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Letting Go & Forgiveness

Sunday, April 21st, 2024

Last week strong Spring winds blew throughout many of our areas.  As I was gazing out the window, I had the opportunity to observe a dove.  She was successfully and quite willfully hanging on to a branch in a large budding tree.  Clearly struggling, flapping her wings but determined to hang on for several more minutes before letting go.  She moved to a wide nearby spruce tree that offered her instant protection from the wind.  This dove reminded me how often we cling to things that may no longer be working well in our lives. 

As humans, we can get caught up in our injuries, our thoughts and our emotions.  Many of us hang on to things from the past that may not be helpful to living and being the best version of ourselves now.  We keep holding on and until the holding begins to have a hold on us. 

Sometimes the thing or things we hold on to are not our fault.  Yet all parts of our lives are our responsibility to discern.  Our lives have value, as we have value.  There are many paths to healing and forgiveness is one of the most precious gifts we have been given. 

In Henri Nouwen’s daybook, Bread for the Journey he writes:

“Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. When we forgive a person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a long time, even throughout our lives.  Sometimes we carry the memory in our bodies as a visible sign.  But forgiveness changes the way we remember.  It converts the curse to a blessing.  When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in a crisis, our doctors for their ill advise, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events we had no control over. 

Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let these events destroy us; it enables them to become events that deepen the wisdom of our hearts.  Forgiveness indeed heals memories”. 

Therapy can be an invitation to be seen and heard.  It can be a safe space to discern areas in your life that may be difficult or causing you distress.  At River Counseling we meet you where you are, offering hope. You may schedule an appointment with the Platte office or with one of the therapists from our other locations, Sioux Falls Psychological services or Stronghold Counseling in Sioux Falls or Yankton. To schedule an appointment please call 605-274-2716. Please note that River Counseling’s phone number has changed to 605-274-2716 and the 337-3444 phone number is no longer in service.