“The process of forgiveness always involves grieving before letting go.”
~Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Church
It should be no surprise to us that the processes leading to forgiveness are often hard fought and lengthy in their entirety. I have often written about the miraculous nature of forgiveness; the truth is, through prayer, we have a mode of revealing and dealing with our pain. That is how forgiveness works—the process of grieving involves feeling all of our pain. This can sound scary. But where we meet our pain head-on we stand to be recovered and healed.
Feeling the pain in our grief is essential in becoming transformed, healed, and renewed.
Not Dealing With The Pain – Denying It
If we don’t feel the pain of our grief, and the process leading to forgiveness is just one manifestation requiring grieving, we can’t experience full recovery. Normally people will be tempted to use substances or do other disadvantageous things in order to anaesthetise themselves from the pain.
It is a hard fact, but it is nonetheless true, the harder we can meet the pain, with the softness of heart, and in the Presence of God, the more effective our healing becomes.
Perhaps the worst thing we can do is to drink or drug the pain away. But if we have we can still access healing if we meet it truthfully, now. Many have used alcohol and drugs in this way, in order to cope with the pressures of life. Then when things really turned pear-shaped on a bender they went. We can readily see how people are induced into chronic alcoholism and drug addiction.
We cannot use the substances to mask our pain and expect that the pain would go away. A band-aid solution won’t do. There is no other way but to meet the pain head-on, and feel it in the full presence of our emotions.
Feeling the Pain
Is there are any easy way of putting this? No, there isn’t. What is stated is the truth. And it takes much courage to hold that truth in our minds and feel it in our hearts.
Feeling the pain is painful—nothing simpler really. But feeling the pain, and denying none of it, being totally open, is the sure and certain way to feeling better. But grieving still takes too long. We need to be aware of this. Not only is the pain we invite painful, it takes longer than we think to become better. But what we do get is glimpses of healing along the way. These glimpses are something to possess, to take hold of, to grasp and cherish. They are shimmering visions of what is still coming. We must have faith that healing, in its fullness, will come, because it will.
When we feel the pain of our losses, really grieving them, the process of grief takes place and can conclude in its own time.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.