It is challenging to write about Fear and Pain: Fear humbles us, and Pain reminds us that we are mortal heroes at best. Pain and Fear can provide depth to the process of Forgiveness, by exposing the emotional, mental, and spiritual costs. It can be challenging to make room without intentionality: “3’s a crowd”.
In my office, I often observe a heroic internal struggle: Patients desire to forgive in order to gain peace of mind, but The Word seems idealistic and unreal. Letting go is an offense to their pain and fear. Sometimes, the pain and fear are what saved their lives. Sometimes, these feelings helped them step into one healthier life choice that had a domino effect. Letting go of pain or fear that no longer service us, is not simple. Yet staying stuck creates misery. And, my patients feel these for good reason: their experiences are real.
So we wade and marinate through what the anxiety, pain, fear means to them. What the struggle itself means to them. We work through the first, the worst, the most recent, the Pain of the Pain, and the Fear of the Fear. With these conversations, we enrich the cost it takes to forgive, we deepen our appreciation for the worthiness of our human experiences, and we evaluate the honor of moving into a brighter future.
As the old adage goes, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Forgiveness is one of the ways we become heroes of our own messy lives, and heroes in the lives of those we intersect with good deeds in good faith.
Your local therapist friend in Ohio,
Licensed Professional Counselor, EMDR Therapist