I would like to point out to you and the readers an article written by a guest of a high-intensity rehabilitation psychiatric community located in the structures of a foundation that I have the honor of presiding over. The text was read by the author in a recent Christmas celebration leaving friends and carers very surprised. It seems to me that an edifying approach for all to illness, pain, treatment and in general to life in which faith breaks down fences and censorships.
Before starting the actual article I would like to make a small introduction about what God represents in my life.
“God allows us to see the invisible, accept the impossible and hope for the incredible”. Being human also means experiencing uncertainty, pain and death. God, however, is a point of reference for making sense of chaos, a hospital to look at invisible wounds, a lifeline that offers us second chances. God is not simply an answer to difficulties, but much more, for example for me he is also the union of lonely people, he is a guide, he shapes the search for a “safe” path when we feel lost. God offers a space in which answers and the meaning of life can be sought and found. Having said that, and based on my life experience to date, I want to reflect with you on how God together with a correct therapeutic path can help people to heal the soul.
Unfortunately, in life we are not born already capable of suffering or rather we are not born already capable of suffering adequately. Crucially, we are not created for suffering and we often suffer for things that we are not to blame.
But suffering is a journey, not the final destination. And knowing how to suffer is the beginning of the journey towards healing. It hurts to have to deal with suffering, but in my experience I can say that it hurts even more to ignore it.
A first step I took was to learn how to ask. We can have many reasons why we feel pain or anger, but healing necessarily requires that we strip ourselves of our pride, of our desire to resolve everything ourselves. In the moment of extreme suffering we tend to lose the sense of self, we feel alone and with no way out. It was then that I decided to ask for help from my family, competent professionals and God, all to try to look at life from another perspective. Once I took the first step, I decided to help myself and get help, first of all with an initial work of awareness that healing the soul requires time, sacrifices and above all dialogue. Feelings must be allowed to find an outlet. Silence wears out all pain.
Of course pride can push us to cover up our pain, but sharing our story will make us discover that other people have also experienced the same thing. I shared what I felt with my brother, with the educators, with my referring clinician and… every night before sleeping with God too!
Too many times I ran away from suffering, avoided it or worse still numbed it in unhealthy ways, until I decided to entrust it into the safe hands of the A.Fra and God. Here I found the most tolerable suffering, beyond at clinical support I had the opportunity to discover how God is present in my pain, always giving me His love.
I no longer doubt that when I was not well, He was “hiding from me” but worked quietly to give me His healing, with the right timing. It is really true that, at times, we only understand after a long time where God worked in the moments when we thought we had been abandoned. Now I have hopeful eyes towards a better future, and this hope drives me to a strong motivation to face life. It is the motivation that brings the care of the soul closer to God. The soul of a person, like his story, his experiences, can take on a different meaning if read and approached the light of God.
I would like to conclude with an excerpt from the encyclical letter Faith and Reason of John Paul II: “Faith and reason are like the two wings with which the human spirit rises towards the contemplation of the truth. It is God who has placed in the heart of man the desire to know the truth and, ultimately, to know him so that, knowing and loving him, he can also reach the full truth about himself (cf.Ex 33:18; Ps 27 , 8-9; 63 , 2-3; Gv 14, 8; 1 Gv 3, 2) ”
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