Friday, 17 August 2012

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

Steve Arterburn does not think time will heal all wounds.  In his book Healing is a Choice, he states, “what is true of physical pain and the body is true for emotional pain and the soul…if time does not heal all physical pain, it’s not likely to heal emotional pain.”

Any number of people that I have counseled over the past several years have been plagued by wounds that were inflicted when they were relatively young and those wounds are still being felt.  In addition to the ever present pain, the wounds of the past are affecting their marriage.
In the chapter dealing with “time” being a healer Arterburn offers the following self-assessment to help you determine whether or not you have been deceived by this old bromide.

1.    Explore your ungrieved losses.  Try to be specific regarding the issue(s) troubling you.  In this case Arterburn suggests that you experience the grieving process just as you would for someone who died only the loss is not a person but it could the loss of a “childhood”, affection, encouragement, love, touch, etc.

2.    How does the problem continue to impact your life?  For example if you were physically abused is it affecting your ability to enjoy the intimacy of marriage?

3.    Is there collateral damage?  The pain has caused you to be untrusting, or isolated or misunderstood, etc.

4.    Are you stuck in your memories?

5.    Are your emotions failing you?  You can no longer cry even though that would be the proper response to a given situation.

6.    How is your anger impacting you?

7.    Have you taken the first steps toward forgiveness?

8.    Have you reached the core issue?  It could be the loss of innocence, a loss of childhood, a loss of feeling wanted and loved, etc.

9.    Have you grieved?  Have you gone through the same process that one experiences when losing a loved one?   You must grieve your loss and then eventually put it behind you just as we do when we someone we love dies.

10. Do you sense that you are recovering?

Arterburn follows up by saying, “It is important  to ask yourself where you are in each of those stages.  Time doesn’t heal wounds, but the exchanged wounds are usually bitterness, hatred, denial, rejection, and a cold absence of emotions…If you are stuck in the same place with the same thoughts and the same patterns and the same behaviors  your results will be the same.  Either you begin a proactive healing process or hope that time will cure you – it won’t.”

This is an issue of the heart and only the Holy Spirit can perform the kind of heart surgery you need so desperately.

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