When I was little, my mom would take me to the beach while we had summer vacation (she was a teacher, and we lived on Long Island). I remember her telling me to run into the ocean so the salt water would heal the bug bites that I had scratched open, and I didn’t want to, because it would make them burn and sting. It’s something that’s become metaphoric now that I’m older. A few days ago, I called my mom, and as she was telling me about the part of our house that’s being rebuilt after Sandy destroyed it, for some reason, I just remembered that a little salt in your wounds heals them.
A little (metaphorical) push is usually what has made me move when I didn’t otherwise feel compelled to. Regardless of what great things it yielded, it was still a push, and I hated it at the time. The thing about people is that we don’t change unless not changing becomes the less comfortable option. It’s unfortunate, but we’re creatures of habit and we’ll hold onto our convictions until we’re literally forced to stop. In retrospect, I would not change much of anything about my experiences over the past few years. I just wish I knew that the salt in my wounds was healing them. I just couldn’t see how pain could be growth, healing and reckoning.
Something that I tell myself often when I’m all knotted up inside is that what I’m feeling I will eventually regard as the pain that comes with my soul stretching to be more and understand more and love more… growing pains. Don’t run away from the things that will fix you and heal you. They’re often unlikely, unexpected and uncomfortable. That doesn’t make them bad. It just makes them new. And if you’ve been around the block enough, you’ll know that they always lead to the bigger, better and more beautiful.
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