I know you’ve heard the well-worn phrase that time heals all wounds. Well, I question that. Does it? It might heal your hurt, if after a while you begin to forget about all the intricacies of the situation that caused such pain. Or most likely it will not, if you choose to hold on tightly to the pain that was inflicted upon you.
Choices–always choices either to move on or to hold on. Only you can decide what your future will be.
I can tell you with certainty that time heals nothing unless you move along with it. Ah, the energy and action it will take on your part to make something good happen from a bad situation. But no matter what you choose, rest assured, either way, it is going to take work to let go or to keep hanging on.
There was a time when I carried a few old grudges on my shoulders. But I learned over time, when I brought them up to my friends, they weren’t interested in my old, sad stories of woe and pain and they would remind me that those were old issues from a time gone by and I should move on and stop bellyaching about them, for goodness’ sake.
Many years ago in a writing class that I took, I was told to write about a time when I was personally hurt. I can remember writing out a scenario in perfect detail down to the last lie they told only to realize when I finished and read it over, that I was disappointed in myself for being so full of bravado about the situation. Really, what was I thinking to have held on so long to the finite details of the lies and downright nastiness of the situation? As I look back even now, it was awful what I went through, so I had to ask myself, why did I hang on? To prove them wrong? To prove that I was stronger than their meanness? To prove that I was better than them?
Oh, my goodness! Talk about a waste of valuable energy on my part! I had to let it go, and I did, because of a simple truth that I believe and trust and it is this: I am author of my life story, and I have the power to change how the story ends. Frankly, it should not end with me being the one who was feeling hurt and angry because the other people in my story don’t care, are dead or have conveniently forgotten.
Talk about taking the wind out of my sails! I have no one to yell at unless I go to another town and find the person or go to the graveyard and yell at their tombstone (I’m pretty sure no one is listening there). How silly of me to be yelling at a tombstone.
I freely admit that I am one of those people who really does not have a great memory. As I tell my friends, my head is a very busy place. There is too much floating around in it to have to keep up with some painful past in a space I could use for something more positive and good, like my new espresso-chocolate icing recipe or my famous orange-cranberry scones or a new coffee blend that I am working on. These are important things to me–not my past, but my present.
It seems to me that if time heals nothing unless you move along with it, then we need to find a way to move along (and quickly, I might add). So that brings me to the idea that it is what you do with the time you have that heals the wound.
In my reading on the topic of moving past the pain, many of the articles really stress that, for some people who have passed through the fire of a painful experience, it is not wise (and it rarely helps with healing) if they throw themselves into numerous activities that keep them so busy they don’t take the time to think, heal or allow space to create a sense of stillness over the issue that caused such grief.
It would seem to make sense to run away from the pain, but the fact is that running only exhausts you and moves you further away from the healing of the situation. Acknowledging and accepting (as hard as that will be) may be the best way to heal–to move along with it instead of running from it.
In this same light, I find that grief and pain many times do go hand-in-hand, and I’ll stay with the idea that time heals nothing unless you move along with it. The choice to forgive or forget or continue the fight is yours and yours alone.
Grief from the loss of a loved one is a deeply personal and profound situation. You will, with time, decide the emotional outcome that is right for you. I would encourage you to consider my words. For those who are searching for resolve from their loss, move along with the memories and allowed time to heal your heart. I love the Irish proverb, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
Probably the number one issue with healing past hurts is that no one wants to be hurt again, so they shut themselves off and think to themselves that they have moved along, but you know that is not what happens when you cover the pain and don’t deal with the wound. If you are not careful, that hidden wound will become infected with hate, anger and rage. Oh, you think you’ve moved along, but the reality is you brought the shouting match with you, and now it is a bigger fight than before.
It is not easy to get past betrayal, infidelity, cheating or someone being disloyal, but that is on them–not on you. Yes, you are bearing the pain and scars and memories (and I think that is the hardest part, especially here at the holidays). But consider this: they are not the person you thought they were–you know that now by their actions–so why are you committed to taking revenge on a stranger?
I concede that sometimes the “stranger” will come around and back to their senses and ask forgiveness and change themselves back to the person they were and that you remember, leaving behind who they became (for someone else). True sorrow and remorse is unusual, but it does happen, and when it does you get to choose the outcome.
So this is where I talk about forgiveness.
I know that is a hard option when you’re still angry and want revenge, or at least to have a lightning bolt strike them. Or have them run out of gas in the rain, in the country, with nothing but cows and sheep for miles around and they have to walk uphill in the snow and rain–see, it got worse for them–only to find the gas station is closed so they have to wait hours for AAA to come with a $75 can of gas.
Come on! You know the emotional, physical and mental value of forgiveness of others as well as for yourself. Let me remind you of the famous Gandhi quote, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
To be able to forgive takes unbelievable, almost superhuman strength. Or if you are a person of faith, strength from a higher power that knows your future as well as your past, and yet you have faith to trust for the strength of your body, soul, mind and spirit.
So what is it going to take for you to move along with your healing?
Dr. King once said, “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
I love the line, “or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force,” a creative force that pushed through the tears and pain and stress and anger and loneliness and moved along with the healing that sets the heart free from any encumbrance that would hold it back.
That is what I want for you, my friend: to move along with your healing so your heart and mind will be free, so you can live your best life ever–the life that you were born for, the calling you have followed, the legacy you will leave–all because you allowed time to heal the wounds of your past and you were willing to move along with it to a better place.
Time heals nothing unless you move along with it…so let’s move.