Healing – Day 2: Embracing Your Inner Sisyphus

In case you hadn’t noticed, healing is not a linear process. Let me clarify: emotional healing is not linear. Healing from a cold pretty much is. My mom once asked her doctor if she should take zinc to get rid of her cold more quickly. Her doctor said, “Sure. If you take zinc, it’ll go away in seven days. Otherwise, it’ll take a week.” Pretty much true – a cold runs its course, pretty much no matter what you do. Maybe it will be less severe, but it still takes the time it takes to get out of your system.

Emotional healing is qualitatively different, in my humble opinion. It’s a roller coaster. It’s a ping pong ball. sisyphus1It’s Sisyphean – you roll the rock all the way up the top of the mountain, and think you’re finally done, and then the damned rock rolls all the way back down. At least that’s what it feels like sometimes. Sisyphus was a mythical character, of course. The reality is more complex. And far more hopeful.

Every time I’ve felt hopeless because I’ve fallen backward after what I thought was “it,” the answer to all my problems, the ONE solution that would make my life perfect, I’ve rebounded and learned valuable lessons. It wasn’t the mythical Sisyphus, who was being punished by the gods. It was my inner Sisyphus, struggling to make a better life for me, in whatever way she knew how. In fits and starts. One step forward, two steps back. Sometimes three. It took me realizing that those steps back were crucial for my learning curve. They were as valuable as, if not more than, the step forward. In the struggle, in the falling on my butt and rolling down the mountain (which in actually might have been a virtual ant hill), was the healing. I had to know how to view it. That’s all.

So, the next time you’re tempted to think, “I’m Healed!,” count your blessings that you’ve come closer. That you’ve come to a new level. There’s always more to be learned, more to be embraced. We are inherently imperfect creatures. We need to embrace that imperfection – even as we curse it – and love ourselves for who we are and what we are, as we are. Even as we strive to be better. That’s healing.

My two cents.

About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
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1 Response to Healing – Day 2: Embracing Your Inner Sisyphus

  1. I think once we accept the ebb and flow of life’s lessons, we are much more accepting of the ups and downs and the lessons they provide. Great post.


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