Remember the song, “He Had the Whole World in His Hands”?
We need to restore our faith in our fellow human beings and it reminded me of a story I heard recently:
A well-respected physician was being interviewed one day and was asked if there was a pivotal moment while he was in medical school; he paused for a moment and thoughtfully mentioned it happened in his gross anatomy class.
He went on the explain how students were assigned a human cadaver and the tremendous amount of respect he had for this 87-year-old woman who donated her body to science. Her decision was selfless and what a gift she was really giving all of us as she continued to teach a future doctor long after she had left this earth; for all of should be grateful.
The physician went on to say something that has changed the way I see everyone I meet even now during these unsettling times….
When he was asked what the most difficult of the human body was to dissect, he said:
“I thought it would be her face but what was so emotional for me surprisingly were her hands.”
I was intrigued by his answer as he continued on by saying how he started to imagine all the things these hands that were laying in his, had performed over her lifetime.
He thought of the children she held, the meals she made for her family, the hard work they endured as well as the other hands she embraced while she was alive.
I just had my own epiphany, a new perspective on how I view the world, and I felt a need to increase my own awareness by reciting this mantra:
“Our hands are the tools we use to show what is in our hearts.”
Every one of us has the choice to use our hands to comfort, assist, and help others OR point with anger, destroy, and push others away.
Which one do you want to be? Someone that heals or someone that hurts? All of us have the same opportunity to raise our hand and ask the question, “What am I able to do to help?”
I believe there is no act that is too small when the intention is to spread human kindness instead of human destruction.
Here is just a small example; I was at the grocery store the other day and as you all know we are required to wear masks. As I was checking out, I noticed the conscientious cashier handling my items with care and I returned my gratitude with a smile. Even under my mask, we both were exchanging kindness and respect; as I was leaving, she told me she has learned that people still able to smile with their eyes.
I was so touched by her sweet observation I am trying to make a conscious effort to smile even if I have a mask on my face.
Changing what we focus on by looking for the good in others and finding ways to come together will help expedite the healing process. The world has slowed down for a reason, we need to rediscover ourselves and we can begin by doing just one thing…..FORGIVE OTHERS!
WHO DO YOU NEED TO FORGIVE?
“If we are truly to find peace in the world, we need to find it in ourselves.” Panache Desai
Forgiveness is the miracle of a new beginning, it is to start where we are, not where we wish to be.
Humbleness, forgiveness, clarity, and love are the dynamics of freedom. These qualities are the foundations of authentic power.
- Forgiving does not condone an act.
- Forgiving does not relieve someone of the responsibility for what they have done.
- Forgiving does not erase accountability
- Forgiving is not letting someone off the hook or saying it is okay to something monstrous.
- Forgiving is not superficial or taken lightly.
YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL PATH
All paths leading to forgiveness are different but we are ALL walking it for the same reason.
THE GOAL: To FREE yourself from the pain of living with a broken and unforgiving heart.
Freeing yourself of corrosive emotions that threaten to burn away the love and joy residing in you!
Here is a good daily mantra: “I want to heal the broken places inside of me.”
Vulnerability is required, it will be uncomfortable at best, it will ask much of you and at times more than you want to give. The gift is the true freedom you will feel and receive will be beyond measure.
Write down your story the way you remember it, it will lead you back to where you are trapped so you can rescue the parts of you that you had to give up in order to survive. It doesn’t make everything okay; it helps you to discover the key to unlocking your “emotional jail.” Understanding this about yourself allows you to have compassion and empathy for others.
This is an ongoing process: Your story will evolve as your understanding evolves. The KEY is to go beyond the facts of what happened to the FEELINGS of HOW you were hurt. Don’t get trapped in the story!
NAMING THE HURT
- Give the emotion a name: face your feelings, when you give a voice to this pain you begin to heal it. (Angry, hurt, betrayed, enraged….)
- Face the truth of your feelings and the depth of your pain it is the only way forward. “I need to own how I feel.”
- Dig up the hurt by the very roots that have bound you for so long. That is where the truth is and remember, “You are only as sick as the secrets you keep.” Write down what you have been hiding from yourself.
- You are not responsible for what broke you but you are responsible to put yourself back together again, when you name the hurt you repair the broken parts. What is one thing you are able to do to start the healing process?
- A psychological wound is harder to name than a physical one at times because it can attack your sense of safety, your need for acceptance and belonging, your identity and self-worth as a human being. Your brain processes and feels these injuries the same way. Write down your personal experience and share it with someone you trust.
Naming your pain moves you out of the stage of denial and you can’t honestly name your feelings and be in denial at the same time. Prolonged denial of pain leads to all sorts of self-destruction and misplaced anger. Many have said that the root of almost all addictive behaviors is the denial of pain, is hurts you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The truth is we have harmed together and we heal together. It is in this fragile web of our relationships where we are able to rediscover our life’s purpose. There will be a shift in your attitude, you will feel compelled to create new experiences that bring you joy and happiness after working through the process of forgiveness. Accepting your hurt, your anguish, your sadness, your anger, your shame, is accepting your humanness and enhancing your ability to have compassion and empathy for others.
- FACE YOUR OWN PAIN: Put your hands on your heart and accept your human fragility. The only way to stop your pain is to accept it. Do the work to heal!
- REJECT THE SUFFERING: Raise your hands and make a fist for revenge. When you deny your feelings, you choose not to name your hurts. Does this really work?
Create a space for your pain and grief, you don’t need to make it better or fix it, you just need a safe place to acknowledge it. You didn’t have a choice in being harmed, but you do have a choice to heal. The one thing we all carry throughout our entire life is HOPE, use this human quality to start your healing process today.
Write down all the things you have lost. What did you lose? Trust? Safety? Dignity? Love?
Now write down all the ways YOU are able to create the things you want to have in your life right now… it is only up to YOU!
“To LIVE is the rarest thing in the world. Most people EXIST that is all.” Oscar Wilde
Which one are you? How are you able to use your hands to heal the world?
Let me know your thoughts below! I look forward to hearing from you.
Maria Bucci, M.Ed LPC DWC-F. Daring Way Facilitator by Dr. Brené Brown