The Secret About Healing Nobody Wants to Hear (But Everybody Needs to Hear)

Last Wednesday, when my weekly blog post went live, I panicked. I’ve published over two-hundred posts, and I never fail to get a little squeamish. But this was different. I was suddenly certain every reader would unsubscribe. This is why…

therapy

Photo Credit: JefferyTurner via Compfight cc

I’ve had similar feelings before. When I write something I think might be a little controversial, I wonder how many people will be angry and alienated and click the unsubscribe link. And some weeks, the writing doesn’t come easily and the post feels a little clunky and I wonder how many people will decide my prose isn’t worth the time.

But this time, the writing had flowed smoothly and was, I thought, pretty decent. And it wasn’t controversial at all. In fact, I’d written about the topic before. Several times. And the posts had always been pretty well received. So, what was I suddenly feeling so insecure about?

I’d written about the topic before.

For a week, my shame came to me in a new form: a question—when are folks going to get sick of me struggling with, and writing about, the same old stuff? I imagined thousands of people at home, thinking, “Kelly’s struggling with his ego and achievement issues again and, once again, finding a mindful way back to his soul. Been there, done that.”

I was afraid I’d worn out my welcome.

Fortunately, I know I’m not the only one whose fear takes this shape.

Because I’ve seen it in almost every soul in my therapy office.

You see, after the early stages of therapy, when we get into the long, hard work of healing, things can get a little repetitive. The same issues arise again and again. We make subtle progress, feel small shifts in our internal world that make big differences in the external world, and it looks like everything’s going to be okay.

But then someone says something or does something and, suddenly, we feel like we’re yanked back to square one all over again.

Of course, it’s not true. We’re further down the path of becoming, and the path has wound its way around this mountain called Healing that we’re all climbing. So, now we’re facing the same things as before, but we’re a little higher up the hill. Yet, the question arises within us, shouldn’t I be much higher up by now? High enough that this stuff I’m facing once again looks tiny and insignificant below? Shouldn’t I have reached some kind of summit by now?

In therapy, this I’m-not-enough-because-I’m-not-healing-fast-enough shame is often expressed in the form of a question: “Don’t you get sick of me coming in and complaining about the same things week after week? Don’t you get sick of me being so…stuck?”

And I smile and I say, “Oh, that’s not being stuck; that’s being human.” As long as blood runs through our veins and thoughts run through our heads, we’ll have healing to do.

To be whole is not to be completely unbroken, it’s to embrace we’ll always be a little cracked.

To be well is not to banish sickness forever, it’s to embrace we’ll always be a little dis-eased.

So, last Wednesday morning, I had to ask myself: when will I finally feel good enough for good? When will I stop feeling overwhelmed by my kids forever? When will I feel completely comfortable putting on my real face for the real world? When will I finally accept I’m aging and dying and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it? And then I had to answer all of those questions with a single word:

Never.

And thank God.

A gardener never quits watering her plants. A parent never quits feeding hungry little stomachs. A farmer never quits tending to the soil. Why would a human being ever quit healing?

Our insecurities and struggles and doubts and fears and anger and sadness are not like the most recent version of the iPhone, which comes and goes and is gone forever. They’re far more like fertile ground. We tend to them. Over and over again. From season to season. And then we wait to see what grows out of them. We wait to see what fruit they bear. Until the fruit they bear is this blessed awareness:

Joy isn’t banishing our sorrows for good; it’s learning to welcome them when they return.

Until the welcoming becomes its own kind of freedom.

So, Dear Reader, I hope you’re not bored with the path we’re walking here. Because we have a long way still to go and the journey never ends. But maybe, just maybe, the journey can become its own reward. Let’s keep going together.

Onward.

