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.
Ah what a lovely positive post. You’re right, of course. I try to live my life without regrets, but there are a couple of events in my life which still make me cringe. You’re right though, the passing of time does seem to help those things. Luckily I’ve yet to experience something that hasn’t been made easier with the passing of time.
Oh thank you! I’m glad you saw it as positive – I’ve been worrying that I’ve been a bit of a moan on here recently, so it’s good to hear someone say not!
Lovely post – and I agree, that our brains are wired to process things that get better with time – otherwise we would all be completely bonkers if all our memories remained as raw as the day they happened – some do though, in the case of traumatic events. This post reminds me of that saying – today’s news, tomorrows fish and chip paper. X.
Oh it’s so true – no-one would ever have a second child if the memories of giving birth stayed fresh and clear! I’m wishing I’d called this post Fish and Chips now… xx
I use the thought that “tomorrow is another day” often when I’m in the midst of hell with the kids. It’s so true that when slept on something that seemed impossible will have a solution some days later. Great to remind us though with this thoughtful post.
Thanks for your lovely comment. I think becoming a parent makes this even more true. They let things pass so quickly – tantrums pass and half an hour later they’re so happy again. They don’t hold grudges. And as you say, no matter how bad your day has been you get to start again the next morning.
This is so true. I think, too, that we like things to make sense, and time allows us to weave even painful experiences into a context that becomes part of the story we tell of ourselves.
What a lovely way of putting it. Very true. xx
So true and I guess particularly with child birth otherwise everyone would only have one!
I love Maternity Matters – I must pop over and read your post.
Yes, definitely! I’m sure that’s half the reason we get pumped full of drugs for childbirth, so we don’t remember the worst bits afterwards! xx
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