What I did blurt out at one point is that hurt people hurt people. It was in the context of my suggesting that forgiveness, though hardly easy, is certainly necessary. And I thought that seeing the person who had hurt the other as a hurt person themselves is a perspective that might more easily push open the door that leads to forgiveness. The irony is that I'd love the chance to say the same thing to the second person.
I don't know that any of it helped. I hope so. I'm praying so.
All that for background on something I stumbled across today I thought was simply incredibly insightful.
It's an interview of someone who's experienced pain and who has found an exceptional and effective avenue toward forgiveness. The whole thing ought to be read, especially by those who've been wounded and with that in mind, here's a particularly moving and poignant excerpt:
Q: What would you say to someone who feels trapped by old wounds, not sure where to even begin down the path of forgiveness?
I recommend partaking of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That may sound strange, because certainly those who have been abused have no reason to confess things done to them that was not my fault. But, as I write in in My Peace I Give You, although the primary reason we go to Confession is to be forgiven our sins, forgiveness is not the only thing that happens in that sacrament. Christ touches us, and, whenever He touches us, He gives grace.
A problem that many abuse victims have is anxiety caused by their uncertainty over the state of their soul. They have so absorbed the lies imprinted upon them by their abuse that they have trouble discerning the difference between the lingering effects of the sins committed against them, for which they are not responsible, and their own sins, for which they are responsible.
Recently a friend who suffered from this painful uncertainty asked me for advice on confession. I recommended to her that when she went to confess, having the priest the sins that she was certain were her responsibility, she should add, “Since Jesus is with me in this sacrament, I want to ask His healing grace while I am here, because I was abused when I was a child. I know I am not responsible for my abuse, but it has led to my having thoughts that distance me from Him. If any of those thoughts are sinful, I am very sorry, because I don’t want anything to separate me from Him. And even if they are not sinful, I ask Jesus to cover me with His Precious Blood and heal my hidden wounds.”
A few months after suggesting that approach to my friend, I went into the confessional and was moved to say the very words I had recommended. It was very powerful. Afterwards, I could not believe it had taken me so long to take my own advice.
Lord, touch all who wound because they're wounded. And allow them to embrace forgiveness which I'm convinced will help the wounds heal.
Let it be so.