I saw the graffiti pictured while walking around Maastricht, in The Netherlands, back in April. I took a photo of it because it was something that piqued my interest in that moment, and also because I knew at some point I would want to write about it.
I’m not usually a big fan of graffiti sayings, or bumper sticker sayings, because they tend to be pithy, and lack any substance. Also, because I have found that many people who make a show of such sayings do not, in fact, live them. I mean really, if you have “Coexist” on your bumper at the same time you refer to people with a different ideology as you as being sub-human, then how serious can I take you?
All that being said, I did like this one because it serves as a reminder of something that I think all of us, but especially survivors, tend to forget.
Healing is a long journey. It’s easy to see what you think is the end result of healing, whatever that looks like for you, and measure yourself by the fact that you aren’t there yet. I’d disagree with that. Not that you shouldn’t have an eye on the prize, so to speak, but you need to see the details, and you need to enjoy the details.
If healing is a long journey, then there are many details. You don’t take a long drive by looking up the destination on a map, setting out, and getting there. No, you have to figure out the route from here to there, where to turn, where to stop, when to take a break and so on. Each one of those things is part of your journey, and another step toward the goal. If you don’t enjoy the steps, if you don’t count the small victories, then the journey can drag on and on, becoming overwhelming to us.
How much better would you feel if you could look at the details, and enjoy the progress you’ve made?
How much better would your life be if you could stop every once in a while, and simply look at the details, instead of always being focused on the abuse? See the flowers, laugh with your loved ones, watch the sun set, play a game, or just sit and be with yourself. There are a lot of really great details all around us every day. Don’t get so bogged down in your past, and healing, that you miss them.
It’s OK to enjoy something for no other reason than that you enjoy it.
It took me a long time to learn, and accept, that. So I missed out on a lot of details. Don’t make the same mistake.