Friday, April 6, 2012

Unhealed hurts

The liner notes of Atwater Donnelly's album The Weaver's Bonny say that the song "The Angel's Part" was written for a woman who as a child, longed to get the part of the angel in the annual Christmas play. Year after year, she longed for it, and year after year, she did not get it. The liner notes say, "Now in her eighties, she mentions it still."

I remember an article I read that was based on an interview with a woman who wrote a book about her grandmother. The grandmother died when her son, the author's father, was a child. All his life, he talked about how he did not have a mother.

These two anecdotes both tell of someone who still remembers a hurt from long ago.

The strongest, wisest people have lived through hurts. They have lived through them, and they have learned how to heal. They people who still tell the stories of long ago hurts have not found a way to heal.

I bear such hurts. I can think of five. Things I still think about. I feel like my life would have been better, I would have been a better person, were it not for these things. These hurts still hold me back. These hurts remind me of my inadequacy.

Can I heal these hurts? Can I take them out into the light, look at them, and then grow beyond them?

But you know, it's not always on us to have a positive attitude. If a man psychologically abuses his wife, and she believes his words, believes in her inadequacy, it's not all on her for believing him. We don't say she should just overcome the hurt. She needs to remove him from her life.

So, I take out my hurts and look at them. Some I can heal in that way. Looking at them. Feeling them. Making a dance about them. Others, I look at them and I realize that my current situation still perpetuates those feelings. Then the problem becomes not how to soothe the feelings but how to change the situation.

Maybe I can look at my hurts. Maybe I can grow beyond them. Maybe I can heal. Maybe I can grow toward becoming strong and wise.

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