Despite the very popular saying, time alone does NOT heal all wounds. The memory might fade but healing does not take place spontaneously and automatically as we would all like to believe.
Most of the times we have a tendency to “bury” whatever happened to us and block it from our memory as fast as possible to make the pain go away. Some other times, thanks to time alone, our recollection of the painful event diminishes and some details may disappear from our memory but whenever something similar happens we are reminded of the event and the pain comes back. It’s worse that just a reminder. When we are triggered, we relive the painful experience and we cannot control our reactions any more. This is when we realize there has been little or no healing despite the time that has elapsed…
Don’t get me wrong! It’s not that I don’t believe in our body and mind’s natural ability to heal. Spontaneous healing takes place in nature all the time. Plants and animals get wounded but thanks to their innate capacity to heal they get better and then completely recover sporting scars as a reminder of the wound that healed. In this respect, man is no different from animals and plants. We too have the innate capacity for healing. The problem starts if the wound is so deep and it is taking so long to heal that it risks getting infected from being exposed to “irritants” in the environment. Or, if there is residue of the assaulting agent that prevents the wound from healing and causes an infection. The same goes for disease. Sometimes we need to let nature take its course and have our immune system take care of the “intruder” while others we need medication otherwise we risk permanent damage to our health or even death.
We would seek treatment if we had a physical illness or injury. Why don’t we do the same when we have a psychological issue or an emotional injury?
I’m sorry to have to be so graphic but I only want to illustrate the point that like our physical health, our emotional health cannot always be restored just with time. There are cases of trauma which, unless treated, can leave us incapacitated and could potentially lead to emotional or even physical death!
I know we all understand the concept of death. It’s the absence of life. A physical death is easy to picture; there is stillness and decay. Well, an emotional death is almost the same thing; there is stillness and decay too. Life is movement. Life is change. And every living thing goes with the flow of life. It perceives the new circumstances; it accepts the change and it acts/moves accordingly.
After emotional death has occurred, life goes on but we cannot live it; we do not go with its flow. We are stuck in a particular moment in time and there is resistance; resistance to go with the flow.
Fortunately, emotional death, just like physical death according to many spiritual teachings, doesn’t have to be the end. We can live again! We can be emotionally resuscitated with “assisted” healing.
It takes a lot of courage to seek the kind of healing time alone cannot provide as it entails allowing the pain to be there, experiencing it and examining it rather than burying it.
Seeking “assisted” healing doesn’t necessarily mean seeing a professional, a therapist, a counselor, a hypnotherapist or any other type of healer, although, in most trauma cases, deep work of this kind is necessary and unavoidable for healing to occur.
In rare cases, it could happen through spiritual practices and/or reading books as long as they are combined with positive action and serious personal investment on your part. The investment I am talking about is not necessarily money although, in most cases, we need money to buy books or services. When I talk about personal investment, I mean actively participating in your own healing and not expect a magic wand that will transform your life without you having to lift a finger. Repeating affirmations, for example, rarely works if there is underlying trauma. Nevertheless, reading or talking to someone about it could point you to the right direction so that you can seek the type of healing you need.
Don’t be intimidated by the stigma associated with seeking help in some cultures. Don’t even tell yourself that you are strong and you don’t need help. Seeking help when you need it doesn’t make you weak. On the contrary, it strengthens you even more.
So, if you suffered trauma and you keep finding yourself triggered every time something reminds you of the experience, don’t stay idle for years thinking that time will heal your wound! Take action now! Seek help! You deserve better than this!
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