In last week’s blog I talked about the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. This week I begin the journey of focusing on healing a wound that holds your heart tethered to pain.
Archives for November 2012
“The first pressure of sorrow crushes out from our hearts the best wine; afterwards the constant weight of it brings forth bitterness, the taste and stain from the lees of the vat.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
While vacationing in Hawaii with my friend Jeanette in May of this year, we spoke often about the process of forgiveness. A Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and a feminist liberation theologian, her focus is on worldwide peace and justice. I especially appreciated these discussions because of her work with indigenous peoples in various countries who have suffered unimaginable assaults. We pondered the whys and how’s of forgiveness. The following series of articles stems from these discussions. To begin, I asked Jeanette to help me discern the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.
“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.” -Elie Wiesel
November is often referred to as gratitude month, probably due to the celebration of Thanksgiving. The origin of the day can be traced to the Americas. The earlier celebrations have been attributed to Canada to give thanks for; surviving the long sailing journey from England through the exposures to storms and massive icebergs, bountiful harvests and the arrival of more settlers. In the United States, the holiday is mostly traced to the 1621 celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in appreciation of the fall harvest. Regardless of its origins, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and a precious reminder of the principal of giving thanks regardless of ones religious or non-religious beliefs.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” (Anthony Robbins)
For several years I had envisioned a detailed picture hanging on my bedroom wall. I imagined red flowers, old buildings and the sea beckoning in the background. The image was so real that you would have thought I had actually seen the exact scene somewhere in my travels. As we were remodeling our bedroom, we began a search for something close to the image I held in my mind’s eye, combing through hundreds of on-line – works of art. Then last week, my husband and I walked into Ross’s and viola, there was the precise picture, framed and all. We stood speechless, alternately staring – at the picture and each other.