“Sometimes, you’re in that down, you’re in that swamp, and then you realize that ‘oh, this horrible, terrible period in my life was because I was growing, because I was healing.”
– Creator of Healers & Guides, Sherin Wafaai.
Take a breath. Stop, close your eyes for just a moment, and breathe. If you’re wondering if you’re ‘ready to heal,’ or what that even means, take a moment to breathe some of that anxiety out. You’re already here.
In this article, we talk about that first step, deciding to ‘heal’, and what it means to be ready. How do we know that we’re ready to look at our lives, and examine the things that are hurting us, more than they’re helping us? It’s a terrifying decision, and we hope that this article helps ease your worries about reaching out for guidance.
Let’s Be Honest
This article hasn’t been easy to put together. In trying to talk about being ‘ready to heal,’ I have to go back to a time that I wasn’t, when everything inside me seemed bleak and I could see no way out. Even now, as I think about it, my throat gets a little tight. It’s difficult to remember, but I can say ‘remember’, because I’m not still there. I can look back at it as a time before I decided I deserved help.
For some people, the decision to reach out for help - for example, to start going to therapy, to embark on a yoga journey, to do inner child work with a holistic healer, to find a life coach - is a choice to make their lives better. For many others, including for us on the Healers & Guides team, it was a decision to survive.
Completely broken down, it was the realization of ‘I can’t do this anymore, something needs to change.’ Sometimes we ignore things for so long that the only way we listen is when the universe sends us to our knees. It could be a devastating divorce. Or a series of terrible decisions we don’t understand why we’re making. Or losing someone our life revolved around. One way or another, we found ourselves faced with the reality that we can’t go on like this.
The journey out, however, isn’t always direct paths and checklists, neat movements from A to B. It’s not meant to be. We rise and fall and we come face to face with the same things, the same wounds we thought we had healed from, again and again in our lives, and that’s okay. It’s not a failure, not in the slightest. When you begin to see your patterns and cycles, you’re all the more ready to break them.
So is it one moment, one decision to heal? We wish. As yoga practitioner and business developer Roba Weheba jokes, "مكانش حد غلب", if only things were so simple.
Some of it is alignment, yes. Things come together in ways that feel supernatural. But most of it, ultimately, is choice. A friend can mention this incredible healer 50 times. When you choose to listen, perhaps on the 51st, and take it as an opportunity to try something out that might help you, is completely your choice.
Our Journeys Will Never Look the Same
“There must be more to life than this,” thought Noura, a mother in her 30s, who came to her own journey of healing after realizing that she had never truly done anything for herself, always focused instead on the validation of social life, the burden of expectations, or the pressures of the roles she thought she must play.
But when she first began searching for what that ‘more’ might be, she met more expectations. “I was stuck, because I saw all these people on Instagram, and it was all yoga and sun salutations and meditation, these people are working out all their negative energy in the gym, they’re painting and crocheting, all of that,” she laughs. “And that made me feel stuck. When I realized that there’s another way I can create for myself, it was liberating.”
Some people can find that a yoga journey is what they need, others will feel better stepping into a practice like sound healing, and still others will explore cognitive-emotional work like life coaching or NPT. Some of us are raised in holistic healing families, some pick up a few things from social media, and a lot of us will go through most of our lives before stumbling onto our healing journeys. No matter what, there is no cookie-cutter healing. There is no right way to do it.
Invite Some Gentleness In
What if it doesn’t work? What if I’m in a session with a healer and it’s just not working for me? What if the chemistry’s off? What if I feel worse? What if I leave a session sad or angry or frustrated or just out of balance?
Those are all natural fears. And there are two ways to think about them.
First, and most importantly, invite some gentleness in. You’re doing something brave by just showing up, and it’s important to honour that.
Maybe it’s not the right modality for you, or not the right healer, or not the right level of emotional work. Like friendships and romance and everything else, sometimes the chemistry isn’t right, and that’s okay.
“I don’t believe in pushing my clients towards anything,” says holistic therapist, healer, and tarot card reader Shayanne Salama. “I believe that whatever healing is meant to come to you will come to you at the right time. Some people aren’t ready, and that’s okay.”
And second, maybe it’s good to look at where the discomfort is, and what it’s saying. For Roba, that resistance is not only natural, but necessary.
“Part of the healing journey is finding out where our blockages or knots are. It’s not easy, and it’s not meant to be,” Roba says. “I don’t think we should run from resistance. When I meet a blockage, it means I’m on the right track, that there’s something I need to work through.”
“It’s like yoga,” she continues. “The poses that are most challenging for you are the ones you need to do most. We don’t say ‘oh I have a stiff hip, I won’t do this pose,’ no. We do it more often, because there’s something here that needs to be opened up. Some blockages only need a little bit of self-soothing, and some need the support of someone else.”
The Courage to Trust Yourself
What if I change? What if I take a few steps towards healing myself emotionally, and it turns me into someone my friends and family don’t recognize, will they stick around? What if, as I heal myself, I find that I can’t talk to anyone anymore?
Sometimes, your life and relationships and goals will look different. And that needs to be okay.
“Your vocabulary starts to change, your priorities change,” explains Sherin. “Everything in your life starts to change when you decide to take full responsibility for your own life and where it’s going, and therefore your own healing, your own happiness.”
Ultimately, it comes down to trusting yourself. You know, innately, what is right and good and healthy for you, no matter how deep down. Sometimes you need the world to shut the fuck up long enough for you to listen to the voice inside you . Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to grieve a loss, in a way that liberates you. And sometimes, you need the gentle guidance of someone who has made it their life’s work to heal people, and help them heal themselves.
You’ve made it all the way here. Trust yourself to go a little further, and help yourself in the way that you need.
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