Monday, April 18, 2011

Therapy for the Heart

Once in a while I'll hear someone describe an activity like exercising or cooking or even cleaning as "therapeutic," but I rarely stop to think about what that actually means. Most of the dictionary definitions of "therapeutic" pertain to medical or physical health, but I did come across one that said, "having healing powers." If you think about it, that's all therapy really is. Physical therapy heals your body. Mental health therapy heals your mind. Many people need one or the other (or both) at some point in their lives to heal an injury or treat a disease or overcome a loss. But the kind of healing that easily gets overlooked is that which heals our hearts and strengthens our souls. That's what people are talking about when they describe something as therapeutic. I didn't fully understand that - until I found mine.

I have never found anything quite as therapeutic as writing. I started this blog because I wanted to have a part of myself that existed outside the walls of my home. Originally, I thought I would be writing about changing diapers and clipping coupons and paying bills. But it has become more about getting back to being the person I forget about when my life gets taken over by diapers and coupons and bills (oh my)! I finally found something that is helping me get back to the heart and soul of who I am; helping me strengthen my faith; helping me preserve my individuality; helping me to remember that I can be a good wife and a good mom without forgetting to also be good at just being me.

There are lots of things I like to do - like cooking, scrapbooking, exercising, taking walks, watching movies, being with family and friends... the list goes on and on. But I've found that not everything I like to do provides the same kind of healing for me that writing does. A truly therapeutic activity recharges your internal battery. It takes away all of your frustration, impatience, and worry - even if only for the moment. It takes your mind and heart to a place where you feel truly happy, truly peaceful, truly you. Everyone's therapy is different. For some people, it changes with their mood. For others, it's always the same thing. If you know what yours is, I would challenge you to try to work it into your schedule at least once or twice each week. Take some time for yourself, recharge your battery, and experience the healing powers of therapy for the heart.

2 comments:

  1. Mine is cooking. When I am in my kitchen I lose track of time, I dont think about money or the lack of. I just relax. On Sunday's I spend hours in the kitchen (I say I am cooking the meals for my family for the week) but in all honesty it is ME time. It is one of my favorite things to do. Dreadful, boring and tidious to some but I love it.

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  2. Thanks for your comment! It's funny because cooking has the opposite effect on me. It's a great example of something I like to do but I don't find it therapeutic at all. It's interesting to hear about the things that soothe or heal people. I've heard things like gardening, housework, yoga, reading, running, etc. It's those little differences about us that make us all unique and individually beautiful.

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