Time as a Healer

I met a woman online. One month ago. I’ve never met her in my life. She asked me this: Do you think that time heals everything? This is what I answered:

You asked some pretty interesting questions, ones of which I have found myself perplexed by at some point in my life. Yes, I think that time heals everything. However, I think that there are all different gradations to the scope of healing.

In the Thai language there are actually two completely different words for healing. There is the word dii-kun, which means a state or condition is better than it was prior. Then there is the word haai, which can be loosely translated to mean “all better.” Maybe, even though English doesn’t create the distinct boundaries between these two states, that is, in fact, how the art of healing works. I do think that time heals everything, but I don’t know if I’d go as far to say that it makes everything all better. Maybe we’re never “all better” from emotional wounds after all. We wear those healing remnants like scars for the rest of our lives; we just need to find a way to make them beautiful and wear them proudly. Almost an impossible feat, right?

I, like everyone else in this world, am still healing from past experiences. On difficult days I look toward the old adage of “time heals everything” to get me through. Those are the moments that I feel powerless over my emotions, but time, being something outside of my body, my control, can take the reigns for me when I cannot. This reminds me of the religious tale about the man who walks along the beach with two sets of footprints. Maybe you have heard of this before? Before I tell you that I must say that I am not a religious person and have spent most of my life avoiding stepping foot in church, but I’ve come to realize even it is a place that offers some insightful messages if we can look past the rigid structure.

Anyhow, I’m simplifying this story, but it goes: A man walks along the beach leaving his footprints in the sand and notices that everywhere he goes there are two sets of footprints. He realizes that this is God walking along by his side everywhere that he goes. One day, he notices that there are only one set of footprints and he gets angry with God for abandoning him. Angrily, he says to God, “Why did you leave my side when I needed you most?” God says to him, “Dear boy, don’t you see? I was with you the whole time. When you saw only one set of footprints in the sand, it is then that I carried you.”

This story always hit a profoundly deep nerve within me. Maybe those adages help carry us until we find a way to better heal ourselves, find a way to wear the emotional scars proudly and realize how far we have come, not in spite of them, but because of them.


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