Time Heals All Wounds?

There’s a popular saying about time healing all wounds. A few years ago, I began questioning the truth of that saying.

Why is it that my curious mind can’t just accept popular sayings, instead of always wondering about the truth of them?

As time moves forward, there is an element of healing that might happen as distance is placed between us and the wound… whether that wound is to our body, mind or spirit.

But for wounds to any part of ourselves to fully heal, they need proper care. We generally recognize this for our bodies. I would not be walking and running on my own two legs if the injuries I had would not have received proper medical care.

But too often wounds to the mind and spirit aren’t recognized and/or properly cared for. They cannot be shoved under a rug with the assumption that time will heal them. My rewrite of the saying is…

Time heals wounds …
if the wound receives proper care.

Many people are not living fully alive due to emotional wounds and the resulting brokenness. In reality, they die before they die. And time and time again, we see and hear of incidents where an individual hurts themselves or others and they give a reason of pain earlier in their life that led them to do it.

The shooter in the Amish School shootings wrote about the pain of losing a child nine years earlier. From wikipedia: One note Roberts left behind indicated his despondency over a daughter who died approximately twenty minutes after her birth nine years earlier. 

I read a tough story a few days ago about Bill Zellers … a young man who recently took his own life. He left a long suicide note describing pain he has carried since childhood.

The only reason I’m able to be hopeful and to live life to the fullest now is because I  received counseling which helped me process the trauma of the accident and its after effects and because I read widely and allowed some of my mindsets to change.

I’m not saying time isn’t important … time is a big factor in healing. Even with proper care, my injuries took months to heal … time and rest were a big part of their healing. Along with counseling, it took months, even years, for me to feel renewal and hope again.

All wounds need time … and all wounds need proper care.

Let’s be aware of our own brokenness… and also encourage the people around us to deal with their pain… using both time and proper care.

So your turn … do you think time heals wounds?


I write more about my discovery of needing more than time to heal in my memoir, Because I Can. 


  1. Shelly
    January 11, 2011 | 11:20 AM| Reply

    I wonder if this is one of those quotes that part is often left out. Kind of like Romans 8:28-God works all things together for good…and quote often ends there! We often forget the next part that says “who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Too often the first part of this verse is used as cart blanche for our bad choices…when you read it all…not so! I’m not saying God can’t use our poor choices to bring good-however my poor choices are not Gods purposes for my life. So…I wonder if there is more to this original quote: ‘time heals all wounds’ too. Good thoughts Janet :)

  2. katdish
    January 11, 2011 | 11:32 AM| Reply

    Do I think time heals all wounds? Honestly, no. Some wounds never completely heal. I think of parents whose children have died, how can that type of wound every completely heal? I suppose for me it’s more about choosing to be among the walking wounded, and choosing to allow your experiences as a way to support and encourage others who have similar wounds.

    • Janet Ober
      January 11, 2011 | 05:24 PM| Reply

      Very true … thanks Kathy!

  3. Duane Scott
    January 11, 2011 | 12:00 PM| Reply

    What a nice objective to share!

    I’ve always believed that phrase, hook line and sinker.

    But now I like what you added. “With Proper Care”.

    It’s up to us, the broken, to heal the broken and administer this care.

    • Janet Ober
      January 11, 2011 | 05:27 PM| Reply

      Duane … your last line is right on! At one time, I wanted to wait until I was all ‘fixed up and not broken anymore’ before I felt like I have anything to offer others. I realized that’s never going to happen, so I need to reach out in the middle of my own brokenness to others that need care.

  4. Helen
    January 11, 2011 | 12:00 PM| Reply

    I’m with you. I’ve often thought that wounds left untended accept for time become infected and may eventually require an amputation… Better to tend the wounds, I say!

    • Janet Ober
      January 11, 2011 | 05:29 PM| Reply

      Thanks Helen … you’ve just given me fodder for another blog post to compare the body, mind and spirit wounds a few steps farther.

