What Healing Means to Me

What Healing Means to Me

By: Lauren Ford

To most people the word “healing” means to return to a state of health. It implies a previous state of sickness, pain, or disease. In the typical sense I agree, but my definition of healing is much more expansive. You don’t have to be physically sick to heal. Healing can happen physically, mentally, emotionally, and in a number of different ways. 

To me, healing means to become whole. To become the best version of yourself. To transcend insecurity, self-doubt, comparison, societal pressures, and all of the mental roadblocks that stop us from truly leaning into ourselves and the lives we want to live. It doesn’t mean we will never struggle again, but that we will have the mechanisms to be okay with these feelings when they come.

We all have healing to do. If you disagree, you aren’t digging deep enough. We all experience trauma, loss, and pain. We all experience life, which is uncontrollable and shitty at times but also the most beautiful adventure. 

A little bit about me: I’m a textbook Virgo. I’m a perfectionist who has a tendency to overanalyze anything from the way my shirt is tucked into my pants to that embarrassing thing I did in second grade at recess. I am very critical of everything in my life, but mostly, absurdly critical of myself. These habits of perfection and hyper-criticism grew into a hardworking honor student with big dreams. For as long as I can remember I equated productivity and career success with happiness. If I get good grades, I’ll get the internship. If I get the internship, I’ll get the job. If I get the job, I’ll get the money. If I get the money, I’ll get the social life. If I get the social life, I’ll get the husband and the kids and the happily every after. 

So on I go on my pursuit of what I thought would make me happy. College for me looked like this: full-time classes, part-time internship, part-time job, part-time social life. Busy was my middle name. During my senior year of college, a bomb was dropped on my life. My dad was diagnosed with cancer. By the end of the year he was stage 4 with tumors spread into every major organ of the body. He passed away 2 weeks before Christmas. The only coping mechanism I knew of was the art of staying constantly busy. Denial and escapism were my best friends. 

I went on to get my dream job working at a health and beauty magazine. That eventually led me to my life long dream of moving to New York to further my writing career. Once in New York I started copywriting for a beauty brand. I quickly gained more responsibilities, got a generous raise, and began traveling the country monthly as a key team member. On the outside it looked like everything I’ve ever wanted but it was quickly draining me of my energy. Anxiety attacks became the norm, my interest in doing all of the things I loved ceased: writing, yoga, dating. It got harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. Life became a matter of just trying to get through the day rather than living for the bigger picture. Was all of this worth it?

In January, I quit my job and walked away from everything I knew to take time to heal. To get back to the happy-go-lucky-girl that I was. To get back to enjoying life. And that meant facing my grief head on. I never allowed myself the time to sit with my feelings long enough to feel them. I never stopped for a second to check in with myself until the point of complete emotional exhaustion, where the only solution was to literally press reset on my life. That is what this blog is about. A 27 year old girl on her journey towards healing, toward rediscovering herself, her wants, and her purpose in life. 

Theres a Greek term, metanoia that means “changing ones mind or purpose.” It’s a complete shift in mind, heart, self, or way of life. I’m going through a metanoia of my own. I’m questioning all of the beliefs and values I was raised on. Analyzing all of the things society wants from me and deciding if these are things I really want for myself. Scanning all the data that I’ve picked up in my 27 years and throwing away the things I don’t hold true anymore. 

I want to share this transformative period in my life, because it feels so good to finally let go. Holding space for and getting to know my true self is uncomfortable and messy and a lot of hard work but It’s also the freest I’ve ever been. Join me in my journey to healing. Better yet, let’s heal together. 


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