some think that healing means returning to where they were, or who they were, before any particular trauma or life event - everything simply going back to "normal". but healing is a process that bring us to a new normal, not a return to where we were before. the healing process is akin to the process of growth which is the very nature of living. i know that may surprise some to hear, but think about it for a moment. what is "normal", in the sense of our day to day lives, is constantly re-adjusting itself to the situations and events we continuously encounter. every moment we live we change, to one degree or another, by the various experiences, good, bad or indifferent, that we encounter throughout our lives. and that is what normal is, the process of growth (which at time includes a bit of pruning); it is the nature of living to change.
a flower may open it's petals wide in the bright sunshine of a clear day, and the next day some of the flower's petals may be damaged by a rain storm. in both cases,the sunshine and the rain storm, have changed the flower. it can never turn back from that sunny day to be a bud again, nor can it ever go back to the full flower of the day before the storm. yet it continues onward, growing in different ways each day, affected by its past, fully living in its present, and moving onward to its future. returning to where or what it was is simply not an option, much as one may desire, it is simply not the way of life. a large part of healing, or for that matter productive sane living, is found in accepting life on life's terms - and that means accepting that we are always moving towards newness, the ever expanding circle of living, the promise of tomorrow by the living of today in the wisdom gained from the past. that is the essence of true healing. life is dynamic.
sometimes our wounds are deep, and we may need to retreat for a while. that too can be, and often is, part of the healing process. it is only when we get "stuck" in the retreat that we cut ourselves off from the process. we are all different and our wounds are different. some have experiences too terrible for words, and the healing from those experiences may take a life time. the pain may be great and the fear seemingly insurmountable, so we may get "stuck" not wanting to proceed with living. it is understandable of course. and it is why we need to share the burden with another person and with the One who knows us better then we know ourselves. but that is not always easy because the hurt has made us fearful and untrusting, and that makes sense, "once burnt twice shy" as my mother was fond of saying. but unbridled fear cuts us off from life.
fear is essentially a lie - it tells us that because we are damaged we should never trust again, healing isn't worth the pain, life is a misery, all is dross, everyone is false, God doesn't exist or just doesn't care. when we are hurting, really and deeply hurting, it is very easy to believe the lie, and just want to retreat inwards, or escape outwards from the hurt by whatever means makes me feel better and able to "forget" it all. either way we get stuck, we become cut off from life and exist in a shadow. we feel "protected" from the past, and may even believe we have no future; and that is the saddest lie in the whole world. believing the lie means never having the chance to be "normal", we become stagnant and cut off from the dynamic process of life.
lies are like a trap we can fall into, and once trapped it can be very hard to get out. we might even believe the additional lie that we are not able to get out, or our hurt is so deep we don't care if we get out. it is a decision that each one of us can only make for ourselves. all i know, is that for myself, i would rather take the risk of living one day like a butterfly soaring through the air then to spend a hundred years entombed in a cocoon.