Something that's been a theme in my life and the lives of several of my counseling clients is the idea that healing is like peeling an onion - when you pull back one layer of some element of your life - your identity, attachment style, communication and conflict-resolution styles, relationships, etc. - you start to find that there is another layer beneath the one you just peeled off that needs healing, or at minimum, exploration and curiosity.
Sometimes during the healing journey, we can discover Parts of ourselves that we didn't know existed, and tango with them. Our relationships may start to change as we begin to set boundaries or change our communication style. We move lose or decide to end relationships that we find are toxic.
This can make the work of engaging in a healing journey difficult. At times, it may seem overwhelming, never-ending, or isolating. We might feel emotional exhaustion when we think about what layers could be left to explore. We may even feel helpless. We most likely feel some degree of grief.
It's okay to give yourself permission to adjust the intensity of your healing journey depending on whatever host of factors you have going on in your life. In fact, sometimes that is the RIGHT thing to do. Sometimes it is self-care to pause or change intensity. That does not mean you stop doing the work for good. It means that you listen to yourself and take measure of both your internal ability to access coping resources and your ability to tolerate added distress.
Peeling back the layers can be an intensely uncomfortable journey at times, including for those around you. They may be cynical, confused, or want you to revert back to old patterns, behaviors, or ways of thinking. It does not mean that you stop your journey.
Continuing on peeling back the layers means you're showing up for yourself. It means you're working on building trust with yourself that you can listen to and meet your own needs, and that you can elevate your healing (which you deserve). Something really magical can start to happen internally, when we start showing up for ourselves.