“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”
There is a price to be paid for redemption. In Nouwen’s economy, words, speaking advice, and ongoing proximity have their limits.
He speaks of a truth here that is necessary on the journey of healing. He speaks about liminal space — that divergence from logic where faith takes the reins from reason, where reason throws its hands up in defeat, and faith says, ‘game on’, where less is more.
There are times when we have to venture into discomfort to release the grip fear has made on us. These times in therapy are the awkward silences where the heart processes what the mind cannot contemplate.
Where the mind is confounded and overwhelmed, beyond its ability to conjure a fabricated defence, the heart must rise, and it ascends courageously as only the heart can, other than shrink.
When we allow our minds to endure such discomfort as the awkwardness of knowing we’re without defence, our hearts rise ultimately on the wings of honesty. The truth wins. And healing begins.
If we would help someone recover from pain, we might imagine the way through is via uncomfortable allegiances with the truth. If we, ourselves, are ailing, we do well to steel ourselves for the inevitable cost of the breakthrough.