Healing – Article by Veronika Foer

Healing: starting from scratch without starting from scratch.

We never know, what will happen next. 

We never know, if we’ll still be here tomorrow. 

We never know, if they will be here tomorrow. 

We never know how we feel about something, until we feel it.

It’s as if you’re in the middle of reading your favourite book. Every page consumes you, but in oder to read on you have to turn the page you’ve just read to reveal what happens next – most of the time, we turn the page mindlessly: one motion, to keep the story in motion. 

We’re writing in our journal, and when one page is full we have to turn it; we cannot rewrite the page we have written on. Every single day in life, is like a page, too. And every 24 hours, a new page is revealed.

Eventually, without meaning to and without expecting it, we cut our finger as we turn the paper. There’s that sound; there’s that feeling of slow motion; we see it happening but we can’t stop it. It is but a split second and all we are left with, is the damage to look at.

Our finger has been cut; we’re hurt.

    – The Disaster Unfolds –

The disaster is going to be different each time. Sometimes, the red spills fast, drops onto the page where it leaves a mark. Other times, it takes a moment or two to become visible even though we can already feel the wound. 

The cure? The only cure? Time. 

For we cannot dictate our skin to heal, cannot tell the cut to disappear. 

But what we can do, is patch it up: protect it from anything which threatens to infect it or tear it open again. 

Often times, a wound will heal without giving it a second thought; eventually we will forget it has ever been there…but there’s also the ones who sting with every movement, who take ahold of our every thought. 

A gentle reminder of the fact that we’ve been hurt – that we are hurting.

 A reminder which evokes desperation in us to heal – but leaves us feeling hopeless, as days and weeks drag on and we still feel the sting. Maybe it has faded into a subtle feeling, maybe it began to consume us as we let ourselves fall into it; for moving forward; climbing up felt impossible. And we longed for movement; any kind of movement, even when it was falling. At least, we’re not stuck anymore, right?

Falling means crashing. Breaking into pieces while still being one. 

“One” – the hurt belongs to us, just as our body and soul does. However, is it breaking us or reshaping us? 

It wants us to start from scratch without starting from scratch.

Feel the hurt, acknowledge it but keep moving, whispers time.

Let it go and take the lessons, whispers the ache. 

Reinvent yourself, whispers the hope. 

Start again without a blank page; instead you’ve got an outline of experiences, an outline of situations to avoid or how to handle them in a chapter before you turn the page and begin a new one. 

Hurting and healing fuels our intuition, fuels us to become better. Even when the latter might feel out of reach, as ‘healing’ seems to be. 

But just as our skin heals, we heal too. We only prevent it from healing when we pick at the wound, tear it open again, put it in places where we risk infections – we could be reaching for sugar, only to find it’s salt, and we only find out when our cut skin has reached it and it burns and stings and we made a mess when all we’ve had to do is protect it, keep it away from these places.

And this kind of salt can have many shapes and forms; such as liquor with a high percentage, drugs which numb us, people we know are not good to us; the ones we come back to, because we do not believe to deserve better. 

Sometimes it is not as much about finding a ‘cure’ as it is in protecting yourself and setting new boundaries. Learning that people we thought meant us good, kept us down and lied to us. Learned no job or money is worth bending ourselves for. Learned that lovers, can be devoid of love. Learned that adrenaline and action do not equal happiness; learned that inner peace and all we need is right there, within us. 

We’re living with an ache but we’re living. And the ache fades by making sure we protect it and care for us in any possible way; even if its as small as enjoying a hot cup of tea, a bubble bath, a healthy meal, soothing music as we do nothing but listen to it, turning off our phone for an hour or two, picking up a book, picking up a hobby we’ve long forgotten about, making art for the sake of making art and not for it to be or look a certain way; simply creating for ourselves, or spending time with our loved ones, even if we can’t get ourselves to laugh or talk a lot, even when we sit in a corner observing: their presence alone can make us feel good; give us glimpses of life we’re slowly but steadily returning to in our own time and pace.