And upward.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Next Post: You Can Find Your Way to the Light

Free eBook: My eBook, The Marriage Manifesto: Turning Your World Upside Down, is available free to new blog subscribers. If you are not yet a subscriber, you can click here to subscribe, and your confirmation e-mail will include a link to download the eBook. Or, the book is also now available for Kindle and Nook

Disclaimer: My writings represent a combination of my own personal opinions and my professional experiences, but they do not reflect professional advice. Interaction with me via the blog does not constitute a professional therapeutic relationship. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor who can dedicate the hours necessary to become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. I do not assume liability for any portion or content of material on the blog and accept no liability for damage or injury resulting from your decision to interact with the website.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Stephanie Joy

    Big hugs… Don’t worry about the butterflies in your stomach, they likely should be there. Just try to figure out how to get them to fly in formation. Okay, I too am still working on training mine, and some days are easier than others, just as it should be.

    • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

      I love your imagery of these good, necessary, and right butterflies sometimes flying helpfully in formation and other days doing as butterflies are inclined to do. Just wonderful.

      • drkellyflanagan

        Me, too, made me smile; thank you, Stephanie!

  • Heather

    I look forward to your blog every week. Keep writing.

    I too have three children, two boys and a baby girl. I originally signed up to read your book on marriage and shared it with my husband. He never read it. I loved it. I am now a single mom and have a lot of healing to do. I won’t stop trying to help myself and my children become the best versions of ourselves. Your blog helps us on that journey. Thank you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Heather, what you’re doing takes great courage. My best to you and your kids and I hope my writing can continue to be an encouragement to you.

  • Jennie

    I read your posts and insights with great pleasure each time they drop into my inbox (as i do others) but rarely, if ever, write online. But your post compelled me to this time. Thank you so much for your raw honesty and fantastic post. It completely resonated with me. I believe this is, as you rightly point out, being human! but it’s still lovely to remind ourselves how far on the journey we have come, even when, in moments of struggle, we perceive it to be the same old stuff. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Jennie, thanks for stepping out and commenting! I’m grateful you broke your routine to share such encouraging words.

  • Scarlotte

    Just thank you again (and again and again and again). Every week you make me feel that I am not alone in my journey. Thank you for affirming that taking time to heal is normal and not something to beat myself up about. Your words are often the one thing that gets me through the week, to push on and not give up on myself. Please never stop being the voice of encouragement and support and advise and love that you are. Your words are a blessing in my life.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome again (and again and again and again), and for as long as I have the good fortune to keep writing. 🙂

  • Patrick

    I love the phrase, “Joy isn’t banishing our sorrows for good; it’s learning to welcome them when they return.”

  • Noelle Castoro

    I don’t think joy is welcoming sorrow when it comes…I’m not really sure that even makes sense. Maybe joy is there despite sorrow? Idk. Anyway, it’s exhausting facing the same thing over and over again. Some things like identity and feelings of inadequacy seem to be more persistent. But I believe total healing is possible, at least for some issues. We are not destined to keep struggling like Sysiphus. I’m curious if you are worried about how clients or potential clients react to your vulnerability. Personally I am grateful that a man is able to voice these thoughts, but as a clinician, I can imagine it may be even more anxiety producing.

    • True joy IS about welcoming sorrow when it comes. Embracing it as a part of life, a part of the process. I embrace sorrow, fear, pain, and loneliness with the same welcoming arms I extend to happiness, love, and security. Because after decades of feeling numb, its these things that remind me Im not.
      As a patient, I would welcome this kind of vulnerability. It makes me feel Im not alone in my struggle, and no one wants to feel that way.

    • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

      Because you wondered, I wanted to offer what is only my own perspective: when clinicians I have known professionally or personally have recognized and owned their vulnerabilities, it has made them relatable, credible, and perceptive. Some clinicians, both in counseling practice and in general healthcare settings prefer to adopt an omniscient, self-possessed persona in their practices. Maintaining this façade has not benefited my experience as a client or a patient, but the beauty of variety and choice is that those who prefer that style can enjoy the services of those providers.
      We needn’t be all things to all people. Thank goodness.

      • Noelle Castoro

        I agree with that. I think self-disclosure for a clinician can be a tricky thing because one person might feel like the therapist is more relatable, another might not feel safe. For me, empathy is important, but I wouldn’t be likely to see a therapist who is still struggling with the same issues I am there to deal with. I would like to know they have gotten through it, however. Like you said, personal preference.

