I’ve been writing this post for a while now, and for some reason, I’ve been fighting a restrain in my heart to share it. For one, I wasn’t sure how much of my private experiences I’d be putting out there, and two, I wanted against all odds, not to conjure some sort of ‘pity party’. However, some days ago, a friend of mine reached out to me in hurt and as I encouraged her, I found myself saying the exact things I’d been writing in this post. That was my cue.
I’m writing this to someone who is hurting. Whatever you are going through, the first thing I want you to know is this: You will be fine. I’m saying this to you just as much as I’m saying it to myself. You will be fine.
However, there is this period in between – this period where you wake up everyday with a sting in your heart, reminding you that you are not completely fine yet; or somebody says something and all the emotions you’ve been trying to suppress are once again, triggered; this period where when someone tells you that you’ll be fine last last, you’d probably just roll your eyes, sigh and then go like ‘okay, but can it just be here already?’
Truth is, I know how this feels because I’m also currently walking this phase with you. However, while I’m waiting, there are certain things that I have been doing within this period to help me hold up. I’d like to share these things with you today because to a very large extent, I believe they can help you too.
A few months ago, a friend of mine lost her mum. Considering the kind of relationship that she had with God, one of the questions I asked when I saw her was if she was angry with God or if at some point, she stopped talking to Him. Her answer was yes, but I also remember her saying that the times when she stopped talking to God were the times the depression weighed in on her the most. When she finally brought herself to talk to Him again, even though she was still very hurt and still couldn’t understand why what had happened, happened, she somehow found the strength to live through the day.
I didn’t understand what that meant until I had my experience. Like I said in my last post, I initially did question the realness of my relationship with God, but never for once did I stop talking to Him. God was my strength; my solace; the only person that I could be vulnerable with and pour all my heart out to. I mean, I had a myriad of emotions coursing through me. I was extremely, extremely hurt. I remember how for days, I would go into the bathroom at work, sit on the floor and just cry. I wanted comfort and the only person who was in the room with me was God, so I talked to Him. It felt good to know that He was there, not just on those days in the bathroom, but every time. So with every emotion I felt per time, I would tell God about it. The times I felt sad, I told Him. The times I felt guilt, I told Him. The times I felt worthless, I told Him. The times I was angry, I told Him. The times I felt depressed, I told Him. The times I felt defenseless and weak, I told Him. Of all these emotions though, I think the one that crippled me the most was fear; and even in those times when I was afraid, I would turn to God and tell Him about it. I was completely naked, completely vulnerable with God. I still am, but it isn’t just the talking that has been healing me. No. It’s the words that God has been saying back to me. These words have been the most assuring, the most comforting and the number 1 thing that has been holding me up in this season.
This is why I’m sharing this with you today. If you can pray, pray. If you can’t pray, pray. Just talk to God like He is right there in front of you, unafraid to bare it all out or be vulnerable with Him. Sometimes, you might not know what to say, it’s fine. Sometimes, I didn’t know what to say too, but I knew how I felt and so, I would just go like ‘God, I’m hurt! God, I’m hurt! I don’t know what I did wrong …’ A lot of these times were amidst tears. I would be sobbing so much that I almost would not hear myself, but I said them anyway, because I knew that irrespective, God could hear me.
I guess I’m saying all of these to tell you that it doesn’t matter whether or not you think you know how to pray or you have the strength to (find the right words to) pray, you can just talk to him. When you do: remember to tell Him how you feel – everything. Tell Him to heal you. Tell Him to guide you through this season. Tell Him to help you focus on the things that you should, while you are healing. Ask Him for strength. Ask Him for Grace. Ask him for what He wants you to learn through all of these; and most importantly, ask Him to talk back to you. When He speaks, write down everything He tells you and remind yourself of them every time the pain comes back, because it will. No matter how long it takes to heal though, I’m very certain this one thing will hold you up.
2. Let people in:
Another thing that you can do to hold up in this period is to let people in.
