On Healing



Hannah Arendt said that in order to forgive, one needs to reproach first. I think this is one (not the only one) of the most profound access to healing and to letting go of the past. It is nearly impossible to let go of a hurt or a pain if we do not express it first. It allows us to experience the hurt and to get clear about the unacceptability of the action. It is important to be distinguish what is being reproached and to let go of the stories around it. Practicing powerful authentic communication, with no attachment to being gotten or heard, allows one to let go of anger or resentment. (Except if we actually do not want a relationship with the person at all, then we can probably heal alone.) I love the saying from E. Burke: ‘“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I hold (myself and) people to account for their smallness as a matter of my word. Even when it is difficult to do so, and even when it would be easier to say nothing.

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