This week has been interesting. The end of one year and the ushering in of the next…returning home from a week in my hometown…putting away Christmas decorations…a visit from family…and having a bit of oral surgery.
Yeah, I finally had those pesky wisdom teeth out this week. Much to the surprise of anyone that knows me, this is only the second time I have ever been in surgery. If you don’t know me well, I am incredibly clumsy/daring in my pursuits in life. I’ll show you the rocks in my knee if you ask nicely. Remembering the last time I had surgery, which coincidentally was just a bit north on my multiple-times broken nose, had me rather fearful of getting them removed. So after having five wisdom teeth removed (yes FIVE because I am an overachiever obviously) the surgeon said I would take a bit longer to heal because of my age, thanks doc.
Me being the curious learner that I am I started looking up healing times and methods to aid in recuperating once the anesthesia and loopiness wore off. Trust me when I say, never look at the images of wisdom tooth extraction or dry sockets. I got mildly freaked out. But what I learned upon reflection over the last five days is something that none of those sites, or photos, could quite reveal.
Healing takes time.
I know, I know, this isn’t new to anyone. But I think in this fast-paced environment we all find ourselves in we expect immediate relief and fast-action. I took heed to what the doctor and the nurse said. I listened to my wonderful mom who said I needed to rest and take the medication prescribed. I have to follow protocol and not jump quickly back into eating foods that could set me back. There was discomfort, but I knew I also didn’t need to suffer through it that I had to be diligent (and still do a bit) addressing it before it became worse.
I think that applies to all sorts of circumstances where we need to heal, whether physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. We must dress the wound, taking care to not reopen it but also allowing slow reentry into life. For if you keep a wound completely bandaged and covered it will become dependent upon the shield of safety rather than growing accustomed to situations of life. Daily or even hourly we must be diligent to address areas that need to have salve applied or smoothed over.
Healing from anything must be given the time due it, as well as the space. Eventually though it comes down to testing the waters of the healed wound. We cannot exist in a continual healing state because then we become stagnant, unchanged and untested.
When I busted my knee open (the one full of rocks) I had done it riding my bike and showing off a bit as an eight year old. I couldn’t ride my bike for a while as my knee healed around those rocks, but there came a time where I had to decide on my own whether I would take that curve again and risk hurting for the joy that I had once felt.
Let healing have it’s due time, but also create new joy in process. Never let a scar keep you from taking the curve.