        • drkellyflanagan

          I really appreciate this conversation and, Noelle, I appreciate your nuanced response to the post. I think a client’s comfort level with it probably has to do with their world view. If they see progress like a straight line, from point A to B, then a therapist who is vulnerable about their own ongoing process sounds a little incompetent. But if the client shares the mountain view of healing, then a therapist who claims to have it all together can’t really be trusted, because they can’t be telling the truth about their journey. So, to your point, it does have a lot to do with goodness of fit!

          • Noelle Castoro

            Hm. Maybe we’re not seeing this the same way. What if the clinician was currently struggling with substance use disorder and the client was, too? I don’t think it has to do with world view as much as the gravity of the issue. I also think it depends on what a client is expecting to gain from the therapeutic experience.
            Anyway, my question was not to debate, only to ask if this kind of disclosure was a concern. I guess it is not! Seems like you have quite a few cheerleaders, so I guess it is working!

  • Lola Hernandez

    WOW!!! ☺ Thanks Dr you just hit the nail in my soul. This morning I wake up with the same question. About getting back some issues at this high in my hill, now I understand that is part of the journey and I will embrace the process. Thanks for your job!!!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Lola!

  • Paula

    I for one am constantly encouraged by your vulnerability and willingness to go there time and again. I often feel like a failure for my perceived lack of progress when I circle around an old and familiar struggle for the millionth time. Your perspective always seems to breath new life into where I am. Or at the least give me additional food for thought around that particular subject matter. One of the most valuable forms of support I believe we can offer each other is community through our journey of life. It’s debilitating to feel alone. We were not created to “do life” alone. So if for no other reason, circle back around that mountain again as we all need the encouragement to know we are not alone and we are all human. I believe the enemy of our souls brings shame to demoralize us. To make us believe we are not enough. Shame breeds silence and silence breeds isolation. But telling our story brings light causing shame to recoil in its darkness. Thanks for your transparency as because of that, my day begins with a little more light.

    • Shel Llee Flexman-Evans

      Yes, this exactly. How grateful I am that the words I felt I needed here had already been expressed so clearly and so well, Paula!
      Thank you for being cracked with us, Kelly. The journey is far easier when our traveling companions are good company.

      • drkellyflanagan

        Thank you to both of you for your sharing and vulnerability!

    • May

      Thank you for this comment, it’s taken the words out of my mouth.

  • Kathy Jack

    It was literally a breath of fresh air to read. A sort of permission to just be. I was reminded of this very concept last night when filling out a questionnaire for my children’s teacher conferences and asked to describe thier strengths and weaknesses. As I wrote I realized that certain aspects will always be a part of who they are and they will need to struggle at times and overcome and struggle again. That is this life. Thank you Kelly for the reminder that there may be more mountains, but as we climb another we have better gear and our muscles are stronger. We may even get better about asking for help! The next mountain we will walk, we could recognize more quickly the critical voice saying your not enough, and return it with self compassion. Thanks again!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Always love your extensions of the metaphor, Kathy! You must be a therapist or something? 🙂

  • callmecrazy66

    I appreciate your thoughts this week but found myself pretty uncomfortable with the use of the word “healing” in this case. I don’t like the idea of human life being in a constant state of illness or broken-ness. Of course that is exactly how I feel most of the time so its a paradox. I don’t understand why I struggle so hard with things when I know that if my mind would just accept things I have everything I need to be completely happy and content. Ughh, humans… 🙂

    • I dont mind being cracked and broken. Eggs are useless until you crack em open to get to the good stuff. 🙂 Maybe all you really need to accept is that broken-ness is okay. Think of all the things you can do with a broken egg vs. one that is never cracked. 🙂

      • Patricia

        Great thought Shannon!

        • drkellyflanagan

          Agreed, love the metaphor!

    • Conny

      I could not have said it better myself! Struggling with things does not make me “ill” or “broken”. Sure, like everyone else I have my battles but I don’t consider learning to accept myself a process I would describe as “healing”. Rather it is a process of evolving and maturing and becoming. It is the journey of life, is all. 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      I totally get that. Have lived it, as a matter of fact. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living in that tension and trying to figure it out!

