“We have to get to a place where the pain we’ve experienced is a gateway leading toward growth, learning, discovery, and eventually helping others. But if the pain is what I’m simply running into over and over, it’s a stop-gate preventing me from getting over or getting through the situation.”- Lysa TerKeurst
In Chapter 7 (“Correcting the Dots”) of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, Lysa TerKeurst underscores that we must do more than just collect and connect the dots. Next, we need to work to correct the dots. Do the work to face those perceptions and beliefs we formed based on all we’ve been through. And once found, we need to make sure they’re life-giving and not toxic.
For decades, Lysa notes, British coal miners carried a canary in a cage as a warning detector. The canary alerted them to the presence of carbon monoxide and other deadly gases. Hence, Lysa likens this chapter to carrying a canary in a small cage down, down to mine the deep recesses of our hearts. Because, if we fail to sniff out the damaging thoughts to our emotional health, we tend to believe awful things about ourselves, others, the world around us. Even God.
Therefore, to avoid the stunting effects of these thoughts, we need to move forward as whole, healthy people. As a result, Lysa describes whole, healthy people as capable of growing and receiving:
- constructive feedback
- life lessons tucked within the harder things we’ve experienced
Finally, Lysa finds forgiveness not nearly as hard when she operates with a healthy processing system. However, the author counsels, deep hurt causes tunnel vision. Thus, the most obvious thoughts about what happened crowd out all other thoughts. As a result, it’s easy to assume that bad people causing bad realities cause bad things that will never amount to anything but bad. Lysa concludes:
“The experiences I have affect the perceptions I form. The perceptions I form eventually become the beliefs I carry. The beliefs I carry determine what I see. . . . unless the perceptions informing my vision change what I believe I see.”
Today’s question: Do you see pain as a gateway to growth and discovery? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Emotional souvenirs – collect during life travel”