The marvelous Elizabeth Gilbert is on tour around the country with Oprah and assorted other speakers, all with a spiritual bend, and yesterday she listened to Mark Nepo who I’ve quoted a ALOT on this blog.
His answer to a question was profound and transformative.
To me it was another forehead smacker (if you know what I mean).
Here it is, according to Liz, in case you missed it. SO GOOD.
The question was about how to make peace with your own past. How to forgive, how to move on.
Mark began his answer by speaking candidly about his painful relationship with his parents, particularly with his father. There was so much suffering, so much anger. After his father died, he still held on for years to that outrage, that pain. By doing so, he kept those old wounds open.
He said, “Then I realized something. I was keeping my old wounds fresh and open, as evidence for a trial that would never come.”
He further explained: “It was as if I was waiting for some big Law & Order episode to happen in my life someday, where I would be able to finally lay out my case against my father to a judge and jury. So I didn’t want to let the old wounds heal, because — if they did — then I wouldn’t have fresh evidence, and nobody would believe how much I had suffered. But then I finally realized — that day of trial, that day in court? It will never come. There is no such thing in life as that courtroom. Which meant that I was keeping my old wounds open for no good reason at all, when all those wounds really wanted was to be allowed to heal.”
With that understanding, the healing began at last.
I can’t tell you how many imaginary depositions I’ve compiled to prove the abandonment, injustice, rudeness, selfishness and hurt, visited on me by someone in my life.
Evidence for a trial that would never happen. A verdict never rendered. Shit.
And it never even occurred to me until I read this, that that’s what I was doing.
What a colossal waste of time. And energy.
Maybe even years wasted.
Hey, we’ve gotta let this shit GO. Agreed?
Case dismissed, not on account of the lack of evidence (oh, there’s plenty) but on lack of interest.
Let the healing begin…Amen!
Are you ready to put down the gavel and dismiss the accused? Are you ready to heal?
Tell me why.