  • I dont believe anyone is ever totally healed. We may
    not be destined to continue to struggle, but we ARE designed to
    continue to grow. I dont know that I ever WANT myself to feel “healed”.
    Each time a new fear pops up, a trigger is pulled, a memory resurfaces,
    Im able to learn more about myself. Stretch, grow, and add to what I
    thought I had all figured out. I welcome those growing pains. It reminds
    me Im alive.
    Even when we do reach what we see as the “summit” of our healing, it gives us a bird’s eye view of our life as a whole. We can see that “fence” that may need repaired, that patch of grass that’s brown and withering, we see the broken shingles on the roof of our house. We see more clearly all the things we still need to work on. Things we couldnt see from the ground. We see other “mountains” to climb with even higher peaks. But I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We should always be searching to climb higher, be better, learn more about ourselves. I think it’s lack of growing that is responsible for depression, divorce, and many other ailments. Like my grandpa said, “Kid, when you stop growing, you immediately start dying.” Maybe I dont WANT to ever stop climbing. There’s always things I can learn and things I can change and things I can improve. Im just not content to stay where I am. Because my grandpa is right. When Im not growing, I feel myself start to whither.
    But today is a good day. I feel strong and full of strength and courage, ready to tackle whatever comes my way. Yesterday, I slipped down the mountain because the road was muddy and I cried in my closet. God’s way of reminding me I still have a need for Him, and my gentle reminder that I do NOT have it all figured out. 🙂
    Cheers to all you who take one step forward and two steps back. Let’s turn it into a dance. 🙂

  • Ashley

    I needed to be re-minded that my journey to being whole is not a journey of being perfect-thank you!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Ashley!

  • Tim

    Dr. Kelly,
    Please don’t ever stop writing. I’m a young single professional still developing into the man God wants me to be and waiting on him to bring my future family to me. Your blog brings me inspiration, motivation, and shows me ways to grow on a regular basis no matter the topic.
    Thank you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thanks for this, Tim. I’m going to write as long as I can!

  • Christine

    Struggling with my own anxieties and fears as I write this. I’m not sure I can say what hasn’t already been expressed here or adequately convey how meaningful your work is. Instead, I will say this: I appreciate you. Thank you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Christine, I appreciate you writing this, too.

  • Joanna

    Tears as I read this this morning. It’s as if you were inside my own mind. Sharing this today!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Glad it arrived at the right time, Joanna!

  • Patricia

    Thank you Kelly for your encouragment! As I progress along and process my journey it is so helpful for me to remember it’s just part of the privilege of being human. Woke up this morning from a nightmare/flashback of a traumatic event in my life and really needed this! Your words are always so well timed for me; thank you!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Patricia, and thanks for this: “the privilege of being human.”

  • Mandy Beltz

    I really needed to “hear” this today. I, too, sometimes feel like I’m stuck in the same mud and place a lot of pressure on myself to hurry up and heal! 🙂 I always feel bad for friends and family who have to deal with my repetitive nature and keep circling back around to the same issues. I love that you remind us that we’re all healing, and it’s a process; and each time we’re a little higher up on the mountain. Thank you for this today! 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Mandy!

  • Rhiannon

    My husband and I read your posts every week. Sometimes it sparks discussion and sometimes a post speaks to one of us more than the other and sometimes neither of us feels much but we always come back and read it next week because it has become a meaningful part of our week. So thank you for the challenges, the discussions sparked, and thank you also for the weeks where we read and say, huh, that isn’t really applicable to me but it is comforting to read together anyway. We have never felt like your posts are redundant, and we always enjoy the moments we share together over reading them.

    • drkellyflanagan

      This is grace, Rhiannon, that you have weeks where the post doesn’t really resonate, but you continue to value them anyway. So grateful for that, and for you and your husband!

  • Erica D.

    “Joy isn’t banishing our sorrows for good; it’s learning to welcome them when they return.” Pausing long enough to recognize the subtle shifts in our ability and willingness to welcome the hard stuff is huge (at least for me)! If you haven’t, you should check out The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele. It’s definitely helping me along my journey.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for the recommendations, Erica!

