Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Forgotten burns and warm water.

You know that horrible sensation you get, after momentarily forgetting yesterday's sunburn, and stepping into that hot shower today? Well, I burnt my finger on the kettle this morning. Stung like hell! You can't see it now. I mean - gosh, I'm such a baby - you couldn't really see it at the time either, but I could feel it for sure. I tended to it well - ran it under cool water until it finally stopped hurting. It ached for a while after the pain subsided, and after that I eventually I stopped thinking about it.

By the time I'd finished breakfast, I had forgotten the incident ever happened. Then I started washing dishes, the warm water hit, and it stung almost as bad as when I burnt it. I yelped! I'd completely forgotten! My finger - my finger remembered. It was still healing, long after the hurt. The water wasn't even that hot, but my finger was extra sensitive, and it was wary of being hurt again so soon.

As I ran it under cool water again, I wondered to myself: Do our hearts remember being burnt before? There is no damage seen on the surface, are we still healing something deeper? Even though we may have long forgotten the pains of our initial injuries and loss - is this why new, warm love stings old wounds? While we are still healing, are we not extra sensitive and apt to perceiving unintended slights? How do we remind ourselves then, to continue tending to these unseen scars, long after the pain is gone?

* * *

I shared this with Hollye and she added what was missing: "I do think our heart holds onto old wounds, burns, stings, and pain. And new love can remind us, trigger us, into remembering our ouchies. But, our ouchies heal with time, by loving ourselves, working through stuff, etc. Perhaps they may never fully heal, but perhaps we will be stronger, more beautiful, wiser, as we let ourselves feel them and heal them."


  1. Some types of pain are healed, or simply forgotten. Nostalgia seems like its a direct result of this. Possibly some other self destructive behaviours like a person who keeps going out with the same types of abusive partners, or substance abuse.

    Ooh ooh, I bet _all_ pain does. However, the barbs that cause mental pain can hang out in our minds just waiting to be stepped on again. Eventually we learn to stop stepping on them. Or dont.

  2. I just completely restated your last paragraph. Thats fantastic.