December 17 – Healing Ourselves – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.” Buddha

One of the most difficult things about healing from being hurt by others is how to put wounds to rest when those who have hurt us will not give air to the wound, will not admit to their part in causing the pain. I have struggled with this deeply. Time and again, I find myself confusing the want for justice with the need for a witness of the wound.

Physical wounds are hard to miss, but emotional wounds are seldom visible. This is why they must be looked at and acknowledged if we are ever to heal. Yet so often, our pain is compounded by the very human fact that we may never agree on the nature of what happened. If we do, we may never admit it to each other. Or the amends we feel we so deserve may go with the hurtful one to the grave.

As with so many other crucial negotiations of life, what’s required is to honor what lives within us. We must bear witness to ourselves, for there is no power as embracing or forgiving as the authority of that portion of God that lives in each of us.

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