Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

Among the most frequently repeated phrases about suffering is that “time heals all wounds” or “this too shall pass.” Time passes. It does not heal. Healing is an active process not a passive one.

If we have a cut and do nothing to clean it out or do not apply a salve, it will probably still form a scab. It may take longer and first develop an infection but the wound will most likely close and leave a scar.

When we experience woundings to our heart, soul, and mind, if feels as if we have been torn open. Sometimes we are bleeding, figuratively, from every orifice of our bodies. Eventually the bleeding stops and the wound closes, but what has closed inside? Have we healed or just closed up with our anger, fear, resentment, and doubt inside?

To heal is to come back into that lost wholeness.

Time does not heal. But healing does take time. Give yourself the gift of time. To become whole means that as we open to pain, we open to the loss. We break open and, as a consequence, we get bigger and include more of life. We include what would have been “lost” to us if our hearts and minds had closed against the pain. We include what would have been lost if we had not take the time to heal. As singer/songwriter Carly Simon tells us: “There’s more room in a broken heart.”

– Adapted from Healing Through the Shadow of Loss, by Deborah Morris Coryell

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