  • Christi Masso Byerly

    This is so great! My spiritual director told me the same thing about 5 years ago. I also liked how she put it–people only really have one or two problems. They just repeat. So if you see yourself repeating the same thing, be grateful that you don’t have 7 or 8 problems, just the same one that’s yours to work on for life.

    Then this week, I had another attack of what a miserable creature I am, in the same ways as before… And this post reminded me of what I just told my husband this morning, “I guess I’ll always be human. I guess I’ll always need you, and I’ll always need to be reminded I’m loved. There’s no such thing as being healed once and for all–it’s a daily process.” It’s so good to hear it again from an objective source–we are all in this together. Thanks for the vulnerability.

    • drkellyflanagan

      I think you’re spiritual director is right on, but I’d never considered the gratitude angle. I’m grateful, indeed, I’m only dealing with the same few things over and over!

  • linda

    to be well and whole means recognizing we will always be a little broken and “dis-eased”
    I am soooo glad I stumbled onto your blog, your words are wise and encouraging. Thank you, don’t ever become so in demand that you stop writing!!!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Ha! I’ll do everything in my power to prevent life’s demands from getting in the way of writing. Thanks for that!

  • Margaret

    Thank you! I so needed to read this today! I love your posts!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Margaret!

  • This post.. I didn’t know how much I needed this post. How much I needed these words today. I have had this struggle over and over again. I have shamed myself so many times for “why hasn’t this gone away yet? Why aren’t I over this? Can you really keep healing the same issues over and over. Doesn’t it get better at any point?” I thank you for this wisdom and understanding of the human experience and our continuing journey of healing.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Seth. I have a friend who says, “I’m just a dude.” Totally okay for you and I to be just a dude, too, working through things over and over like everybody else!

  • Cat Cavazos

    Great reminder! There’s a U2 video, “Walk-on” inspired by Burmese activist, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. At the end of the you tube video (it’s not written into the lyrics or original release of the song) there is an excerpt of her saying “It is not yet the end. There is still a long way to go and the way might be very, very hard. So please stand by…”
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and struggles so that we may understand that we aren’t alone in this life!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Will be sure to check it out; I haven’t seen that one. Thanks, Cat!

  • Thank you. This post really hit home. I love the line “I’m-not-enough-because-I’m-not-healing-fast-enough shame.” I know that I’ve felt many of the things you’ve touched on. The repetition in a therapists office, wondering if I’m wasting time, money or if she thinks I’m just a moron. And the questions “When will I finally feel good enough for good? When will I stop feeling overwhelmed by my kids forever? …” I ask myself all the time. I write about it all the time. And it is shame. It is. Thank you the reminder that we are not wasting time, and you are right, it is all about the journey and enjoy that journey. I look forward to your weekly posts. Thank you for being you.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Marla, and thanks for doing everything you do to support and share my writing.

  • Catherine Martinez

    Kelly, NEVER bored with your writing. I totally relate to much of what you ponder or experience in my own way. You are so real and honest and your work is easy to comprehend and relate to. It’s very nice because you’re not just throwing out impersonal motivational words, but you put out there what you see today or that day and in your small town or something poignant you noticed and shared. It really makes me feel you are sharing very personal insight (which you are) and it is like reading from a friend. I love the little nuances you speak about each week. Keep them coming! You make me see life in a wider perspective and much deeper. Thank you!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thanks you, Catherine, and you’re welcome!

  • kate bean

    this is what i needed to hear as i turn inward and go back into therapy for the umpteenth time, this time with a very clear agenda about the healing that has to take place, and more trust in that process after decades of watching the seasons come and go.
    The garden of my life will always require devoted work, and the advantage of being a gardener is that wherever one goes, one can sow beauty as effortlessly as dropping a few seeds, covering them, and watering them before walking on.

    • drkellyflanagan

      The agenda gets clearer every time, doesn’t it, Kate? My best to you as you round the mountain this time!

    • Barbara

      Yes, me too. It feels like the umpteenth time. It’s the 4th and I just turned 27. *Facepalm

  • Esté Smit

    Love your article and blog, really inspirational. ♥️

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you, Este!

