Healing Feels Like

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Healing feels like suffering at first. It feels like pain that comes in pulsing waves that sometimes lap over, sometimes crash into the shore.

It looks like wide-open eyes at night when you should have fallen asleep hours ago.

It looks like friends who know the pain is too great to talk or hug away, and so they simply sit and breathe with you.

It sounds like angry questions you ask God even if you don't believe in him.

It sounds like the same song repeating, repeating, repeating as it sings and sews the sutures that barely hold you together.

It feels like sliding down an icy hill which takes you toward something, somewhere new against your will.

It tastes like the tears that swell in your eyes, roll down over your cheekbones, and cascade over your lips.

Healing feels like awkward transitions.

It feels like the itch of scabs that form over your wound that you want to scratch.

It feels like the fear that chains itself to your ankle and makes you wonder if you'll ever be right again.

It looks like the squinting of your eyes when you first leave a dark room and meet the bright, burning embrace of the sun again.

It looks like the mess of pebbles, rocks, and dirt all over the road and sidewalks after the snow melts.

It looks like the indecision on your face when you wonder how you feel when you see or hear or run into him or her or it for the first time in a long time.

It sounds like the wobble of the chuckle that marks the first time you're able to laugh about the situation.

It sounds like the tapping of your fingers on the table, your feet on the linoleum, your heart on your ribcage, because you're antsy and ready to be over this.

It tastes like the tears that still come, though less frequently, as you ask yourself that nagging question...What if?

Healing looks like time.

It looks like days, weeks, months, and maybe years.

It feels at first like the days have stretched into the shoes of centuries and walk ever so slowly toward specks in the horizon.

It feels at some point like the days have shrunk themselves to the size of a hummingbird's wings and beat several times a second.

It sounds like the swell of songbirds signaling the sunrise of a spring you were afraid might never arrive.

It sounds like Amazing Grace but in a language you comprehend for the first time in your life.

It tastes like tears that slide down your face and around the corners of your smiling mouth when you realize how far you've come.

Healing is a mess.

Healing is a fight.

Healing is time, and time, and time.

Healing is coming. Healing we'll find.

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Feature photo ©2013 Duncan Rawlinson | Flickr