Time is a lot of things to us. It is our measurement of how long we’re holding a plank or how many jumping jacks we can do in a certain duration. It is our notification to end or start something on our schedule. It is also our memory keeper of special occasions and milestones. While time does a great deal in our life I question its power when it comes to healing. I question the sage old saying that time heals all wounds, that it makes things better. I think in this respect we give time too much power and credit for work we ourselves have to do.
Some hurts stick with us for a lifetime. We can put time and space between what caused that hurt and it may lessen the brunt of it but I wouldn’t call that healing. Those big things always are sometimes still there in some area of our heart of mind for the rest of our lives. There is a soul scar from things as much as there is a physical one at times. Time reminds us of these wounds like the date a loved one passed or how long it’s been since we experienced a trauma or betrayal that hurt us deeply. These memories come to us during seasons of the year, an annual reminder from the calendar or even just our own recollections. Time however can lessen the sting of those pains but it doesn’t make them go away.
What does provide us healing is our own choices and actions for how we move forward. I do believe the past times of events in our life influences and shapes us in that process. We learn from those times and apply them in what comes next. We use that information to figure out how to even figure that out sometimes too. Time is a great teacher that can support healing and it can also hold us hostage in our pasts until we are ready to move forward. Being lost in what has happened is difficult to overcome sometimes. It is however where we usually find ourselves when we are ready to heal and lessen the burden we carry from those past times. Perhaps this is why people say time heals all wounds because dwelling in what happened, what once was and what if scenarios of our past is sometimes necessary for our healing journey.
As I think about healing and living naturally I see not that it is any easier or faster but that it is more possible. There is space and time to do the work necessary for healing. Again, not that there isn’t a scar or something that will bring it all back up again but that it becomes less of a burden. We let go of this false perception we should only grieve for so long or that we should just get over something and move on. Instead it becomes our own time schedule for when we are done with those things and feel ready to let go of them. We see the grace of loving ourselves and emerging from something truly painful with an understanding it is part of us but we can move forward at our own pace. It becomes less about a race to heal and more about a journey of healing.
In my own life I have often felt the pressure to put aside things that hurt me because there were other things I needed to deal with going on. I’ve also felt the expectation I should be stronger than that pain which sometimes I am but it doesn’t make it hurt less. I’m very guilty of not giving myself the time to heal namely because I never felt I had the time to devote to it. Just because we are hurting doesn’t mean life stops and that becomes the struggle for many of us in knowing how to heal. We walk around broken, hurt, scarred and grieving and yet we’re expected to still go to work, pay our bills, make meals and keep other things in life going like nothing happened. It is where I have learned that time of self-care is so crucial and not something I can just brush off because I have too much on my schedule that seems more important.
It might mean my self-care time is time to myself to write, meditate, do something nice for myself, give myself a pep talk, cry, sleep, talk to someone or not do anything at all. It is understanding what I need and then giving myself permission to do or have that in support of my needs without feeling guilty about it. Taking the time to do that is where I think the distortion of the saying time heals wounds comes from. It isn’t that time does that but rather we take the time to do it. We begin to love ourselves and tend to our own needs as much as we would and do for others. It is the selfless act of loving our own soul.
When I miscarried the very last time I would be pregnant I grieved for a long time. I was angry, felt betrayed and hurt for a very long time. It still comes up for me years later when I see social media posts about a national day for infertility or miscarriages or see stories of severely abused children. It hurts still to this day at times like it just happened. I recognize it is a pain I may never fully unload and yet I see where it has taken me. It led me to adoption where we found our son and have been able to create a family with him. It has led me to a greater understanding of my own strength and weaknesses. That experience has shaped a lot of my choices and decisions and is part of who I am today. TIme hasn’t healed that wound but I have put in a lot of time working towards emerging from it.
My own journey of letting time be used for healing has included essential oils. They have brought awareness to me of my own needs, sometimes things I didn’t even know I needed. They support my need to take a deeper breath and calm my mind for a minute so I can think or pray or just be. Letting nature and time come to me and wrap me in their embrace supporting the journey I’m in understanding my own heart and how I will use what happen to move forward. It isn’t something I do every day or even plan on my schedule. It is however when I start to feel the trigger of past hurts come to surface again or I see a date on a calendar that makes my heart hurt that I know I need that time. I know my healing isn’t finished or that I need to reflect on that event and how it’s led me to where I am now.
While I don’t believe time can heal all wounds, it can be a gift for those hurts that we need to work through. It can be a space we need to allow ourselves to visit and can work through the journey of healing no matter how long it takes us. It is when we don’t do that and instead ignore it that the burden of the pain continues and time seems to stand still freezing us in a place that doesn’t bring joy to our life once again.
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