For me, one of the first default things I wanted to do was to shut everybody out, but it was hard, particularly because people kept knocking. When I eventually did, it came with its own comfort. Haa! the love. I wasn’t expecting it. People came in with their arms and their ears and their shoulders. Some with free lunch and parfait and clothes (which I actually stole and they had no choice but to let go because ‘I’m in a season’, you get?) Still some with unimaginable gestures – like my friend Adeoye, who was going to leave his workplace in Apapa around 7 in the evening, to come all the way to my house in Ota, just to check up on me. For a long while, I couldn’t stop thinking about if he was thinking at all. I mean, the traffic? where he would sleep? All of those questions but when I asked, he said he didn’t mind and that was one of the deepest, most heart-felt gestures anyone could have extended towards me. I’m grateful for all these people; grateful for all the efforts they made towards me. These efforts made me feel loved; made me feel like I was cared for and because I let these people in, it was really hard for me to entertain thoughts of worthlessness or depression, when they came.
I know that sometimes the voices get so many and you just want to be left by yourself. I know that sometimes, you’ll find that some people really do not care, they are just there for the gist. I also know that sometimes, even the kind ones will have to get back to their own lives and will leave but until then, if there is anyone around you; who is reading in between the lines, seeing through your smiles, asking if you are happy and consistently checking up on you; if there is anyone who genuinely cares and you know it, let that person in. It helps.
3. Let go:
Now, I don’t know what happened that hurt you but if it involves people with whom you are currently holding any grievance, the third thing I’d tell you to do today is to let go. Would this be easy? No. Do I have any idea who this person is or what they’ve done to you? No. But is it possible for you to let go, to forgive? Yes, it is and when you do, you’ll find it easier to heal.
I should ask you here: What do you want? Do you want to heal? If your answer is yes, then there is something I’d like you to know. Holding unto hurt and wanting to heal is like that monkey whose hand was wrapped around some pebbles he’d found in a hole and when he tried to remove his hand, he found that it was stuck. The more he tried to pull his hand out, the harder it was but the moment he let go of the pebbles and released his fist, he found it easier to pull his hand out. To heal, you have to decide; to choose to let go of the hurt that you are holding unto. Once you decide to do this, tell God about it and tell Him to help you. I know that God will and I know that as He does, you’ll find that when you heal, it is complete.
4. Feel everything:
This is the 4th thing: whatever emotion wells inside of you, during the course of this period, please let it out. Don’t bottle anything up. If there is anything you want to say to yourself, say it. If there is anything you want to write, write it down. If you want to scream, scream. If you want to fall on the floor flat and cry, then fall on the floor flat and cry. Whatever you want to do to just release how you feel, do it. You know I’m saying this hoping that you will not go and break bottle on somebody’s head sha o? Okay.
Personally, I’ve been making sure to feel every emotion, no matter how ridiculous they seem. I remember how one day, my heart was so heavy and all I wanted to do was lie on my bed, clutch my Bible to my chest and cry. Immediately I saw this image in my head, I just went ahead and did exactly that. Writing this, I remember taking a picture of this day. I’ll see if I can find it and maybe, share it with you guys below.
There it is. 😊
Seeing this picture now, makes me smile; like hey baby, see? it doesn’t hurt as much as it did that day, does it? It gets better. But that’s not the point. Point is letting these emotions out in those moments when they well up inside you and having nothing bottled up inside, albeit temporary, really helps.
5. Live every moment that makes you feel good:
Finally, live every moment that makes you feel good. You’ll see, even as you are hurting, that there will be certain opportunities that’ll come with laughter. When they do, take them. Yes, I know I said in the previous post that these moments can be fleeting and they don’t really fill the void, but at least, they are relieving while they last. So, go on.
These are the 5 things I wanted to share with you today. I really hope they help as you practice them. If you would like to talk to me about anything, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you. Also, I have a free helpful resource I’d like to share with you. If you’d like to have it, do let me know in the comments below.
Till later, with love ,
pS: Besides the 5 things shared here, what other things do you know can help someone who is hurting? kindly share them down there.
ppS: Don’t forget to share this post. Someone on your timeline just might need to read it. Thank you.