Tuesday, December 15, 2009

After All The Grieving Is Done

This is a guest post on grieving by my blogger friend AJ. He has recently attended an Inner Child Retreat given by Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB.


The task of Transformation involves:

1. Grieving: Naming, Claiming, Blaming
2. Letting Go: Balancing, Choosing
3. Reframing

Review: Grieving

Grieving means saying: This painful experience happened to me. I don't deserve it. It hurts. I'm not happy about it at all.

I will exert effort to remember my pain and how it hurt me. I will never forget. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting. Grieving is remembering.

Grieving is accepting. I hid behind the masks of my false self till now. I will not deny the damage. I will not pretend to be not in pain.

I will brave the desert. I will face the ghost of the past. I will embark on my own inner journey.

I will claim my own freedom as birthright. My tragedy is that I buried the hurt, but also the good.

I will face my pain by looking at the tip of the iceberg: my conscious self, of which I'm in control. Then I will take a look at my subconscious, which is controllable, depending on if I want to touch it. Most importantly, I will investigate my unconscious, of which I have no control -- it controls me!

The earlier the wounding happened, the more it will control me. My wounded child will especially assert itself when I reach midlife (35 years old for women and 40 years old for men).

Letting Go

After the grieving comes the time to let go. Letting go means saying I am wounded but I have survived. I set myself free from the shackles of survival living. I expect blessings to come out of my woundedness.


I will count my blessings and remember my consolations. I will not play helpless, nor resort to punishing the injurer. I will not take revenge.

But I can't possibly find my consolations nor count my blessings if I didn't face my sorrows first. The road to the wonder child is through the wounded child. And it's a one-way road. No shortcuts.

Balancing the scales is the turnaround of the forgiving process. I won't just say Done or Move on because it means Just take it, Just grin and Bear it, I'm helpless. Nor will I punish the injurer and exclaim in triumph, See I have control. Nor will I mock-punish the injurer, which is neither healthy. What I'll do is load up on resources and say, See, I'm not helpless.

Setting Free

I will set myself free from the debilitating power of the injurer over me. I will not expect anything. I will not keep the injury in my books. But I will not allow myself to be hurt once again.


Even underserved pain has a reason to happen. I choose to be happy even when I do not fully understand why things have happened.

(Happiness is not a set of conditions. Happiness is a personal decision.)


I will adjust my beliefs about life. I will subscribe adamantly to the forgiveness principle: "There is nothing I cannot ever forgive." I will not stifle the new life and precious learning emerging from the pain and chaos.

Harm comes to everyone; moral contracts cannot prevent it. But a larger purpose (God) has a reason, however mysterious, for injuries that befall people. The test of a person's character is faith -- how well he functions even when he cannot understand God's plan for him.

Why forgive? Because that's how God deals with me!

Moving On

I will continue to believe the beauty of life and the goodness of people. I will not close my heart to my injurer. I will not be selfish with my prayer for him nor be a miser in wishing him well.

This is most probably the reason why I suffered: to learn my lesson and teach others. Why teach? Because if I can't share my experience, it will lose its value.

I know, however, that total and complete healing never happens. There are two kinds of virtues: acquired virtues, which I need to work out, and infused virtues, which I wait for as a work of grace. I know it is never easy to be good. What I want is to grow in virtue, both through my own effort and through the grace of God.

My goal is not total healing, but adequate healing. Aches and pains are the healing moments of life. Life has a way of healing us. That's what we do to diamonds to bring out its sparkle: go through sculpting and intense refining. You and I are all diamonds in the rough.

It's my life -- my own healing journey from slavery to woundedness to the freedom of genuine humility -- in my own wish to set myself free from the protective cage I have built for myself.

I will not allow the devil to continue attacking me through my weakness, like a military commander, a false lover, or a woman who gets at me slow by slow to realize her devious agenda. The demon says Keep your dark secrets, but I will not abide.

But it doesn't mean I have to tell all my secrets. The recipient may not be able to bear it. The rule of life is: Be prudent. Prudence is the governor of all virtues. I will instead open up to those who can: confessors and good psychologists. It's good to keep secrets. We need it for psychological space.

Everyone has a past. But everyone also has a choice.

My Credo

I believe no one was born to hurt another human being.
People hurt each other because they too are victims so...
I will blame you when you hurt me.
But I refuse to hurt you. That's my call.
I love myself. No one can do it for me better than I do.
When you hurt me repeatedly, I will be prudent enough to keep distance from you.
I will still pray for you.
I will continue the good I am doing to you.
That's exposing my other cheek.
It is my choice.
I refuse to sulk.
I will give my pains to Christ that He may continue healing and saving the world.
These are my personal victories.
Each one of them.

I will cherish my memories.
In my joys God celebrates life with me.
In my sorrows God creates new life in me and with me.
I believe deep in my heart that I am never done in my pains.
God shares my pains. By his wound I am healed.
I am a prophet of life.
My deserts shaped my message.
No light is placed under a bed.
I will share my story. (There are no lessons from joyful stories.)

I will love my life. It is much too precious, much too short to waste away.
I will harvest the multicolored blessings
God has strewn in abundance along my path.
I shall believe in myself even when the sun isn't shining.
I have in me all the powers to bounce back.
I am gifted with resilience.
I will be gentle. As much as I could and as far as I can remember, I will hurt no one.
Especially the children.
Only then shall I come out victim no more.
I am still alive.
Despite all the hurts I carry within me, my system is still strong enough to carry the load. I will be thankful for everyday.

My Covenant

I will take care of myself.
I will accept myself just as I am. (So I will be of use to others.)
I will appreciate myself, taking delight in being a special person. (Unity is not uniformity.) (Angels have no soul, so they are not children of God and are not saved by God.)
Jesus has a particular pain just for me.
I will approve myself. I will celebrate my successes and efforts towards positive undertakings.
I will affirm myself, valuing my uniqueness and my gifts. (I don't have to compete.)
I will show affection to myself. I deserve to be loved and cherished. I will embrace myself everyday.

1 comment:

  1. you cant unshackle yourself as someone else shackled you in the first place.
    one other thing happiness is a gift not a choice
    one makes the choice to be good where as happiness might be given you from above but there is no guarantee. example in point our lady said to st Bernadette of lourdes. "I cannot promise you happiness in this life but in the next."