TIME WOUNDS ALL HEELS
“Time wounds all heels” has been attributed by many people to John Lennon as his witty and creative reconstruction of the original saying, “Time heals all wounds”.
After finally having his application for U.S. residency approved by a court in New York in 1976, despite the prolonged and dogged resistance mounted by the Nixon administration - when Lennon was asked what he thought of the people who not only tried to thwart him from getting a Green Card, but also endeavoured to have him deported as an undesirable person - he quipped, “Time wounds all heels!”
No, this wasn’t his original rework of the quote at all. Apparently it first surfaced in the movie “The Marx Brothers Go West”, which was released in 1940, coincidentally, the year of John Lennon’s birth.
Wittingly, or unwittingly, I reckon there is far more wisdom in the revised version of the saying than in the original.
In my opinion the idea that time can heal emotional wounds is not true. Time does nothing of itself, it only passes. It’s what we do with it that counts. It’s the action we take that heals wounds, not just the passing of time.
In my experience, there is much more persuasive evidence that “time wounds all heels”. In other words, if you do something bad to someone, inevitably you get punished.
Continuing the John Lennon theme, his chief protagonist in the U.S.A. was Richard Nixon, and look what happened to him. History is strewn with examples of “bad” guys biting the dust big time. To single out some extreme examples - from Caligula, the depraved Roman Emperor to Adolf Hitler and more recently, Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi – history always catches up with the bad guys (Bashar Assad – watch this space!).
Call it the law of “Karma” which implies - whatever you do comes back to you. Or the biblical proverb, “As you sow, so shall you reap”, which means - your deeds, good or bad, will repay you in kind.
When I look back on my life, I’ve got to say this has been my direct, personal experience. Focusing on the bad things I’ve done driven by egocentric, self-interest or self-gratification where I’ve taken advantage of someone else, and/or hurt someone else – invariably something happens to me that squares the ledger.
Now some people may blame a wrathful God for inflicting punishment on them when they’ve clearly “sinned”. Or perhaps others attribute their punishment to some powerful, but mysterious, universal law of cause and effect. Or, I suspect, many people flatly deny they’ve done something wrong and declare themselves innocent victims if something untoward happens to them. I’d clearly put myself in the latter category.
Looking back on my life experiences, let me tell you how I believe my bad deeds catch up with me.
Whenever I’ve done something at someone else’s expense to satisfy my own wants, or I’ve purposely attacked and hurt someone with words or actions – my ego initially puffs up with victorious righteousness. However, guilt over what I’ve done invariably seeps into my consciousness, even though part of mind fiercely attempts to justify my bad behaviour.
I now know there’s no running away from guilt - it has to be dealt with, or somehow it deals with me. Most often during my life, I’ve tried to get rid of the guilt I was harbouring by dumping it onto someone else through blame or by launching fresh attacks. It’s taken me a long time to realise that projecting my own guilt onto someone else just doesn’t work, it only adds to my stockpile of guilt. And because, in my mind, I know that guilt deserves punishment, somehow at a subconscious level I find ways to punish myself!
Seems weird, I know, to think I can’t blame a mysterious universe or a judgmental God for the bad stuff that always comes my way, and I’m responsible for attracting it to me. I’ve discovered - although part of me still deeply resists the notion - that instead of trying to project my guilt, when I take responsibility for my actions, own up and acknowledge them through genuinely saying “sorry” and apologising, my guilt diminishes and the need to punish myself subsides.
On the other hand, if I do good deeds and put other people’s needs ahead of my own, or I resist the temptation to judge people harshly and attack them, I find - without the baggage of guilt to bear - good things are attracted to me or, at the very least, I have peace of mind.
I hope you haven’t found this posting too preachy, but my intent is only to share with you what I’m learning, even though my application of it still leaves a lot to be desired.
I’d be interested to receive your feedback.