If you’ve ever struggled with anything in life, from illnesses to stress, I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Just give it time, it’s a process.” While that is true, I have also come to the conclusion it is more fitting for healing to be a practice rather than a process.
You see, a process indicates there is some sort of structure involved when in reality, sometimes healing can seem like there is no structure at all. Some days you feel great, others you’re back at square one, and often times the fluctuations are for no apparent reason. A process also infers there is a general timeline of when you should feel better and when you should be healed. This is generally not the case. I also think it adds additional stress by labeling it this way.
What if we didn’t feel better in that timeframe? What if things got worse before they got better? I think for anyone that has struggled on the road to healing will agree that you’ve either: A. Missed these mile markers a time or two and B. Have become extremely frustrated when these expectations are not met.
So, to remedy this, why not call it a practice rather than a process? A practice does not set a timeline or expectations. Instead, it is something you work towards every day. It does not imply perfection, rather, is a guide for living in the moment and accepting each day for what it brings, for better or for worse. If you think about a yoga practice, it is similar in that every time you come to the mat, it is a different experience. Some days your peak posture is on point, while other days you can barely stand straight. But it is a practice and eventually, the days add up to weeks, the weeks add up to months, and months add up to years, and soon you look back and realize how much progress you’ve made in the practice.
For me, shifting my perspective to a practice helped me tremendously because I was no longer setting unrealistic expectations for myself as far as where I thought my body should be at a certain point. Instead, I worked on healing every day and realized that each day would be significantly different than the others. This allowed me to be more appreciative of my health and more compassionate towards my body.
Shifting the perspective and changing the idea of healing as a practice is applicable to many areas in life. Whether you’re fighting an illness, struggling with a relationship, or dealing with the stresses of everyday life; changing your mind frame from process to practice can be extremely helpful. You will no longer miss those unrealistic expectations; instead, the focus will shift on the day to day and accepting where you are at each day with peace in knowing that eventually you will get to where you want to be, as long as you keep practicing.