You step into a brave, new world, foreign in its sheer devotion to your heart.
You feel profoundly guilty that you’re healing. You’re afraid that mending your own wounds will leave others high and dry, without solace for their problems. But you must work to satiate your thirst for knowledge. You must rid yourself of your long-held traumas and nurture your profound desire for a life worth living.
You fear that the world needs you more than you need yourself.
You’re stuck in the belief that fighting for others should be your sole responsibility. And you trust wholeheartedly in your own capacity to alter the course of others’ lives, refusing to rest until you see unequivocal peace in the world. But in your haste to fight for truth and justice, you neglect your own needs, refusing to nurture yourself until your loved ones feel safe once more. Remember that even though the world feels bleak and hopeless, you have a duty to yourself. After all, you must provide your body and mind with the utmost love and care.
You struggle with the thought that you heal others to avoid healing yourself.
You discover that you squelch down your emotions to conceal your perceived weaknesses, responding to loved ones’ every need in order to deflect attention from your own in the name of selflessness. But in your preoccupation with solving everyone else’s problems, your heart remains full of untouched scars — struggles of your own that you refuse to accept. Remember that ignoring your own emotional needs will only push you further into feelings of emptiness and overwhelm as you fixate on healing those around you.
You worry that if you put your own needs first, you’ll lose your altruistic spirit.
You maintain that your paltry attempts at self-care are nothing but selfish, that you can heal your broken spirit without an ounce of self-compassion. But in your desire to preserve your identity, you lose yourself as your fatigue renders you incapable of helping those you hold dearest. Remember that your efforts to enhance your wellbeing can never tarnish your character, that you can simultaneously heal others and yourself without losing who you are.
You feel called to heal everyone in your path at the expense of your own fulfillment.
But as you embark on your own journey to healing, you must reconcile your identity as the healer with your identity as the healing, remembering that you cannot truly bind your own wounds if you place the world above you. Only when you work to heal yourself can you truly heal the brokenness around you and make others feel whole again.
Previously published on Thought Catalog.