I have been reminded this week what an excellent healer time can be, and how much respect we ought to give it as something which can solve our problems.
I wrote up my birth story last week, and I was amazed at what a different perspective I was able to have writing it so long after the event.
I took copious notes shortly after giving birth to ensure that I would always have an accurate record of how things went chronologically, and also have a copy of all my medical notes, so it’s not that the hard facts have changed. It’s that something which traumatised me at the time and contributed massively to a year of postnatal depression is now something that I can genuinely laugh at in parts. I have not forgotten the difficult bits (of which there were many) but they don’t define me anymore. The passage of time means that I am no longer the woman who cries all the time while sitting on a doughnut cushion.
Isn’t it true of so many things? That you should always sleep on a big decision? That you should wait a day or two, rather than firing off an immediate response to an email you don’t like? That we can’t even remember what triggered that big argument with a colleague or friend a few years back?
I can think of so many times in my life when I felt like I was drowning in difficult emotions – stress, or embarrassment, or sadness. I kept a diary through most of my teenage years, so every tiny incident is afforded a full telling. I cringe sometimes when I read back over them and see just how strongly I felt about this, that or the other, when most of those incidents are things that I can now barely remember.
Some things, obviously, take more than time. Sometimes you need to admit that it will take more than just distance from an event to make it something you can live with.
But for the most part, I think our brains are wired to be on our side. I think they work hard to push bad memories to the back, and allow good memories to the front. Difficult memories fade like old photographs, and start to curl at the edges, whereas good memories stay vivid and bright.
Time is a magical, healing thing.
Something to remember next time you’re having a bad day.