I used to be someone who believed in the saying, “time heals all wounds”. I would preach this over and over to my friends and often myself. Sad about a relationship ending? Just give it some time and you’ll feel better. Upset about a fight you got into with a friend? Let some time pass and you’ll feel better. But I don’t think I believe in it anymore.
I was recently listening to a podcast (it’s called terrible, thanks for asking for those who love podcasts - it’s a fav of mine) and the topic revolved around grief. Nora, the host was interviewing a woman who had lost her husband tragically at a young age. Throughout their discussion, she kept saying that she didn’t believe time healed all. Which I thought to myself, “of course it does. How else do your wounds heal and your heart begin to mend?”
This woman, who was now unexpectedly a widow, talked about how some women who have gone through similar situations as her but twenty plus years ago are still in the same place emotionally as they were when they first lost their loved one. So time doesn’t necessarily heal all.
That was a perspective I hadn’t heard before. As you’ve gotten to know me, you know there are experiences in my life that I’m still trying to heal from. And I’ve always believed that if I just make it through another week, month, year I’ll feel so much better. But that hasn’t always worked.
Back to the podcast. As their conversation continued, she explained that for her, what heals you is how you process and move through what has caused you pain. Hearing this was so validating for me. This was why I’ve always made therapy such a priority in my life. Because I’m a constant work in progress. But the key is I want to always be progressing. And learning. And growing. I don’t want to stay in the same place.
Okay let’s get real for a minute. I feel like I carry a lot of baggage. Here is what is in my suitcase. Anxiety. Ex relationships. Trust issues. My health (I’m nauseous at least fifty percent of the time). Did I say anxiety?
So if time doesn’t heal all, do we carry our baggage with us for as long as we are here? Maybe! Healing can feel really heavy. Managing your feelings and emotions can feel really heavy. But I’ve found there are things that help lighten the load. Finding people who will carry your bags for you when you’re exhausted - hold onto those people. Acknowledging all the bright and dark spots of your life and learning how to live in peace with both is important. I’m not there every day, but I’m there a lot more than I used to be.
So while time passing is a privilege, and can roll in many new seasons of healing, it's also important to actively challenge yourself to work through whatever pain you are experiencing. And when this feels hard and the days feel long, give yourself grace and start over again tomorrow. Because time is on your side and will help move you in the right direction.