously. We need to realize that it is the little steps that we take that matters, it is the little successes we celebrate that make a difference.

SAM_4333Anyone who has seen me through these past 7 months would have been able to trace the different milestones I have tried to celebrate. The acceptance of the loss, the first solo trip, the grace to forgive and bless the ex, being comfortable with myself, the acknowledgement that re-entry is going to be a bitch a hard process, being able to find myself again when I’m back on home ground… These are some of the little things I’ve learnt to be grateful for, with many others along the way. And these too, were the little things that prepared me for the next thing in line. Cumulatively, they prepared me for the climax – meeting the ex in person and finally finding closure.

I won’t lie, I have been actively avoiding meeting the ex. I managed to get a semblance of closure while I was in Manchester but I knew coming back will bring a whole truckload of new challenges – going to places that hold memories, meeting his family and mutual friends, going through the days and nights thinking how things have changed. The first few days were difficult (I bumped into his mum on my second night back, wheepdeedooday) and I was doing my best to keep my head up. He finally contacted me (over a particularly strange reason, might I add) which escalated into a full-scale nightmare. Here, I admit, I very nearly fell into depression as the harsh words that were thrown out proved too heavy for me to handle. That was a new low for me, but I managed to get myself out of that rut when I decided to change my number for good. People can say I was running away, I call it knowing my weakness and finding a way to strengthen myself again.

Note 1: You’re going to have peaks and falls in your healing journey.

So yes, ever since that whole hazardous episode, I kept away. I was still very close to his aunts though (we even went to Batam for the children homes trips together) but I knew I wasn’t ready to meet him face-to-face. I didn’t know how I’d react, if I was going to be too soft and return to him (that was clearly the biggest fear for me) or if I’d just… I don’t know. All I know was that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t going to force myself into something I wasn’t ready for.

Note 2: Don’t force something which isn’t meant to happen just yet. Be patient.

I had to go through a whole lot of other processes and come to terms with many self-realisations first before I knew I was ready. I had to go to the places we used to go to, I had to talk to people and I had to go on two more solo trips post-Europe to listen to myself, to prepare myself some more.

Note 3: Healing will not happen overnight. Be kind to yourself.

It was only after I went through all that, was I able to finally say this prayer on the day I went out for the  kenduri (family gathering) his aunt was having before she left to make Haj.

“Whoever I meet today, dear Allah, I know I am meant to meet. I am ready and I know there is wisdom in it. Be easy on me.”

I don’t know what led me to say this prayer. It sprung out of the blue and to be very honest, I was thinking more along the lines of meeting mutual friends (since I was heading to Tampines) and well, not him. His aunts thought he wasn’t going to be attending the gathering anyway so it didn’t cross my mind.

I was late so I walked into the house head-down while the prayers were being read, very much oblivious to who was present.

Oh boy, imagine how I felt when I sat down next to his aunt, looked up and saw him sitting across me. I was semi-paralysed – it was like a slap across the face! I had to remind myself to breathe and control myself from crying (now I couldn’t possibly be getting emotional because of the prayers, right? Lol). I managed to pull myself together, alhamdulillah, but when everyone started to take food, it was just super awkward between us. He was avoiding me, clearly, while I was just trying to be present in the moment. It was only after I left the place & sat down at a nearby playground when I allowed myself to feel the full force of emotions and started crying.

I can say with full certainty and peace now: That was going to be my last cry.

You know, it was only after I met him did I fully realise & internalised the fact that things will never be the same. There is no more what-if or what-could-have-been. I know then that it is truly over. But I believe this realisation only happened because I went through the whole process of healing and finding myself again. If I had met him earlier… Well, I shudder at the thought of the possibility of me meeting him earlier. I would have been an utter mess.

It’s strange how I needed to physically meet him before I could finally find closure. I guess it boils down to being human; we need these little moments of contact to fully comprehend the depths of our own emotions and reality.

Note 4: Have faith & be patient. If you’re going through something similar, pray for strength. Pray for grace and wisdom to go through the healing process.

SAM_8761 We are all warriors. Some have more battle scars than others, some are inflicted earlier than others, some deeper than the average. Being human essentially means being a survivor. Like a warrior, there is a need to cultivate survival and adaptability skills. Every wound, every fall and every loss makes you stronger and better. It’s a continuous work in progress.

So don’t fret or be too harsh on yourself if you’re struggling through a test. Use others as a motivation but never a yardstick. It takes determination, patience and sacrifice. Keep pushing, keep moving and keep trying. You are being polished to shine.

Take baby steps & strengthen your spirit first. What will be, will be. It will all make sense, soon enough.

Remember, you ARE capable. Being vulnerable isn’t a weakness. Acknowledge it & move past it.

Remember, healing is a choice. Take the first step with dignity and know that He is with you every step of the way.

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I sincerely pray that each and every one of us find our peace. May Allah grant us the strength & wisdom to go through His plans and may our battles be a means to be closer to Him and be an expiation for our sins. ♥

This journey might have ended but I will still be writing through the process for my EyesofWonder Europe-trip, inshaAllah. Now, writing that will be interesting! xx

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One thought on “193. Healing is a choice.

  1. Pingback: 252. Closing the chapter | Raise your sights.

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