The Only Way Out Is In


I love memoirs. The chance to see the world through another person’s perspective thrills me. I particularly enjoy listening to memoirs when the author is the narrator because I feel an even more profound sense of connection. After hearing someone else’s story, I’m reminded to release judgments, grow in empathy, and extend compassion for others and myself.

I just finished listening to Demi Moore’s memoir, Inside Out, and the last line on the audio was, “The only way out is in.”

That line struck me. I’ve written about how the only way out is through, which has been my journey, so when I heard her say, “The only way out is in,” I felt it was just as real.

Since my husband’s death, I’ve been on a path to healing holistically. Not just from the emotional trauma of watching someone I love die, or the mental aftermath of going it alone as a single mother, or worrying if something terrible is going to happen to me or worse, to my child, but also healing from the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical pain I’ve experienced throughout my entire life.

I’ve learned it’s all interconnected and the work (inward and outward) I do in one area directly impacts the others.

If you are on a similar path, I want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years that have helped me stay on course and not give up on working through the inward battle towards healing.

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Give yourself the gift of patience.

Committing to healing the whole self is a slow non-linear process that takes time. It’s a lifelong journey.

Be gentle and kind to yourself as you navigate and cycle through the old thought patterns and habits you want to release. You will get there, but go ahead and surrender your expectations of when and trust God’s timing.

 It’s good to ask for help.

I have a lot of pride more than I even realized, and thus in the past, I did not want to ask for help.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up a false story that asking for help meant weakness, which would lead to people feeling sorry for me, which I didn’t want. I ended up making life hard on myself by trying to bootstrap it all on my own.

Apparently, to others, I appear to be peaceful, while simultaneously drowning behind the scenes. After facing health issues from stress and repressed emotions, I started reaching out even more for help in almost every area of my life. I’ve received support from coaches, therapists, family members, doctors, friends, spiritual leaders, mentors, and books. We are not good at everything, and we need each other’s gifts to help us throughout our lives.

Listen for Guidance. 

My entire life, I’ve looked to others to tell me who to be, where to go, and what I should do, questions that, honestly, only I can answer for myself.

Thus, it began a path to co-dependence, boundary issues, and a lack of self-trust. My parents have always told me if you don’t design your life, something or someone else will. So I started asking myself the hard questions, like what do I want out of life, what are my unique gifts, and how do I want to use them in the world regardless of the approval of others?

Answering these questions and walking them out in action was the only way to begin to build my own authentic life. I’ve learned how to use discernment in talking to certain people about my choices and my dreams. Instead, I started going to God first and then listening until I knew what the next right step was for me.

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Just remember to be patient with yourself as you reach out for the support to heal and trust God to guide you along your unique journey. Love and Blessings.

PS Photo cred to Taylor Lord photography and fotolanthropy!

2 Responses to “The Only Way Out Is In”

  1. Melinda

    Thank you for sharing Bailey. After losing my son this summer I am having a hard time keeping my head above water. I understand your feelings.

    • Bailey Heard

      Thank you so much for being vulnerable enough to share Melinda. My heart goes out to you and to your family for the loss of your precious son. Grief can be all consuming and I know the feeling of barely being able to keep my head above water. You are not alone Melinda and I appreciate you having the courage to reach out and connect with me, reminding me of the comfort in not being alone in this journey. Sending you a big hug.