  5. Scott Couchenour
    January 11, 2011 | 12:05 PM| Reply

    Nice perspective on an old adage. I’ve also hear it revised this way:

    Time doesn’t heal all wounds. God heals all wounds and He uses time.

    • Janet Ober
      January 11, 2011 | 05:31 PM| Reply

      Hi Scott … that a cool way to look at it. And doesn’t God often use his hands and feet on earth, doctors/counselors/friends/mentors/etc. to help heal wounds?

  6. Ginny (MAD21)
    January 11, 2011 | 12:24 PM| Reply

    Wow. I love the new saying and totally agree with you. What a great post, Michelle! Thanks!

  7. kathleen Overby
    January 11, 2011 | 01:16 PM| Reply

    what katdish said. exactly.

  8. Lisa notes…
    January 11, 2011 | 02:55 PM| Reply

    I think you are right on: “Time heals all wounds … if the wound receives proper care.” I’ve known many bitter people who have had a LOT of time for their wounds to heal, but they didn’t. Time is one factor, but alone, it’s not enough. Thanks for sharing.

    • Janet Ober
      January 11, 2011 | 05:32 PM| Reply

      Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by.
      Yes too often wounds can make us bitter or better … depending on the care we do or do not receive.

  9. Peter P
    January 11, 2011 | 02:55 PM| Reply

    Great perspective… and from someone who can speak authoritatively on the subject!

    Thanks for joining the carnival today!

    • Janet Ober
      January 11, 2011 | 05:34 PM| Reply

      Yes Peter … unfortunately I can. I would have preferred to skip that chapter of my life … but that’s not an option I have, so therefore I will do the best I can with what I have.

      (I’m so happy everyone’s picture and name can be seen now – thanks!)

  10. Candy
    January 12, 2011 | 10:09 PM| Reply

    I think time allows us to adapt to wounds. It changes our perspective. Sometimes it’s best they don’t heal and go away completely. How else could we be grateful and rejoice about how far we’ve come?

  11. Hazel I. Moon
    January 13, 2011 | 09:42 PM| Reply

    I liked your addition to the phrase: “Time heals all wounds … if the wound receives proper care.”
    You gave us a lot to consider and being a good listener to the hurting goes a long way in their recovery. I am happy that you had an Audry to be your friend.

  12. Genevieve Thul @ Turquoise Gates
    February 05, 2011 | 12:43 PM| Reply

    I’ve always wished I could just take the easy road, too. But my darn brain gets in the way. I’m currently in the process of opening up an old wound that didn’t receive proper care as it was healing. I included my post, The Wound That Blinds, on Elizabeth Esther’s blog hop today. You might enjoy it, since we *sort of* wrote about the same thing.

    • Janet Ober
      February 05, 2011 | 09:48 PM| Reply

      Thanks! I loved your post … but I’m sorry you are dealing with an old wound.
      Breathe deep … one step at a time, you will make it.

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  14. Clint Arbogast
    December 11, 2011 | 11:58 PM| Reply

    I’ve prayed for God to heal my wife.  I see small improvements but I do not see healing I do see months of pain, anguish, suffering, tears, and yes, at times smiles and joy.  But still she is not healed.  She has lived her life for God and the Glory in his name but still he has not healed her.  I pray …….. Heal Her…

    • Janet Oberholtzer
      December 12, 2011 | 07:18 AM| Reply

      I’m sorry about wife’s pain and suffering. And I’m sorry for your disappointment that she isn’t healed. 
      The mysteries of life are frustrating and often out of our control, but what you can control is what you do each day. Find something today that brings you joy, take some deep breaths and know that life is worth living even though it isn’t like we wish it would be. 

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  16. notalways
    April 01, 2012 | 10:52 AM| Reply

    you know some wounds are fatal…. physically if you receive a fatal wound you either die right away or die slowly… or you live but under reduced circumstances… so it’s the same thing with wound to the spirit…  not all wounds are healed by time, with or without proper care… 

    • Janet Oberholtzer
      April 01, 2012 | 11:30 AM| Reply

      Good point, notalways. And sadly, very true.

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