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When I first heard the expression “love heals all,” it was inspiring. It gave me hope in my relationship with myself and others. I didn’t realize how much hard work would be involved in the healing process. Had I known, I might’ve never started the journey. Today, I’m so grateful I hung in there and found my way to love.

If you’re a therapist, you know that many people stop therapy once they understand that healing takes work. I’ve had the privilege of working with many therapists, and even some of them have stopped when the going gets tough. Some patients find fault with the therapy or ghost you instead of discussing things and working together for successful completion. It’s up to us to encourage patients to work through the resistance, but like any other relationship, it takes two. The natural tensions in a therapeutic relationship are no different from any other. It’s uncomfortable. But the rewards of success make all the failures worthwhile.

Those of us from troubled childhoods who lacked enough love must repair the wounds that prevented this from occurring in the first place. Children raised in loving environments develop the natural ability to share and receive love. Sure, there are ups and downs, but these moments are taken in stride and with a sound support system. Children raised in traumatic situations struggle with life and relationships.

Yes, love heals all. But learning how to share and receive love in healthy ways is a challenge to those who are foreign to such concepts. And there’s no quick fix. It’s a painstaking process that can only be accelerated by embracing the pain, healing it, and then using your experiences to find meaning and purpose in our lives.

It Takes Courage – We often see testimonies of people who have healed their wounds and tamed their demons. They make it look easy because we see the results, not the process. It’s like seeing a master pianist playing a concerto without watching the hours they put into perfecting their skill. Psychological wellness is no different. It takes time and commitment to heal our pasts and master our minds while staying committed to learning better behaviors.

You Can’t Do It Alone – If you’ve tried all the self-help or quick-fix methods and are still hurting, you need to find someone who can lead you out of your mental jungle. Healing is about engaging with a guide that can lead you through that strange land. Someone who isn’t afraid will hang in there with you when the going gets tough. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. All the gook from the past seeps into the relationship. The guide says go left, and you want to go right. You won’t get out of the weeds if you’re not ready to be guided. The most successful people on the planet have had the best coaching. We can’t see our blind spots. Many of the best never reached the apex of success because they weren’t coachable.

Choosing Love First – There are always two choices: fear or love. If you keep choosing the easier, softer way, you’re probably choosing fear. The more challenging way is the way to love, which is why you need courage and a guide to (en)courage you. Otherwise, you’ll tend to avoid risks and go back to your old ways of settling for standards that don’t challenge you. Choosing love over fear means always coming from love, even if it means rejection, disappointment, or short-term pain. If you want to heal, you must love yourself first. If you can’t do that, your decisions will also be unloving to others. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between love and fear. Once again, you need courage and a guide to help you. Once you learn to listen to your inner compass, you will find your way, and then you can guide others.

Some people search for love their entire lives and wonder why they don’t find it. Here’s the bottom line. If you want to heal, you must learn how to love yourself. A good parent never gives up on teaching a young child self-love. Yes, it’s a lot of work. It means taking good care of yourself, having and honoring boundaries, learning to give and take, and playing well with others. But you’re worth every second of the time you put into healing. Never stop until you are the love that you’ve always wanted, and then you can be the agent of change for others.

Join our movement.

Dr. Donna Marks has been an author, consultant, public speaker, and psychotherapist for over thirty years. She was licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987 and then certified in Addiction, Gestalt Therapy, Hypnosis, Sex Therapy, and Psychoanalysis. She currently has a concierge psychotherapy practice in Palm Beach, Florida.
She has appeared on numerous podcasts and local television. She is the author of two books, Learn Grow Forgive – A Path to Spiritual Success, and Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Solution (revised), and winner of multiple book awards. Her next book, The Healing Moment: Seven Keys to Turn Messes into Miracles, will be released in 2023.

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