All I Mean – a poem for healing

All I Mean
by James A. Pearson

There are a thousand wounds
but all I mean by healing
is this:

that you learn to hold yourself
in exactly the way
you were never held.

Here’s the homework I got an online course I’m taking this week:

To set a notification on my phone that pops up several times a day and says: “Can I accept myself for being right where I am?”

It’s a moment to check in. To locate myself on my emotional spectrum. To notice what’s happening in my body.

And then, whatever I notice, to ask whether I can accept it.

This kind of acceptance can have a few steps…

First, just noticing what you’re experiencing. Becoming aware of it.

Second, allowing it to be what it is. Just recognizing that this is what’s true right now, without trying to change it.

And third, bringing compassionate acceptance to it. Even when I’m feeling something I’d rather not be feeling, something I judge myself for feeling, something I wish I would have grown out of by now.

Those parts of me—the parts I wish were different—are exactly the parts that long to be held with compassion.

I’m not always able to do that. But when I am there’s such a settling in my system.

I doubt if anyone’s ever judged themselves into healing. But I’ve seen self-compassion bring hurting parts back together with the whole.

And that’s about as good a definition of healing as I can think of.