Have you ever suffered a really serious injury? Something like a broken arm or leg, or another significant injury that required medical treatment?
If you have, you no doubt remember exactly when the injury happened.
Nobody can blame us for remembering the exact date and time when an injury happened to us.
“I’ll never forget the day I broke my arm. It hurt so bad. It was a Saturday while playing football in the backyard.”
“I’ll never forget the night my wife said she wanted a divorce. It was such a devasating moment, I was so hurt by it.”
Yes, we can remember the exact moment when we were hurt, whether that hurt was physical or emotional. But can we remember the exact moment when we were healed?
“Healing is an art. It takes time, it takes practice. It takes loves.” Maza Dohta
It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Of course you remember when you got hurt, but do you remember when you were healed? Do you remember the exact day and time your arm stopped causing you pain? Do you remember the exact day and time that you finally got over the emotional pain of your break-up and moved on with your life?
Of course you don’t. Because unlike injury – which most often happens at a specific time and place – healing is a process. It takes time. And that process is ongoing, something that requires a lot of practice and a lot of love.
One of our coaching clients broke his arm playing university football about a decade ago. It happened during a practice and he still talks about it to this day.
“I’d been really lucky up until then,” he remembered. “Never got anything more serious than the usual bumps and bruises an athlete is going to get, even though I played sports like football and rugby.
“But man, that day when I fell in practice and broke my arm, honest to God that was incredible pain. That really hurt. I will never forget that day.”
We then asked him what we just asked you about healing – we asked him if he remembered when his arm was healed.
He just gave us a funny stare, and eventually admitted he couldn’t remember when his arm was “healed” completely. But it did. His arm is perfectly fine now.
Like anyone who goes through the healing from a major injury, our client underwent surgery, had his arm put in a cast and did some therapy. It happened to him 10 years ago, and he rarely even thinks about it now.
“I have a small scar still, you can barely see it. But honestly, my arm healed completely and it’s as strong as it ever was,” he adds. “But when it healed exactly? Not sure!”
“Scars are not injuries, Tanner Sack. A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.”
― China Miéville, The Scar
His healing was a process. Although his arm causes him no pain at all now, and hasn’t for a long time, it took several months of healing before the pain subsided to the point he never even noticed it was no longer there.
He was lucky of course. Some severe injuries never completely heal and unfortunately some people have to endure some life-long pain. But even the vast majority of them eventually heal somewhat and people are able to move on with their lives.
But ask them when the exact time that was – and they won’t be able to tell you.
Emotional pain can be devasating as well. An emotional hurt from a painful break-up or other trauma is something we can never forget, nor should we. People who have been through it can tell you the exact day the trauma climaxed, but can they tell you the exact day they were healed enough to be able to move on with their lives with some sense of peace? Likely not.
“When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.”― Rabindranath Tagore
We will all face injury of some kind in our lives. It’s an unavoidable part of living. And we will carry the scars of those hurts with us, either physically or mentally, perhaps forever. But a day will come when we will consider ourselves healed, whether that’s from a broken arm or a broken marriage.
We still might carry a scar as a result of it like our client does, and we may never really fully recover from an emotional turmoil, but it will get better and heal if we learn to embrace healing as a process.
Healing takes time. An accident can happen in seconds - it’s an event; healing can take months or even years - it’s a process.
It’s important to remember this whenever we are battling an injury of any kind. When we are first put in a cast after a broken arm, or are in the eraly stages of a post-break-up, it can seem that we are never going to heal.
We want the pain to go away completely and we want it gone now! The pain we are experiencing sometimes is all encompsing and very difficult to deal with. But time does heal all wounds if we are open to letting the healing process unfold.
There may always be a scar, but that scar is a sign of our healing. One day you will look back at your injury and say “I’ll always remember the day it happened.” But your healing will not be an event, it will be a process.
Have faith in the process. Give yourself time to heal. One day your scars will be a sign of your survival. Your healing will come – you just might not realize exactly when it did!
Thank you for reading! TEAMMATES podcasts with Chris DePiero, Jim Rooney and Roger Lajoie are available at http://www.rogerlajoie.com/teammates.html. Please follow our daily Twitter tweets on Twitter and Facebook posts @TeammatesTrio. For more information on our personal developing coaching and courses, you can email email@example.com. We are always happy to help you discover the many ways to make YOUR life richer by having a TEAMMATE working with you.
Have a great week!
TEAMMATES BLOG NO. 16
Healing is a process and it takes time. But you do eventually heal...
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