“I remember that it hurt. Looking at her hurt.”
The opening scene of Stuck in Love started with those lines—one of my favorites in the duration of the film. Rusty Borgens, one of the main characters, hopelessly stared at the love of his life as she slept on her desk during class. Blood trickled down from her nostrils as she woke up, and it was soon revealed that the cause was her addiction to cocaine. He wanted to save her from that, among other things, but he couldn’t.
I, too, remember that it hurt. I remember looking at her hurt. I remember looking at the mirror and seeing those wounded eyes and unmotivated body… And it hurt. It hurt realizing that the person that stared back at me hurt. It hurt realizing that I had to get hurt. It hurt when I realized that all I had left were my why’s and where-did-I-go-wrong’s.
And so did you.
You’ve had our days when you questioned about the things that you could’ve done right and that could’ve gone right. You wondered if it was a time issue and you groaned at the thought of waiting. You’ve regretted the things and people you’ve let go of and, at the same time, battled with yourself because you knew what you did was right. You experienced pain in different ways through different circumstances.
How you and I healed—that we should never forget. It wasn’t as easy as waking up the next day and going about daily activities. There was a process that we had to go through, and it hurt just as much as when we faced the cause the first time.
We had to be brave to face the circumstance and admit how much it hurt. Whatever it was that we went through, one step to healing was to accept that we got hurt and that the circumstances had already happened. Most of us are full of pride and deny how hurt we were. We felt that acknowledging pain was a sign of weakness and that it prevented us from moving on. We have that misconception that pain only lead to our downfall and, as a result, we refused to accept it.
We eventually learned that to accept that moment of weakness and embrace that moment of pain was a sign of strength and was the first step to healing.
Each and every person has a different time frame when recovering from pain. Some got better after a month and some nursed their pain for years. No matter how long it took, we knew that healing was just around the corner. We moved at a pace with the belief that we will get better. It was always about taking it one step at a time. Every second, every minute, every hour, and every day that we conquered brought us closer to healing and to where God wanted us to be.
It was about taking one day as one step closer to becoming better—the better versions from the day before.
We trusted and surrendered.
Healing on our own was excruciating and tiring. Pain was consuming and it was feeding on our loneliness. Remember how we let love consume us through family, friends, and God. We had family to pour our hearts to, we had friends to impart their wisdom to us, and we revelled in His everlasting love. We realized how much people loved us and that God’s love and peace helped us overcome the pain that we experienced.
We discovered how it was to loosen our fingers and let the past fall from our grasp.
We had to learn how to move forward independently. We had to find the rhythm we had before circumstances happened. We had to decide to go back to our daily grind and do the things that we loved to do. We listed down the things that make you happy or your goals in life and turned that into the manual of your life (which I learned from a friend just recently). We explored new things or hobbies and discovered the things you could achieve. We did whatever it took to achieve peace and healing.
We learned and grew.
The pain, the process of healing, and when healed—this constant cycle taught us what we now know about ourselves. As we understood what transpired, we learned more of who we were and how we grew (and constantly growing). We learned of our strengths and weaknesses, and how our weaknesses could be made stronger. We learned how to manage and cope with pain. We learned we were free when we were healed.
Pain taught us. Healing developed us. Moving to the next chapter became another learning experience for us.