To heal. To me, the term conjures a string of related words and a host of related thoughts behind them. Healing leaves scars from wounds. Those wounds and their consequent scars may be physical or emotional or a combination. Whether injuries are minor or traumatic beyond description, scars left in their wake suggest restoration. Scars, though, sometimes lie. Scars that appear as confirmation of healing may be merely imposters masquerading as recovery; scabs, easily torn away to reveal the wound underneath.

Scars. They are evidence of injury. Evidence tends to prove or disprove an assertion. In connection with injuries, scars offer proof. But in connection with healing, scars neither prove nor disprove the extent to which healing has taken, or is taking, place. Scars may form in the absence of healing, their energy directed not toward restoration but as armor against further attacks.

A bullet lodged in the belly can remain, its damage camouflaged by new skin. The overt manifestation of the agony of rejection or abandonment can fade and disappear. But the scars left by those wounds do not necessarily offer assurance that healing took place. The bullet can be dislodged. A simple word or an unexpected memory can cause anguish to emerge anew.

A weapon or a word can cause a wound. Whether the afflicted can recover from the trauma depends on innumerable factors.  Recovery does not necessarily translate into healing, though. Recovery might lead only to a scar and ongoing pain. Healing from a wound, in my mind, means returning to a previous state in which the pain from the damage is gone. A scar may remain, but the pain is no longer present. Unless the pain has disappeared, healing is incomplete, at best. Scars may simply hide the damage; or they may preserve it, ensuring the damage lingers on and on.

How does one measure the extent to which a body or mind has healed from an injury? I think most of us can only guess and estimate and assume, when it comes to healing. Certainty is the province of professionals.

My thoughts this morning are fuzzy. I’m trying to wrap my head around something with tentacles and claws. My efforts are not working. The tentacles are wrapping around my neck and the claws are scratching my chest. And I think the beast may be carrying a pistol.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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