In The Book of Forgiving, Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are inviting us to join them on the path of forgiveness so that we can ‘heal the world by healing each and every one of our hearts’. I was invited to share my story of forgiveness for this book, which is quite an honor, and when I received my copy upon its release, I was surprised at how much grief I hadn’t yet processed as I read it. I have told my story many times, both in person and in writing. Telling the Story is the first step on this Fourfold Path of Forgiveness. Naming the Hurt is the second step on the path and this is where I had not completed the journey. I had no words to name my hurt over losing my husband and 13 year old daughter in a terrorist attack. I certainly felt it but it was so overwhelming that I plunged into the third step of Granting Forgiveness so that I could restore peace within myself. I discovered I could not truly Release the Relationship to this event and Renew my relationship with life without Naming the Hurt. Even now my eyes fill with tears as I write this. Healing the heart is a process of liberation that requires full acknowledgement of the emotional pain that splits the heart into pieces. I am so grateful to Desmond and Mpho Tutu for outlining the importance of this step and giving many examples from the stories of others who have suffered violent, unexpected losses of dear ones. By allowing ourselves to fully accept the reality by naming it, frees us from being bound by the shackles of that which cannot be changed. By practicing this Fourfold Path on a regular basis we not only create inner peace, we give the gift of peace to everyone in our world.
Thank you, Kia Scherr