There’s an old adage that says, “Time heals all wounds.” But that’s not really true.
In reality, things do generally get better over the course of time, but that’s not the same as healing. Healing means to restore health or soundness, or to relieve distress. Time itself can’t do any of these things. But it’s what we do with our time that has the potential to help us heal.
We all face challenges that leave us feeling lost, disheartened, wounded, or broken. When we’re in the midst of them, it feels as though we’re never going to be well or feel positive again. But that’s not true either.
We heal by finding new ways to progress and move forward in life. Here are just a few ideas:
Invite old and new friends back into your world. Positive interactions with other human beings bring us immeasurable benefit. Sometimes when we’re not at our best, it takes someone else to draw our best back out of us. Don’t be afraid to develop new relationships.
Quit what isn’t working. Maybe a friend has suggested something to you that helped them when they were going through a tough time—yoga, music lessons, kick-boxing, or painting. All of these are valid suggestions; however, not everything works for everybody. So if you’re not receiving a benefit from it, it’s time to get rid of it.
Declutter your life. Honestly, there is nothing like a good housecleaning (literally and figuratively). Get rid of everything that draws you back to difficult times, or hurtful memories, and keep only those things you truly cherish. Sometimes a clean slate helps us to be able to write a new story.
And speaking of—tell your story. It’s ok to share your pain, and to be honest about what’s been going on in your life. Of course, you’ll want to do this with trusted and appropriate people, and in appropriate settings. But don’t downplay your feelings, and never apologize for where you’ve been. Whether you’ve been sad, depressed, angry, or any myriad of other negative emotions, you can be assured others have felt those same things too, and they understand more than you think.
Be your own champion. Stop telling yourself “I’ll be happy when….” Instead, focus on your journey. It’s ok if things aren’t perfect now. You’ve been through a difficult time, but you’re taking steps to change that, and to find healing. Take pride in the process. It shows you how strong you really are.
Time can only do so much; it’s you who will have to make the effort. But you can find your way back to health, healing, and happiness again. Tough times never last, but tough people do.