One thing I often tell my clients, especially when they are in the throes of challenging circumstances for which there are no easy answers, is that it is important to keep the big picture in mind. In other words, to try to see issues or challenges within the context of a larger, more inclusive journey. This can be liberating for some, for indeed the pathway of life takes its twists and turns in all manner of ways, often leading to circumstances where we are confronted with our deepest fears and conflicts. And when dread, anxiety or despair come to the surface it can seem that something has gone terribly wrong, that we have somehow veered off course and now are lost and forsaken, doomed in the wilderness of our own minds.
Yet if healing is our purpose, then the pain, thoughts and memories that we previously avoided and defended against are crucial aids to the completion of the process. We have to see what we have denied and defended against in order to move ahead. Healing, in this sense, is not for the timid. We must grow in the capacity to first become aware of, then tolerate, then go into, exactly those aspects that we sought to run away from. If we stay with the pain long enough, if we are true to our purpose and allow into our hearts everything, then at some point, slowly but as certain as daybreak, the pain will begin to lift and we will have made it to the other side, a little more whole, a little more integrated, more at home in ourselves and in the world. And our demons, indeed, will have turned into angels.