In spite of good intentions, families can get stuck in the past. This week we offer suggestions gleaned from others about moving forward through old hurts.
“We can continue to live together even if some grievances are unresolved. . . . [We can] love with no need to pre-empt grievance.” Poet Elizabeth Alexander
In other words, don’t wait for an apology that may never come. Let it go, even if that’s hard. “Everything I ever let go had claw marks on it.” Anne Lamott
“Where there is no love, put love and you will draw love out.” Dorothy Day, quoting St. John of the Cross.
In a family conference involving an elderly mother, for instance, brothers and sisters can acknowledge, “We do have some old, angry feelings with each other. But we all love Mom and want good for her. Our love for her is greater than our hurt with each other. We can work together on this.”
“I want not to just tell the story of the wreck, but to go through the wreck itself.” Adrienne Rich, “Driving Into the Wreck.”
“When a point I’m making becomes more important than the person I’m making it to . . . when I lose a sense of the sacredness of another human being, especially the human beings closest to me, the ones in my family,” it becomes crucial to look inward, to speak and act from a quiet center, says contemplative writer Ken Gire in Windows of the Soul.
Please share your own experiences with moving through old hurts by posting a Comment.