People who have lost a loved one know today's myth of "Time Heals All Wounds" to be completely untrue. The initial impact lessens but your heart never completely heals over from the death of someone you love. There will always be an open part of your heart that misses the other person. And as along as that unhealed part isn't keeping you from living your life, it's perfectly healthy and okay.
The pain of a loss does lessen over time but there are still profound moments of just missing the person who died or wishing they were still here. That initial heavy grief should become less over time but the loss itself and the person lost will still impact your life.
When It Sounds Good to Say but It Keeps People from Seeking Help
The other part of looking at this statement is to see how saying it can sometimes keep you from seeking help from others when you might need it. If you are waiting for time to heal something but the pain is actually getting worse, it's important to reach out and get the help you need.
When well-meaning people say that time heals all wounds, they often don't understand how that can actually be minimizing someone's current level of pain or keeping people stuck in a situation where they actually don't have the coping skills to fix it. Some of life's most important coping skills aren't always that intuitive and easy to figure out.
If time isn't lessening your hurt and it's keeping you from living your life, it's time to seek help from a close friend or a professional.
A Dalai Lama Story
The Dalai Lama was once consulted by an older monk who wanted to do a yoga practice. The DL told him he was too old to start up such a physically demanding routine. Believing in reincarnation and really wanting to do the practice, the monk who sought the DL's council actually killed himself hoping that when he was reborn he would be able to do the practice he wanted. This really impacted the DL and he felt immense grief and a real sense of personal responsibility for what the monk had done.
When the DL was asked how he got over the impact of the monk killing himself, he responded that he hadn't -- that a piece of it was still there in his heart. He had the skills to deal with and process what happened but the impact of it definitely still influences how he gives council to the other monks and people who seek him out for advice.
All Those Lesser Moments
There are lesser things like being offended by someone, arguments and minor conflict, being rejected by a crush, or even relationship breakups that can completely heal over with time. It's important, though, to realize and accept the larger things that leave their scars. It's the danger of blanket statements. It's understanding when something is true -- and when it is not -- that becomes important.
Today's Myth Corrected
When you combine time with adequate coping skills, your wounds will lessen over time. They may never fully heal or you may be left with scars -- and that is okay. It's also important to recognize when time is actually making something worse and to be able to seek help from the people around you or a professional when you need it.
Learning and Education Blog
Covering everything from mindfulness, educational leadership skills, and emotional intelligence.