THIS IS A FOLLOW-UP TO THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Dealing with a Past That Hurts. It seemed to me that I might have missed a critical component in that first excursus—the role of patience.
In this offering I hope to motivate people who’re hurt to start—or even endure—the process toward forgiveness and healing, for it is no easy road. Indeed, it is probably the most difficult thing we may ever do.
What is no easy road is, however, a most necessary road.
The main deal in life is everyone wants peace and contentment—however they define that. But usually peace and contentment is inherently hinged to a healed soul. So, we can’t feel how we want to feel—if we don’t have peace and contentment—until we take that plunge into our pasts and wrangle with it, often making things worse before they get better. It is a ‘necessary road’ simply because any hurt time is wasted and unnecessarily painful time. We want you back on track the quicker the better.
Now, therein lays our problem! We as human beings want the quick fix—it’s normal to skirt any unnecessary pain.
What amazed me most about the grieving process—when I was recovering from a failed marriage—was the non-linear nature of grief. I would’ve thought beforehand that the Kübler-Ross grief cycle was a pretty simple one-phase-then-the-next-and-so-on issue; it didn’t work that way for me. And I don’t think grief or recovery from vast life hurts ever works as clinically as a model might suggest. We tend to repeat lessons time and again and true healing doesn’t occur until we’ve actually processed each bit. Patience is required. Recovery happens slower than any of us like.
Patience is the missing component. We’re missing out on the spiritual and emotional victories of peace and contentment we could have often because we’re not patient enough to wait for the best.
Patience, especially in the midst of heartache and pain, is the hardest thing. But, it’s entirely worth it. This, afterward, is one of the most inspirational things any human being can have done for themselves—it’s the journey to self and to God at the very same time! God cannot not be part of this.
The truth is, as we look forward for the faint-but-growing-clearer hope we hold out for—that day where life will be happy, and we trudge onward, in spite of our pain, we draw inspiration from ourselves. But it is God “beneath” us, actually inside us, that is making the spiritual and emotional strength available in order that we can do it.
To do the difficult things in life brings us strength and confidence and courage-to-go-again and therefore hope. As we smash past our own expectations and obliterate our own conservative goals we are lifted ever so gently out of our mire.
So, we need patience. This is the momentary patience of wisdom; the intermediary patience of stamina and perseverance; the long-term patient endurance of hope.
And we get there finally! It works always if we surrender to it.
You have a life to live. Don’t put off the hard stuff any longer. Make a wise plan and dig into it—one day you’ll be commending your very self for the wisdom to undertake what many, many shirk. And these who do ‘shirk the work’ will never have peace and contentment. Not of the lasting variety.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.