How We Heal
By Z Zoccolante
This post is about an interesting realization I had about healing that I think is valuable for more than just me.
Later this week you can listen to a new episode of my podcast Throwing Up Rainbows! Yippee. In this episode I wrap up the two interviews that I had with my mom and my dad about my eating disorder as a teen.
As my teammate and I edited the interviews we listened to the parts a bazillion times. In this episode my dad has a part in which we discuss people being “broken”, although different words are used. In the part with my mom, I talked about how I still had tremendous guilt about her bringing me food before basketball practice and how it probably all went down the drain.
As we listened and re-listened I noticed myself becoming agitated and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Until today.
The truth was we recorded those episodes months ago, before the podcast launched, and yet even in a few months I feel differently about a few things. And I found myself being a tad embarrassed at the emotion in my voice about the guilt I felt with my mom. (Yes, I still continue to lean into showing up vulnerably in the world, because my default was to shut people out, ignore feelings, and make myself a protective little acorn shell so people wouldn’t see my marshmallow heart.)
I used to think vulnerability was weakness. Now I can see its strength.
In as little as a few months I’ve come to see that we are not broken people, trash people, damaged or permanently scarred. Our souls are wonderful as we are even with all the stuff we do, the ways we numb out, the behavior patterns and defense mechanisms we employ. We are the Divine. We each have something in us that is timeless and good, that cannot be shattered or destroyed. We all still have our light.
It’s important to hold this vibration for ourselves and for others because it’s who we are when all the other stuff fades away. It’s who we really are. Whole, beautiful, light.
When I hear myself speak of my mom and the “tremendous guilt I still feel” per my words in the interview, I don’t connect to it anymore. Since I recorded that episode I’ve moved through many forms of guilt about my addiction in relation to my past, my family, and my ex-husband.
I’ve understood how addiction can make someone you care for feel invisible and unimportant. I’ve sobbed in my car with the weight of this. I’ve been able to release this like a balloon into the open sky.
It’s not that I don’t remember the guilt. Instead, it’s that I have so much more compassion for myself now. Instead of focusing on the pain I’ve caused, or the pain my addiction caused me, I’ve begun to turn my focus to what I want instead.
And what I want is simple. I want connection. I desire a heart connection, a laughter connection, an understanding connection.
These are important to me and it doesn’t have to look any particular way.
I’ve begun to realize that healing can happen in years, months, weeks, days, moments. Healing can happen in a moment.
Everything can change in a moment. Are we willing to let go of what no longer serves us? Are we willing to open our hands in terror, and wonder, of what God and the Divine will offer in its place?
Are we willing?
I have done so much work on myself to recover from my eating disorder, to heal from my divorce, to heal things around my sexuality, to keep my heart open. At first I though I did these things because I didn’t want to be in pain anymore. Then I realized, that no, I did them because I wanted to be free.
Healing to me is being free and all my life has led me up to this. Healing can happen in a moment.
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