“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
How do you feel about the above quote? When something goes wrong in your life do you try to comfort yourself by thinking it will be okay once you give it a little time? Perhaps it isn’t something you have ever really thought about … perhaps you really don’t care?
I have to say that I, for one, always had the mindset that anything life threw at me would lose it’s significance, it’s power to hurt me, once it was given time. Now, mind you, I didn’t come by this attitude from experience, but, rather, it was just something I was told, read, heard … you know, how it is – growing up you hear things and the tag line seems to be “just give it time – time heals all wounds.”
Now, thanks to real life experience, I have come to a different conclusion. My attitude has changed – the impact of time on whatever hurts we experience in life is no longer of the cliché variety.
My life experience mirrors the quote at the top of the page. It isn’t the length of time a person deals with an illness or life changing event, such as my sister’s leg amputation after her motorcycle accident, that makes it any easier to accept, handle, and/or cope with.
I have found time has very little impact on emotional wounds the heart carries because of what illness or an accident has taken away. For one thing, a physical loss from illness or an accident is difficult to hide or conceal, therefore, there is always a reminder of the loss. And then there are the typical activities of life that can serve as triggers – a reminder of how your life has changed. For many, myself included, the changing of the seasons set off a series of triggers pointing to life changes – of all that it could have been “if only”… it is unrelenting because there are constant hits to the heart.
What do I mean? Well, it’s like this. Spring rolls in – time to get out the summer clothes. All the catalogues, commercials, magazine ads, etc. bombard you with the beautiful imagery of being outside in your capri jeans, snappy little wedges, sun top, and hat – you’re grilling on your Weber when suddenly a great beat hits the air and you break out into your own jive dance smiling, happy, loving the start of summer and all that it entails. Or you get your mail and find all your fave magazines have been delivered. Plastered across most of the pages you see the sun baked beauties and muscle clad brawn playing vollyball on the beach or riding bikes, horses or skateboards.
On and on it goes – all that wonderful imagery the advertising world waves in our faces… trying hard (and usually succeeding) to convince us that they, and they alone, have access to the face, the look, the style that says “we own the Summer” and they’re more than happy to sell whatever we need to get the look, the syle, the face and own a piece of summer too. Ahhh, and how I want to own a little of the summer, of my summer! But I can’t. Well, I mean, not in the way that I want to, in the way I used to, and the yearning hits so hard that even I am surprised at it’s intensity.
Part of me thinks I am just being a bit of a brat – sulking like a 2 year old standing in a room full of toys but refusing to play with anything because the favorite toy is missing. Yes, I will own up to a bit of a tantrum because I can’t experience summer the way I want to, so, well, I’m refusing to experience it at all.
And then I talk to my sister, JB, and ask about her summer. She has always been the one most like our mother when it comes to plants, gardening, and animals. Living out in the country, it wasn’t unusual to get a text from her describing a pileated woodpecker she had been watching through her binoculars or sharing something funny about an outdoor project she and her husband were wrapping up. Yes, JB was definitely one to own her slice of summer, that is, until her life was up-ended by the motorcycle accident.
Listening to my sister talk about summer it occurs to me that, perhaps, I haven’t been as bratty as I thought. For, she too, feels she has lost ownership to summer – the way she experienced it. The arbitrary days of summer she always threw herself into have been replaced with various restraints and limits. And just as I had initially responded, her reaction has been to turn her back on it.
How I wanted to tell her that all she needed was to give it more time. I wish I could have assured her that time does, indeed, heal all wounds – but it won’t, it doesn’t. That said, I don’t want to give time a totally bad rap. I mean, after all, it is only after a certain amount of time we discover, without our even being aware of it, that our mindset has started adjusting to the changes in our life.
It is when the mindset starts making adjustments that we are ready to get back to living, not just existing. And it does take time to get to that point. Beyond that, when it comes to wounds inflicted on our life – whether it be from accident or illness – they’re managed and, ultimately, endured when we, not only can get on with our life, but we really want to, we’re ready to get on with life. To live it as a player and not just a spectator because we know we’re going to find ways to forge ahead – it isn’t easy and there will be times we feel too tired and question if we have what it takes to keep pushing forward. The answer is yes. Why? Well, it won’t be because of the passing of time.
We will forge ahead because of our mindset.
Our mindset will feed the determination to face each day, to get through it, while tapping into the imagination for coming up with new inventive ways to accomplish things we used to do without any thought. Of course, interspersed throughout it all should be laughter – we have to be able to laugh. period.
So much in life comes down to attitude – what we are feeding our mind and the degree of responsibility we are willing to accept for the manner in which we deal with a life that has been wounded by accident or illness. No, it isn’t time that heals our wounds … it’s what we do with time.
Quote by Rose Kennedy