Many years ago, when my older daughter was about 4, she made the mistake of trying to hold the family cat above her head to protect Kitty from the neighbor’s dog. The cat became frantic and scratched her head. Krystal came running into the house crying, blood streaming down her face. For a moment I almost fainted. “Dear God! It’s scratched her eyes out!” was my first thought. The second one was “Wait. You have to see how bad it is before you can help her.” I calmed us both down and applied a wet washcloth to her face, only to discover that there were superficial scratches at her hairline– nothing more serious than that– and that head wounds bleed a lot. A simple event, really– yet it provided a lesson that has stood me in good stead throughout my life: We can’t heal what we won’t see.
Shift Network founder Stephen Dinan approaches the current American political debacle with a similar message in his article, Bonfire of the Patriarchy. Truly, this is a time of seeing– everything dark, everything dishonest and manipulative, everything that is less than the best in ourselves, in our country, and in our world is emerging from the shadows to be seen and healed. It will take courage to look at the Dark Side, trust in our ability to deal with the wounds we find there, and faith that we’ll receive the help we need to do so. Just as it was with my little daughter and her scratched forehead, so it is with us. We must be brave enough to look and accept what we see. Then, and only then, can true healing begin.