  • Wendy Yamazaki

    Thank you for this…it’s just what I needed to hear right now.

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Wendy!

  • Jennifer

    Thank-you. I believe the universe has a way of helping us tend our gardens and your post today helped me tremendously with something I have REALLY been struggling with. I subscribed to your posts almost a year ago because of another article you wrote that really made a difference to me at the time. Ironically, I was about to unsubscribe (something mentioned in your post) as I was sifting through my email list getting rid of all my subscriptions because I just never make time to read them. However, today, in my looking more closely the universe has touched me, guided me, through your words. Thank-you for sharing yourself with me.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Whenever someone unsubscribes and cites too many emails as the reason, I’m always glad. I don’t want to clutter up lives. But I’m also glad to hear this post didn’t do that today for you. My best to you, Jennifer, and you’re very welcome.

  • Honor Genetski

    Thank you for the juicy dose of honesty and transparency. I am with you. Fellow parent, fellow
    therapist, writing about the vulnerability part here. Glad I saw you pop up on my facebook feed 🙂

    http://therapistmama.com/blog/

    • drkellyflanagan

      Love the blog title, going to check it out!

  • HB

    What a relief! I can’t tell you how important it was for me to hear that today. thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your thoughts

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome!

  • Fi

    I’m so glad I read this today 🙂 I’m so hard on myself and constantly apologising for being simply human. I hope that therapy will always be part of my life. I hope like you that I will never stop learning about myself. But I do hope that soon I’ll give myself a break and a bit of credit for the incredible journey I’ve travelled so far. Onwards, sideways and upwards!!! 🙂

    • drkellyflanagan

      Yes, Fi, I think it’s so important to step back and stand in awe of the distance we’ve already travelled. Definitely do that for yourself!

  • Melanie Hanni

    love this article, thank you

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Melanie.

  • Angie

    Thank you!!!

    • drkellyflanagan

      You’re welcome, Angie!

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  • Kitti McConnell

    Needed to read this, especially today. Thanks so much for sharing! I fight with chronic issues and sometimes the only thing that helps is to just fall down, flop around and feel the sadness and frustration.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Kitti, I like the “flop around” part of that. It implies some intentionality in feeling the despair. Here’s to flopping our way through this journey.

      • Kitti McConnell

        Exactly – have to acknowledge the feelings, wallow a bit if necessary. 🙂

  • Grace

    Kelly! I’d never read a single word you write if it weren’t the real deal~truth in raw form that, as Eustuce experienced in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, undragons us! I read 2 blogs a week, as I dash in the balance between heaven and earth, praying for my husband’s critically ill patients, trusting God with our one daughter living and serving Jesus in a third world country, and as I care for our other seven children in whatever way they need (2 as launched adults, 5 at home). Wisdom in applicable form based on the The truth I know is food for my soul. I often pray for you Tuesdays for the words you’ll write. Be free and keep untangling life’s tangles. We’re thankful!
    Grace

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for such lovely encouragement, Grace!

  • Laura Chichester

    Thank you Kelly, not getting bored at all and as a veteran with PTSD this particular blog really spoke to me!

    • drkellyflanagan

      Thank you for your service, Laura, and my best to you as you walk what is surely a difficult road. I’m glad this encouraged you on the way!

  • May

    Dr. Kelly thank you so much for these posts. What a gem to have come across your blog who know how many years ago! I actually keep them for a “rainy” day..when the going gets tough.

    • drkellyflanagan

      Grateful to be in the “rainy day folder,” May! 🙂

  • Barbara M.

    …I NEEDED to hear someone say this to me because I’m going (back) to therapy for something that happened awhile ago but that still hovers over me like a dark cloud every day. I felt like a failure for acknowledging that I still can’t seem to get out from under that cloud of oppression. I needed to know that that’s ok, not uncommon, and in fact part of the deal.

  • Kathy

    Thanks for your post today, I enjoy each one that I read. These two phrases really struck home for me. I always say that someday my little cracks will open back up and swallow me whole. it just struck a note and made me think.

    “To be whole is not to be completely unbroken, it’s to embrace we’ll always be a little cracked.
    To be well is not to banish sickness forever, it’s to embrace we’ll always be a little dis-eased.”

