Whenever I was upset about a boy as a teenager my mom would say “time heals all wounds”. Among other cliche’s like “there are other fish in the sea”, yada, yada. Back then, it seemed ridiculous that something as nebulous as time could “heal” anything. She mostly used it to apply to things that seemed emotionally unbearable, which to a teenager is just daily life in general, so I heard this statement fairly often. Over time I felt like Nostradamus, I could predict every time she was going to break out the saying.
Now, at 31, when I don’t see my mom everyday, I’ve noticed I apply the statement to the simplest of stressors. In fact, I find more comfort in using it to combat mild stress more than anything severe. A friend of mine uses “this too shall pass” but my inner dialogue is always the voice of my mom saying “time heals all wounds”. I can be the most bubbly person you will ever meet but if I’m upset I can be totally passive aggressive. It’s striking even to me how different my demeanor can be. Friends in my circle have never, and will never, experience it but my partner is a different story. That’s when these words work their magic. It triggers a whole thought process. The next is usually … Why on earth do you feel “wounded”? Then “it’s ok that you do, but WHY are you CHOOSING to feel wounded”? It’s a quick reminder that my feelings are my choice and they can last as long or short as I want.
So many times when we are upset in a relationship we instantly snap back, giving a knee jerk reaction before thinking it through. I created these string of thoughts when I was married to combat my own reactionary communication style. I was very adept at making my feelings and emotions the fault of my partner. By reminding myself of a coping mechanism more fitted for extreme events it triggers that not everything has to be a big deal. Time really does heal all wounds, big and small. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes, sometimes it’s 50 years, but eventually, it WILL heal.