NaBloPoMo: Healing: Does Time Heal All Wounds?

Do you believe that time heals all wounds?

NaBloPoMo:  15th September 2014

The grande olde dame that is my Penguin English Dictionary, 2nd Edition (published in 1965) defines heal(ing) as:

cure, make sound or healthy; (of wounds) close up and form new skin;

(figurative) repair; restore peace of mind to ~

Where to go with this prompt without understanding the concept of time or how our brain deals with such an intangible.  Our brains make sense of time by utilising processes linked to memory and attention.  Time will seem to pass by more quickly when we are absorbed in an activity that requires attention because a brain’s happy chemical (dopamine), when triggered, speeds up our perception of time.  Conversely when the neurotransmitter dopamine has not been triggered (by a pleasurable activating event) our perception of time slows; when we’re bored or sad, depressed or lonely.  Interestingly then our perception of time can reveal our emotional state: time flies when you’re having fun; time is dragging, why can’t this be over, it’s taking forever! Given Penguin’s definition of healing being a restoration of peace of mind and the closing up of a wound and forming a new skin (scar) and how the brain deals with time, I’d have to say time does not heal all wounds.  Unless we were able to forget (have no memory) of the event that caused the hurt just maybe time could heal all wounds.   In the meantime while we have memory, we will carry old wounds that will not be cured.  Most of us come to a place where the emotional angst has reduced to the degree we are able to be objective about the wound.  While the wound may be covered in scar tissue and the emotional pain lessen in time, the memory remains and as long as we have memory we will pay attention to it! Of course we could argue that scar tissue is evidence of healing which would be true of physical wounds.  However, emotional and psychological woundings run deeper and as we protect ourselves from the emotional responses of these wounds we may indeed become less extreme in our responses to their memories.  However, the final word belongs to Rose Kennedy.

“It has been said, ‘Time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree.  The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone.”—Rose Kennedy



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