My inclination was to answer, “I just wrote a book - read it.” But then I took another look at him. It wasn’t an idle question. He was wearing his issues and looked miserable.
In my mind’s eye, I reviewed my book and realized that even though I had written about forgiveness in this book, I had not answered his question.
Actually, I have written about five books on forgiveness and I had tried answering that question in a thousand ways, yet I knew in my hear that I hadn’t really answered it. I had encouraged forgiveness, defended it, defined it, and even critiqued it. I had illustrated it by telling our story of forgiveness over and over again - yet I had not isolated the process succinctly. A process needs steps; What are the steps one needs to take to forgive?
I could feel the man’s pain…. the hopelessness - the reality. Like me, he knew that forgiveness was freedom. Yet he was caught in the bottom of that black pit of hopelessness - the trauma of unforgiveness.
I gave some lame explanation which I knew was inadequate but I vowed then and there again that I would try again. I did. I wrote out an imaginary tower of forgiveness describing it all again. Yet from the feedback on that fun exercise has been even more questions so I know I still have not answered the question.
I must know the answer - I’ve done it a million times. I just have not been able to find the words.
I have not been able to isolate the process.
We might possess every technological resource... but if our language is inadequate, our vision remains formless, our thinking and feeling are still running in the old cycles, our process may be 'revolutionary' but not transformative. - Adrienne Rich