Reactive vs. Proactive: How Are You Healing Yourself?
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
I wrote this blog post back in 2018 (Healers of Color Movement) and I personally feel that it is currently still prevalent and important today in 2020! With everything going on in the world and trying to survive in the middle of a pandemic crisis; I think it will do us all some justice to reflect on what it means to be reactive vs. proactive in our healing journey! Share and Enjoy!
What does healing mean to you? Does it mean you need to go to the doctor when you’re sick? Does it mean that you need to take time away from someone after a breakup? It can mean a lot of things, right? So why is it that when we think of healing, we think of needing to do it when we are experiencing trauma, loss and/or change.
Many of us are conditioned to believe that healing must occur when you're physically or mentally sick, experience trauma, and/or grief. We feel that healing comes with an instruction book that gives us the tools on how healing works for the individual. Well, unfortunately, that’s just not how life works out.
Everyone’s healing journey starts at different place in their lives, which I think we all can relate to and understand at a neutral level. Being a minority and a woman of color, I have realized that a lot of our natural instincts as a community is to “react” when something hurts or threatens us. Our minds and bodies are constantly in the state of “fight or flight” and our coping mechanism is to shove our faces into our phones, over work ourselves, numb our emotions with distractions such as drugs and alcohol; just to avoid feeling pain, love, grief, etc. We hide behind the societal keyboard of life and do not allow ourselves to actually heal simply because… we just don't know what that looks like for us.
This article is not the instruction book to healing nor is it going to tell you what “it” is that you need healing from. I would like to think of this article as another method of becoming self-aware of what you need in your healing journey and a reminder that you are not alone on the path!
Healing can come in many shapes and forms, but right now, we need to know how to take better care of ourselves by simply just knowing ourselves better. We shouldn’t have to heal because something happened to us in our past; we can heal in order to become our better selves in the future. Reactive Healing vs. Proactive Healing.
What is Reactive Healing?
Reactive Healing is the form of healing that we are most familiar with and occurs when we have no other option. We learn to make the effort to heal AFTER a major event that causes us to direct our attention towards the damage done to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. For example, you may go to the doctor when you are feeling physically or mentally sick and/or unhealthy; not when you are feeling at your healthiest. When you are consistently going through cycles in your life and you have gotten to a point where you are “sick and tired of being sick and tired”; you look for alternative options for how to heal from trauma and/or pain of this reoccurring cycle.
These, my friends, are just a few examples of why you could go into a state of Reactive Healing.
What is Proactive Healing?
Proactive Healing is a form of healing (within many modalities and practices) that takes place BEFORE something happens to you. So, what does this look like? Proactive Healing can be the gesture of self-care on the daily basis. Whether you’re shielding your energy from negative energy in bigger crowds, or even meditating and eating healthy regularly; these are just a few examples of proactive ways to take care of yourself today instead of trying to take care of yourself when things go south.
In a nutshell…
Reactive Healing is the norm of how people deal with death, trauma and/or grief by relying on “time” to heal all wounds. Although it takes time to heal, it is not the only aspect of healing that is required. Proactive Healing is truly understanding yourself and your triggers to actively heal from it. In order to balance yourself and your life in a healthy manner, we need to make the necessary changes in our life to heal from our past experiences on all levels (ancestral, soul, physical, emotional, mental, etc.).
In all honesty, I believe that Proactive Healing and Reactive Healing can fall in very similar categories. Maybe this is because we are human beings learning and understanding who we are and how we can take care of ourselves. The art of healing is more than just healing our physical bodies. In order to truly heal, we must understand ourselves on different levels, even the darker parts of ourselves that makes us feel uncomfortable.
The great thing about healing is that there’s no “wrong” way of going about it. As a community, I always ask: How can we heal if we don’t know that we need healing? What are your thoughts?
Balance is key and when you balance yourself, you can balance your life.
Comment your thoughts below! Share with friends and family!!!
Written by Teaira
July 8, 2018
As seen on Healers of Color Movement Blog