Transforming hurts into gifts

January 16, 2018frjohnma

Happy Sunday and may Almighty God impart in us the ability to transform our hurts into gifts, amen. Sometimes ago, we had shared on the important construct of self – awareness and it is becoming clearer that the fruit of that exercise should not end only in knowing oneself but the ability to be productive, transformative and influential within our world of relationships is very crucial. This has called for us to remind ourselves of a hidden capacity or ability in us to be fruitful by upgrading our giftedness. The capacity to transform hurts into gifts is a need for reflection. Although that is not recognized by many of us simply because of either the effect of our inclination to our fallen nature or lack of self – awareness. If this power is not identified and utilized, I tell you our intellect, will and understanding – that is the three faculties of our human soul will never attain its goal of divine love and union. It will remain at the animal degree of the spiritual life. That is not going to be our portion. Therefore something need to be done.

We are relational beings and as such we live as families, groups, communities, societies, nations, continents and the world at large. We usually inflict pains, wounds, harm and emotional distress on ourselves through weapons like ill thoughts, unkind words and selfish actions/behaviours. On the other hand we experience hurts in the form of sickness, pains, trauma, and rejection from loved ones, grief, disappointments and failures. The trouble is that sometimes these energies we generate and inflict on others or experience may be without any fault of ours, stay in people or in us from childhood through adolescence, youthful period and adulthood. At a point you see us manifesting some mental and attitudinal disorders. Where are all this coming from? The emotional wounds we call hurts.

Now, these are not unfortunate occurrences, nor are they accidents. They are for a purpose. As spiritual persons we are privileged to enjoy infused gifts as we have them in 1Cor. 12 – 14, however, we equally have the opportunities to enjoy acquired gifts. Apart from praying and struggling to imitate the gifts we admire from other people, we have the great ability to transform our hurts into gifts. This is what Jesus Christ alludes to when He says, “pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44) and in Luke (6:28) He counsels, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” The problem here is the lack of self – awareness and realization that it is cheaper and seemingly effortless to do good to the one who hurts than to revenge. The challenge is that we are not aware that the one who forgives actually has power over the one who hurts. The one who hurts, destroys, but the one who forgives, repairs! Destruction will lead us into ruin but forgiveness will lead to growth and development.

It all begins from us who are hurt. They say, “What hurts us cripple us.” Thus, we need to apply the following in order to transform hurts into gifts: we need to cultivate a new perspective of life. A perspective that says look at the opposite of your hurts. See your emotional wounds as source of courage. Accept your toughest vulnerabilities as your greatest triumphs. Transforming hurts into gifts is like polishing demons into diamonds, polishing rough diamonds into beautiful gems. In all honesty, this form of healing can only take place if and only if we can apply the special principle of Jesus – LOVE POWER and not will power. The will is subjective and most times selfish and driven by self – love but Love in itself according to St. Thomas Aquinas is “to will the good of another.”

Linn, M., Sheila, F., and Linn, D., give us Jesus’ examples of how He changed His negative memories of hurts into gifts. His childhood hurts as a refugee and stranger in Egypt was transformed to love outcasts and the Samaritan strangers. His adolescent hurt of His foster father’s death was transformed into the gift of longing for His Father and His adulthood hurt of seeing and experiencing the lack of appreciation of His teachings, healings, preaching and death for our salvation were turned into the gifts of compassion for even the thief beside Him on the cross of Calvary (Luke 23:39). Happy Sunday and pray to learn how to empower your giftedness by transforming hurts into last gifts. Fr. John-Mary Atep

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