“When will it end?” “When will this pain stop? “When does the healing begin?” I hear these questions from parents all the time.

A post from @nytherapist on IG that perfectly captures the healing process. It reads…

What we think healing is: Pain-free, wound-free, patterns gone, constantly in alignment with values, and positivity.

What healing actually is: Showing up in my pain, soothing wounds, noticing a repeated pattern, awareness when out of alignment with our values, grace.

Because the truth is there is no magic moment when all the pain disappears. You don’t wake up one day to find that all the wrongs feel right and all the trust is restored. Instead, healing is an invisible process. It involves learning how to show up in our pain. Especially when showing up doesn’t affect the outcome of their behavior. That’s no easy task! Healing involves accepting the things we can’t change and learning how to soothe the grief that comes with that. It stretches you thin and tests your will, but it also teaches you what you are capable of. It reveals your gumption, grit, and dedication to those you care about. 

Healing doesn’t show up as a miraculous “aha” moment.  No, instead, healing feels more like…growing. It’s the tiny shifts that take place inside of us, and its only escort is time.

One of the biggest obstacles we experience in getting to a place of healing is the line we often draw in the sand between our acceptance and their behaviors. When our children are making or have made destructive choices for themselves or others, we don’t know how to respond. We wrestle with it. Does loving our children while they are messing up somehow condone their actions? While I’ve struggled with this notion, I recognize on a heart level that it’s not true.

I believe that loving our kids in their mess means we realize that this journey they are on, this wilderness they are traversing, is not about us; it’s about them. It’s about the lessons they need to learn. The hardships they need to face. The obstacles they need to overcome.

When we allow our default reactions of worry or anger to run the show instead of actively and consciously choosing hope, the heaviness of what was and fear of what is to come become ours to carry daily. From this place, we can expect our healing journey to be LONG and TIRESOME. 

To learn more about what you can do to start the healing process, listen here to Parenting Teens Through the Hard-From Unyielding. Episode 19: When Does the Healing Begin?

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