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“What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” – Shakespeare
My oldest daughters, Emily and Brittany, have always been ridiculously busy…running here, running there, getting into this while keeping that merrily on their radar. They’re just 13 months apart, so they were always partners in crime. When we heard a crash, we’d always hear Britt say, “Uh Oh” while Em tried to shoosh her. (Emily always figured the best tactic would be to try to repair the damage without anyone being the wiser – nevermind the fact the bams and bangs always came before the “Uh Oh.”
Anyway, the twosome always managed to get cuts and scrapes – usually on their knees or elbows. Often they’d get the injuries on the same day, but the healing almost always differed in duration. Emily, for all her wonderful traits, is a scab picker. She comes by it honest – I’m the champion, after all. So, being a picker, her wounds always took longer to heal. Britt never so much as touched her scabs, let alone picked at them (although when they were 3 and 4 Emily would try to pick them for her.)
I was thinking about emotional wounds the other day – I was writing an article – and it ocurred to me that if we would treat our emotional wounds the way we SHOULD treat our physical wounds, they’d heal a lot faster.
Have you ever known someone who had endured something really bad who insisted on reliving it again and again and again? I’ve always thought that each time you review or retell something, you relive it….feeling the emotions all over again. And again. And again.
Yes, some things need to be talked out – but only if doing so is productive, and only up to a point. Each time an incident is relived, it’s equilavent to peeling back the scab on a physical wound and pouring nail polish remover over the exposed flesh. Not only does it hurt, it ain’t helping the healing process one bit! The word sadistic kind of comes to mind.
Now having said all that, many people relive situations in order to help others – and many times, in doing so, they feel the pain over and over, yet they want to help other people through darkness they’ve been through, so they make the sacrifice. That’s something different all together, and I wish I could give them each a big ol’ Kentucky hug.
Wounds – be they physical or emotional – need time to heal. And the sooner we stop opening them up to look inside, the sooner they’ll do so.
Make each moment count double,