Ever heard the adage that time heals all wounds? Well, I used to be a firm believer of that theory until recently. If you have lived long enough, you will realize that this popular saying is flawed. Time, by itself, has no power to heal anything. The real power or miracle of time is that it affords one the opportunity to reflect on past events and to regulate emotions accordingly. The passage of time could work in or against your favor depending on how you utilize it. For me then, the important factor is what you do with the time you have. I have met many people who are bitter or resentful 20 years after the fact and I have also met those who have become closer 20 years after the fact. You might think that it’s easier to forgive small issues than big issues: again, this is partially incorrect. The definition of big or small is also a matter of perception. You don’t have to like someone or be best friends with them to look past a negative incident, you just must love yourself more and choose to treat yourself better. Sounds confusing? Let me explain. Let’s say you were wrongfully fired from a job because a close friend of yours lied about something important, let’s also suppose you never had the opportunity to exonerate your good name. Suffice it to say that you would be livid, hurt, disappointed, resentful, angry, frustrated, just to mention a few. I would readily agree that this calls for a real “angry feast”. But assuming this happened in 1998 and we are in 2018, do you realize it has already been 20 years? Would you still be angry with that person in the same manner as you were in 1998? What if you never met that person, or that individual passed away robbing you of any hopes for a reconciliation?
The answer would surprise you. For those who answered yes, you prove the point that time by itself, does not heal wounds. For those who responded in the negative, you also prove the point that what you do during the passage of time is what matters most. You have probably pondered over the said incident and realized that there are more significant things in life than that incident, or perhaps, you have gained a new perspective of what might cause someone to react that way or better still, you probably have committed some equally grievous mistakes in your lifetime. Whatever the case might be, if you encounter this same person and don’t feel any animosity towards them, then you truly have freed yourself. On the converse though, if you encounter them after 20 years and you feel that same rage all over again, then you know that you have been a prisoner of your own emotions to the extent that even time can no longer help you. Sometimes, we think we have a lot of time, but truth is we don’t. Each day we live simply means we are closer to our exit point on earth.
A quote by one of the finest and most accomplished person that ever walked the surface of this earth reads “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison”
When a person of his stature makes such a pronouncement after enduring imaginable ills, you must know that there is freedom in forgiveness. The person it frees is you, not the offender. I implore you today to love yourself, “throw the bathwater, not the baby”, choose to live, choose to be free. Time by itself cannot heal wounds, it’s what you do with the time that counts.