It’s a week before Christmas and it’s this time of year that a major event happened in my life that changed everything forever. A few years later, I find myself looking back with a different perspective. The phrase “time heals all wounds” comes to mind a lot for me during this time. Although, to be honest, when I was in the most painful times, the messiest times, the stormiest times I would defiantly declare “Time does NOT heal all wounds!” When our pain is fresh and when it rocks us to our core, it’s hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel, the idea that time may heal us.
As I look back, I can guarantee that had I simply let the clock tick and the days and months and years go by, my wounds would not have healed at all. Healing requires our participation. It requires us to work through our darkness and open our hearts up to the idea that we can be healed and that we don’t have to stay in our pain.
And it’s tempting to stay in pain - to wallow in it. It almost becomes “addictive” if I dare be so bold. When you are experiencing a dark and painful time, if it continues long enough, it becomes comfortable because it’s now familiar. I remember a time in my life when I no longer wanted to rise up out of my darkness. I had gotten into a deep depression and it was so tempting to just stay there. But in order to heal from the pain we have to decide that we want to have joy and happiness in our lives again.
The thing about having joy is you can’t just sit around waiting for joy and happiness to find you. You must seek it. You must dig deep and decide that you are worthy of having a life of joy and happiness and then you must work for it. You must do the hard work of facing the pain head on - identify it, feel it, and then let it go. I make it sound like an easy 3-step process and it is not. It’s not easy and it’s not linear and it can take a long, long time. But little by little, grace upon grace…we do heal.
If you get a gaping wound and do not have it stitched up, it won’t heal nearly as fast as it would if you attended to it properly. And even with proper care you will be left with a scar that will always remind you of that particular wound. The same is true with the pain that affects our lives in ways we cannot see. If we don’t take the proper measures to help them heal, it will take much longer and we risk “infection” - or the wound getting worse. And the scar that remains, depending on how we cared for that wound will depend on if we gave it proper care or not.
These wounds that change our lives leave scars - often in the form of memories, people and places and anniversaries…and for many of us, the holidays. It’s important to recognize these “scars” when we are confronted by them - recognize them and process them so that we can continue our healing process.
It’s easy to look at what we don’t have - a loved one, “the way things used to be”, money, jobs, etc. But the best thing I have found to do to continue my healing process is to pay no mind when those thoughts of lack come and instead, to focus on and be grateful for all the things I do have and how far I have come in my healing process, even when it’s still ongoing. Healing is always ongoing.