    I have to admit with my busy schedule, I don’t always take time for myself to heal. Being single again, I work 2 jobs, one very demanding as an office manager, and the other my passion of graphic design in the evenings. Some days it all gets very overwhelming, especially when I get a bigger design project and the hours just fly by into the night. I realize that I have spent another long day of doing nothing but work. My family, friends, hobbies and personal needs take a back seat most days.

    Your ramblings always seem to touch on a personal note for me, to bring everything back into perspective and remind me that I am human and like you said, still healing from personal attacks in my life that have reminded me that I cannot do it all. Even though I try my best to please everyone, I have my limits too. I need to bring my journey back to focusing on me once in a while, and that’s when I spend a whole Saturday in my pajamas, reading a book or magazine articles that caught my eye (no computer on these days!), or sewing. Maybe going for a long walk. But then I feel guilty for not spending time with my family. Here I go rambling on.

    Well, I just want to say – don’t stop writing here, I enjoy your posts and look forward to seeing “Untangled” in my inbox!

  • Mary Jane Renzette

    Thank you for your willingness to keep life “real”. Our days are marked by many things – those we love but can’t always relate to. Those we wish we could love but have a hard time doing so, and so mnay things beyond our control. It’s messy but beautiful and, thank God, ours to enjoy and puzzle over and figure out. You help us to keep things in perspective. For that, I am most grateful. Keep on trucking! We need a voice of reason and a reminder now and again!

  • Ramona Moore

    Oh me Oh my! I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. And when I laugh, everyone knows. Awe!!!
    So refreshing! I was just praying this morning and was talking with Father about not seeing many real folks. I mean the kind that you know, knows Him. I wonder if my eyes are foggy, but well, ya know.
    Just ready your blog about Healing was hilarious. True and funny. I reckon I needed a laugh this morning. Been down all weekend but there is sweet Joy in the morning. Thanks for being real in Him. Thanks for being Vulnerable in Him. Thanks for bringing laughter in this ole woman’s heart.
    See ya up there!!
    Ramona Moore
    Texas

  • Cris M

    Hello, this is the first post I read from this blog; just saw a comment you left on another blog that touched me, and decided to see “how this blog was like?”… Inspiring, I would say. I have been working for something like 7 years with an amazing homeopath -former psychiatrist- doctor, I cannot tell you the number of times I told him “Oh, I am always on the same point!!!” or “aren´t you sick of me always coming back at the same point?” And he gave me a similar point of view as you expressed today… This journey is more an spiral than a straight line… so, yes, at times you are at the same point, but “one more round” inside… you are getting there, but still, there is a point in which it seems you are looking at the center from the same perspective as before… but in fact as you are closer, you have “more insight” … I loved it… and each time I beat up myself thinking “This shouldn´t be crossing thru my mind again”, I realize, it is ok… and in fact I am grateful because I can recognize I have move forward as my understanding is different!
    PS: Have subscribed to your blog… Really looking forward to read more!
    Hugs from Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Maureen Hoyt

    It’s comforting to know that EVEN a psychologist can experience these moments of vulnerability and that in doing so, what needs to be revealed is that which is healed. As a minister, I often ask myself why this same issue is coming up again? Didn’t I already deal with that? I only peeled the first layer of the onion, and there is a second, third, and maybe even a fourth layer. All in God’s time. Thanks for sharing.

  • True words. I’ve been in therapy for just over 3 months now, and it’s hard… Sometimes it feels like I take a step or two forward, only to go back 20 steps the following week. I wonder whether I’ll ever get “healed”, so I found this post particularly interesting. Thank you. 🙂

  • Tabbylover

    Couldn’t have said it any better myself! Life is growing, growing is healing because when you grow old things break off and it hurts, it’s an ongoing journey.

  • Catherine Waiyaki

    To be whole is not to be completely unbroken, it’s to embrace we’ll always be a little cracked.

    To be well is not to banish sickness forever, it’s to embrace we’ll always be a little dis-eased.

    This is so true. I need to constantly remind myself of this as I go along searching for illusive perfection…..