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June 30, 2012 / Ronald Chapman


“Feel, deal, heal” ends the previous excerpt. There is extraordinary power in this AA motto for it is grounded in reality.

Allowing ourselves to feel is to open ourselves to the truth of our experience. For the truth is in how our experience is received and processed. When denied, it burrows deeply and can be the source of much mischief. When felt it presents opportunity and possibility.

Of course, feeling is the foundation for dealing. As soon as we allow our emotions to express, we are confronted with the need to deal with their implications. Whether seemingly good or bad, the meaning and relevance that are revealed can be transformative. And as we work through them we establish fertile ground for healing.

The great psychologist Erik Erikson ¬†determined that the stages of human development lead us inexorably to reconciliation with ourselves. That is the ultimate outcome of healing, to be at peace with who we are and what we’ve done.


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