Thursday, March 1, 2012


          Change happens to all of us.  Much of it happens slowly and almost imperceptibly.  We are molded by our environment and influenced by our friends.  As our society changes its values, we slowly change with it.  Physically, too, we change with age.

         But then, while we would prefer our personal world to be safe and secure, we recognize also that it is frequently under threat.

         There is little doubt that we wrong others and therefore need to seek forgiveness.  Others also wrong us and to such we have the opportunity to extend our forgiveness.  Forgiveness can be a very powerful factor in human affairs.  It can change every enemy into a friend.  It can also heal every wrong.  It can convert enmity into reconciliation and distrust into trust.

       While we recognize the potential good in every act of forgiveness, we also need to acknowledge difficulties.  It is far from easy to forgive someone who has deeply hurt us and who does not come to make things right.  It is far easier to nurture our hurt and to inflame it until it becomes a deep-seated bitterness, even though that will only hurt us more.  It is also not easy to forgive another when we know that the same hurtful things probably will be said or done again.

       Despite these difficulties, forgiveness carries seeds of change and hope.  It can defuse difficult situations.  It can remove the walls of separation.  It can heal our hurts.  And it can always not only change enemy into a friend, but it can change the hard parts of ourselves into places of love and happiness.

        Truly, this may not be life threatening, but threatening nonetheless in that we are confronted by problems we cannot readily solve, issues we cannot satisfactorily deal with, relationships that are not always constructive, a work environment that can be difficult and a wider world that frequently appears to be in disarray.  Little wonder that many of us tend to become involved in avoidance behavior, even though we know that this will not make the threats any less real.

       We live in a society in which loneliness has become one of the most painful human wounds.  Others sin against us and by their hurtful words and deeds wound us.  We are wounded not only by what others do to us, but also by what they fail to do.  Neglect is simply another form of abuse.  There is nothing so harmful as a relationship where nothing is given, nothing is asked and nothing is expected.

     This is the barren social landscape where young people grow up in a family where drawbridges are perennially up.  This is the place where love is not expressed.  Where there is no engagement.  No openness.  No participation.  No joining.  No common celebration.  No ability to weep together.  It is the place where there are no questions and therefore no answers.  This place lacks passion and therefore lacks humanity.

       There are no easy formulas for receiving healing from such neglect.  But there are small steps towards renewal.  Facing the pain.  Acknowledging the barrenness.  Forgiving our parents who were so absent while present.  Opening our lives to the presence of others.  Finding the areas of feeling, sensitivity and concern in our own lives in order to activate them.   And learning to walk the road of intimacy with all its risks so that we can feel deeply again, love and be loved again.

        Thus, we can also be proactive.  Change can come because we are dreaming new dreams, making new plans and actively pursuing new options.

      Changing enemy into a friend, facing the sources of threat to our lives, dealing with the places of barrenness, making room for purposeful change, is after all the only way to be open head strong to further growth and therefore could lead us to lay foundations for the future where others can be added to our world.  Hence, granting a healthy space for everyone!

Written by: Swiss Wenger


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