Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Time, Wounds, and Compassion

Does time heal all wounds?There are so many of these old adages around, we sometimes accept them without much thought. There always seems to be some truth to them, but in our desire for the world to be black and white, positive and negative, right and wrong, we say these things as if they were always true.

Yesterday, out of the blue, a young woman with whom I once, many years ago, had a romantic relationship contacted me. She had found some pictures of mine, and she wanted to know if I wanted them sent to me. They were pictures from the time I spent in Europe… a time I do not have many pictures of.

The end of our relationship was not, by far, the worst end to a relationship I have had in my life, but it was very public, as she and I shared a large group of friends that we both stayed in contact with. This was even more of an issue when I began seeing someone else, and introduced her to that group of friends.

So, there were wounds, and I hope time has healed them… but her words got me to thinking, does it always? Are there wounds that are impervious to time? Are there wounds that time only makes worse?

My thoughts went to my time in Bosnia, where time certainly did not heal the wounds between the Bosnian Muslims, Serbs, and Croats. Perhaps time is now doing so, but I think it probably has more to do with NATO generic for imitrex nasal spray peacekeepers than time.

I have a hard time imagining that time is a great healer for victims of sexual abuse, especially when that abuse happens when you are young. Even without that kind of abuse, there are relationships between friends, between families, even between people who barely know each other that not only do not heal with time, but they fester like an untreated infection.

Far from healing, time sometimes becomes a poison that can taint a person’s entire life.

Perhaps it is that time does not do the healing, but time gives us the space for other forces to work upon our lives and hearts that can open up healing. The forces I have in mind are compassion and connection.

With time, we can begin to sense our own connection with the individual or the event that wounded us, and through that connection we can begin to feel compassion for them. Compassion is like water in a dam… once a little begins leaking, it may eventually break open the damn of our wounded pride, our wounded confidence, our wounded hearts, our wounded souls, and our wounded spirits.

And if a little bit of leaking compassion can do that for an individual, imagine what it could do for the world…

If I were to create an adage of time that I could believe in, perhaps it might be “Time can open the door, whether you walk through is up to your heart.”

The courage to step through… that courage comes from compassion and connection.

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