I used to play a popular game with my brother called Prince of Persia, where we would use our keyboard to guide a man through a series of obstacles. The hardest to get through was the spiked metals that logged themselves into the thighs of the Prince. Time and again, my brother and I would take turns to get to higher levels. Each time the Prince got spiked, he bled and we had to start over again. I had gotten pretty good at Prince of Persia and had almost rescued the princess.
Last week, nostalgia hit hard and I started to play the game again. This was after not playing it for 15 years or more. Each time I started off my character he would go running at my command of pressing the right arrow, but I would get caught up at the first metal spikes on the first round, and time and again I would restart the game and practice the jump so that I wasn’t late in pressing the jump button. Eventually, after 7 attempts I managed to get my hero to jump over the spikes without being hurt and I felt triumphed.
Recently while talking to a friend, she told me that anger has been her enemy of late. That she easily gets upset with her husband and refuses to talk because she believes time will heal, but does time really heal?
One of the hardest tasks is allowing the dust in the form of emotions to settle down so that you may be able to tackle the problem fairly and emotion-free.
Having been divorced 9 years ago and having gone through other forms of hurt, I can honestly say that time was not my healer, but rather self-reflection and a lot of painful conversations that I had to have with myself. I knew that my healing had happened when I was able to talk about the wounds without the tears flowing down my cheek, and when this happened and when I thought that my wounds were gone for life as though a plastic surgeon had grafted my wounds to make the mark disappear – I came to realize that every time my wounds were poked by a memory or a new challenge, the pain came back to life. So then, I started learning to be kind to myself and allowing myself some downtime to deal with the new poke.
We hurt in many ways – illnesses, bad marriages, bad divorces, loss and grief to name a few, but with every challenge, there has to be a time of reflection for it to start the healing progress.
Shock – denial – anger – depression – detachment – dialogue – bargaining and finally acceptance is a normal cycle of what grief looks like. There is a lot of evidence to suggest how the brain processes negative emotions and that many of our ailments are connected to our negative emotions.
Having survived my pains, my humble advice to those still suffering is to know that there is an end to the suffering but only through work. Time alone does not heal anything, it only covers up the wound like a plaster does without healing it.
At the end of the day, we are such resilient creatures that are able to make changes to our lives and to pick up our pieces after being hurt. The question is, are we brave enough to start the healing process?
As I played Prince of Persia last week, it only confirmed one thing to me. Practice makes perfect. My growth and aging did not help me become a better gamer without practice so why would I think that my heart and head will function better with time without any practice?