Healing does not require an apology from the ones who hurt us. It does not need paragraphs of explanations either, it does not need an instant cure or a dictating voice telling us to move on. 

Hurting is a promise of healing; when one happens, the other isn’t far. 

Just as it is with high’s and low’s; if we rise, we’ll fall again. Vice versa.

So all there is, is to take care of ourselves in every single moment. And when we’re breaking, we’ve got to allow ourselves to break down, cry, live the hurt out just as we would live out the happiness of good news. It’s merely another emotion demanding to be felt, not be bottled up or avoided only for it to chase us. 

When it feels as though we, and everything we thought to know has been stripped from us and we’re left with nothing but that one feeling of hurt: We get to start from scratch, without starting from scratch: we exist, everything we knew feels as tough it has been taken from us, so we begin to rediscover the ordinary. We begin to find happiness; and even if not happiness, we’ll find comfort in peace; such as sitting in nature, cleaning our room, preparing food; Things we had done mindlessly before, even taken for granted, sooth us.

We learn to focus inward; slowly beginning to retrace the steps of who we used to be, and letting the traits and thoughts, and people we do not associate with ourselves anymore pass on like clouds to make space for the person we want to be. I say like clouds; for we know they’re there but they do not affect us. 

The reinventing begins, when we protect ourselves and set boundaries which do not allow people to use us or do with us as they please. 

We’ve got to learn that we deserve to be loved, and that we are allowed to love ourselves and that ‘i love you’ does not loose it’s meaning when it’s said with tears in our eyes, or written in messy handwriting. 

You are loved, and you deserve to be loved respectfully.

And one day…as you’re healing you begin to dream again, of places and people you’d like to experience. Of careers and of adventures you want to explore; knowing you deserve to, and you deserve it and get to do it with your new boundaries and a new sense of appreciation for life and gratitude for the smallest of things, which most do not even pay attention to. 

Whatever happened to you, whoever hurt you; the injustice, the aching, the hurting: you deserve non of it, and yet sometimes it finds it’s way into our life through situations and people for us to, ironically, stop belittling ourselves; to step into our power and learn how strong we are. 

Whatever happened to you, whoever hurt you: You will heal. You will find, that you’ve grown from it all, That you deserve better, and not to become bitter over it. You become an inspiration for others, a light and warmth for those in the cold; for you would not want anyone to go through what you had to when you were hurting. Our compassion grows.
And those people who hurt you, who harmed you: leave them behind; leave it to their concessions to make them realize they’ve hurt someone. Hurting and healing is far more gentle, than carrying guilt around. And most of the time, it will seem as tough they might never be aware of what they’ve done or they simply do not care: but that’s the thing with guilt, one day it’s going to wake them up in the middle of the night when you’ve long moved on. Guilt is a shadow, catching up in time.

But that’s their burden to carry, not yours.
Forgive them, forgive yourself. Just know doing others wrong, always has a bill to be paid at some point. Maybe not immediately after, but it’s going to catch up to them. So, forgive and do good wherever you go, do not begin to act out of bitterness or revenge; act out of love, always.

Forgive them but keep them out of your life. One thing I’ve learned the hard way: if someone crossed a line once, they won’t be afraid to do it again when temptation calls. Simply wish them well, let them be indifferent to you, as you water your garden which you’ve grown from the dirt they left you in, and enjoy it all blossom around you but do not open the gate for them. 

Hurting and healing; I know it’s not easy to hear, but with time, we will find we’ve grown from it and became stronger. We are able to connect better with people, who have felt similar pain, we get to uplift each other even more for our compassion has grown too, we get to see beauty and appreciate the small things, we get to feel gratitude for the ordinary and for the quiet and the unspectacular. 


You learn to enjoy sunshine differently, the cool breeze and the stillness will give you bliss; and know, there will be another storm, but this time you’ll be more prepared.

And then, it all begins again.

Starting from scratch without starting from scratch. 

– Veronika Foer

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