I’ve had a really good few days. I’ve been with people who I feel able to talk with and really say what I am feeling and ask the questions I usually only turn over in my mind. That rare breed of people you can let your guard down with and explore some craziness. It’s been good. Feels good.
So, as we sat over a coffee at the airport on the way home, still talking, we got round to the last letter I wrote to you (I shared the contents – hope you don’t mind). We discussed the case study of the woman who suffered a trauma and went from a healthy functioning person to a total wreck. We wondered if she had received more than medication, if she’d had someone, somewhere, where she could have given expression to the events, the people and her emotions that maybe she could have been saved from the impending crash. This progressed to a discussion around the power of thoughts and beliefs to hinder our development and even effect our physical state.
I have long remembered, when I was studying, one of my lecturers saying that the Protestant church had made a great error when it had rejected the confessional. Whilst I have remembered this statement down the years it was a long time before I understood what was meant. The efficacy of a place where the individual could go and pour out, give vent, let go of all manner of things that may otherwise be internalised with the possible health implications we discussed in the last letter.
A place where we can express the deep pain that may have come into our lives or the hurt and negative emotions, sometimes deep bitter emotions that have grown. And all this in anonymity and without judgement.
According to one modern critic, it is morbid to confess your sins.
I should say that it is a morbid thing to conceal your sins and let them eat your heart out, which is the happy state of most people in highly civilised communities.G.K.Chesterton
There is something very cathartic about confession. Maybe a trouble shared is a trouble halved. That suppressed, withheld emotions can be released and this will allow the healing process.
Sometimes the healing process requires a repetitive confessional commitment. There is a lot to let go. A lot long held within. And held within these things do have power causing worries, negative thoughts, bitterness or even hate. Things that cause a diminishing of life as it should be and even worse.
We don’t all have access to the confessional, maybe due to geography, maybe due to beliefs, but I would hope that most of us can find a trusted person. The lack of anonymity can be a disadvantage so a trusted person is really required (or a professional therapist). The sanctity of the confessional needs to extend into that relationship. But find someone/s where the things that are a burden, the things that impair normal living can be spoken out and, in a sense, set free. Then once they’re out just continue to let them go.
Bitterness and love cannot live together in the same heart. Each day we must decide which one is going to stay.Dave Willis: 7 Laws of Love
A year back I travelled Canada and took hurt with me when I left to travel. My mind turns things over and over so they can get a hold. Upsets become anger (know that one?) and other feelings turn to equally negative emotions. I told someone about my hurt and they just listened, not judging, allowing me to release the hurt. Then every time it found an expression in my thoughts I would say to myself: “Just let it go”. And I did. The power had been greatly reduced when I spoke it out and now it continued to decrease every time I “let it go”.
I am blessed as I have people who know my craziness, my paranoia, my demons. They are good people so they’ll listen, sometime offer a little advice, but mainly ask questions so I can find my own answers. And I continue to let things go.
Maybe there are some who are severely impaired by suppressed emotions and pain. By things carried from the past. My advice is always get help because I know that the hurts and pains I have held within my life have, left to their own devices, gradually taken over differing parts of my being diminishing the quality of life as they do so.
Pogue, if you find such things in your life, speak them out and let them go. Their power lies in the fact you choose to hold onto them. Let go. Speak out. Move on to a healthy life.
Yours, talking with good people,