Written by Jalyce Elizabeth
I tend to be hard on myself. When I decided to take ownership of my whole self, I had pretty high expectations for the growth I thought I’d achieve. Whenever I faced a bad day or sat with a negative thought, not only did I have to deal with the day and the thought, I faced shame. I was ashamed anytime I could not overcome self-pity with gratitude. Losing control over my thoughts made me feel powerless. I’d heard that healing wasn’t linear, but I didn’t expect to lose battles I thought I’d won months ago.
So concerned with the outward appearance of growth, I began avoiding triggers I knew would uncover a wound. I was evading a treatment that I knew would eventually heal the wound. But there is a part of the healing process that I did not want to embark: the purge.
In skin care, purging takes place when you begin to use a product meant to heal a certain skin condition. The active ingredient accelerates the rate of exfoliation and, as a result, brings to the surface excess sebum and buildup that clogs pores. This can cause acne, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and even peeling. In short, your skin looks worse before it gets better.
The same can be said of this healing business. When you begin to face your truth and triggers, when you determine to take ownership of your life, when you decide to practice peace, it may get worse before it gets better. You may have to weep your way through healing. You may face days that try to break your spirit. Your mind may wonder to thoughts too alarming to speak aloud. When that happens, do not be ashamed. This work will require an abundance of self-compassion, much more than you may have been taught to exercise on yourself.
Treat yourself with kindness. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You are not broken. You are whole even as you heal. It may get ugly before it gets better. But remember, ugly just means (U)you’ve (G)gotta (L)love (Y)yourself, better and bigger than before.