Does Time Heal All Wounds?

Some years ago, three of my closest relationships ended in a span of two months. I was heartbroken. In my mind, I had committed so much love, time and energy to these relationships and I judged these friends as ungrateful and selfish. I obviously couldn’t know what they were experiencing, even if they shared their reasons for breaking things off. In that hurt, even if I could consider their points of view, I wondered why wouldn’t they sit with me, through the discomfort of our conflicts, to get to the other side? Sometimes, this is the source of our greatest pain – the ending of a relationship, without clarity and understanding as to why, deprived of the opportunity to work through things and get to mutual understanding and resolution.

When relationships end, this can often feel like a trauma. But contrary to what we’ve been taught, the event itself may not be the trauma. Renowned physician Gabor Mate says, “trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you.” This way of thinking about our anguish enables us to consider that neither the ending or loss of the relationship, nor the not knowing is the cause of suffering. Rather, what we are experiencing inside, how we interpret and relate to the loss, is the trauma.

This we can work with!

The power of reflection.

For years I came back to these events, sitting with internal conflict, working through my feelings for these friends, while simultaneously looking for some kind of validation that they were wrong, and I was right…or something like that. Given what I do for a living, as soon as I would have those thoughts that “they were wrong” or “to hell with them,” I would remind myself that there would be no satisfaction coming from that point of view. I would remember that if I choose to live my life from a place of personal responsibility and accountability, then focusing on what they did, what they thought, or how “they hurt me” would get me nowhere. Instead, I focused on the feelings that were coming up – the deficit, the loneliness, reminders of childhood pain of other relationships that suddenly ended, including the death of my father when I was 22 – all of this was wrapped up in my internalized experience of all of the relationships that had ended.

This is when I started to ask questions, to look at the patterns, get curious, play back all kinds of experiences in my life, and consider questions like; “what was I thinking at the time” and “what need was I trying to meet”? With curiosity and a desire to heal my wounded self, I focused on the lessons, opportunities, and information that these friendships and their endings presented. As always, with time and reflection, I came to learn a great deal about myself and started to feel a peaceful/neutral place inside when thinking about these women.

And from this neutral place, new possibilities arise, in old and new relationships. So yes, my experience is that time does heal all wounds.

Key Considerations:

Time – When we are in conflict, it feels terrible when we’re in it, and differently 24 hours later, a week later, a month later and so on. Time gives us the gift of a kind of energetic distance from the trauma and with conscious intention, we can work with it rather than “be stuck in it.”

Reflection – When we are willing to take the time to consider our lives from a place of authorship, we are empowered to think, act and manifest, to transform and transcend our trauma.

Personal Accountability – When we declare ourselves as healers of our own trauma, and “own” our inner experience completely, we achieve a kind of self-sovereignty and freedom.

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