Any journey of forgiveness or healing have some things in common. Most notably, both are non-linear and unpredictable. The saying that “the best way out is through” also applies to both experiences.
I have a lot of experience with forgiveness and healing in a variety of contexts. Years worth of experience. Yet I still encounter new expressions of both journeys and new experiences with deeper levels of both. And while I’m very familiar with them, I wouldn’t exactly say either is comfortable.
From where I was staying in New Orleans to the mastermind retreat I attended, Lake Ponchartrain lies in between. In order to get where I was going, I ended up on the bridge that crosses that lake; the experience of which I found very similar to navigating both forgiveness and healing.
Calling this road a bridge is misleading, it could qualify as its own zip code it’s so long. There is a very long time when land simply isn’t visible. You can’t see where you’ve been and can’t see where you’re going; I found it highly anxiety inducing. The first time I drove that bridge I didn’t relax my grip on the steering wheel until I was back on land. I seriously considered taking the long way around on the way back, but reminded myself that the best way out is just through.
This bridge and experience were an interesting parallel to something that came up within the retreat: the awareness that I hadn’t fully forgiven a particular person. I thought that I had forgiven them, but it turns out I was still holding on to some resentment toward them.
In fact, my internal reaction to reading words about forgiveness on the page was….Ugh! I don’t want to go back here again. And it surprised me to realize I still had forgiveness work to do within myself related to this person.
Forgiveness and healing are much like grief in their unpredictable and swirling processes. Maybe familiarity with all three journeys is why I engage in conversations about them so willingly with anyone from friends to strangers.
Forgiveness, healing, grief are processes. There is no map and there is no magic pill in order to get to the other side. Much like my experience of driving that bridge…the best way out is through and even when it’s wildly uncomfortable; I can choose to breathe, relax, and trust the process as it unfolds.
Maybe all are journeys of progress rather than perfection. Journeys that get, if not easy, more possible by leaning toward willingness. This person I’d been unknowingly resentful of may or may not ever know about my journey of forgiving them. But that’s the point of forgiveness: it’s not about their peace, it is about mine.
Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Reality of Forgiveness and Healing”
The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression