Chasing Snakes: Pain to Healing

May 28, 2024by Liz Uimbia0

My Therapist Once Told Me…

Imagine being bitten by a snake. Instead of focusing on healing yourself from the poison, you spend all your energy chasing the snake, trying to understand why it bit you and prove that you didn’t deserve it. Now read that again.

Does this resonate with you? If so, this article will speak to you deeply.

The Snake Bite Analogy

When my therapist shared this analogy with me, it was a revelation. I realized how often I had been metaphorically chasing snakes, obsessed with understanding the “whys” of past hurts rather than tending to my own healing. This behavior is not only unproductive but also self-destructive. The poison spreads while you’re distracted, leading to deeper wounds and prolonged suffering.

The Trap of Seeking Closure

Seeking closure or understanding from those who have hurt us can be a natural inclination. We think that if we can just get answers, we’ll find peace. But often, those answers never come, or they don’t bring the comfort we expect. Instead, they keep us tethered to the past, preventing us from moving forward.

Shifting Focus: Healing Over Understanding

The key to true recovery lies in shifting our focus from the snake (the person or situation that caused us pain) to the wound itself. Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Acknowledge the Pain: Accept that you have been hurt and that it’s okay to feel pain. This is the first step in any healing process.
  2. Prioritize Self-Care: Engage in activities that promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This might include exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones.
  3. Seek Support: Sometimes, we need help to heal. Whether it’s a therapist, a support group, or a trusted friend, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.
  4. Let Go of the Need for Answers: Understand that closure is not always about getting answers from others. It’s about finding peace within yourself. Focus on what you can control: your reaction and your healing process.
  5. Practice Forgiveness: Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the wrong done to you. It’s about freeing yourself from the grip of anger and resentment. It’s a gift you give to yourself.

Pain a Catalyst for Growth

Pain, when acknowledged and addressed, can become a catalyst for growth. It can teach us resilience, empathy, and strength. By focusing on our healing, we not only recover but also transform, emerging stronger and more self-aware.

If you find yourself chasing snakes, remember this analogy. Redirect your energy toward your healing journey. Embrace the path of self-care and self-compassion.

Your past pain does not define you, but your approach to healing does. Let this account be a source of support and inspiration as you navigate your own journey to recovery.

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