It’s something we either never talk about or trivialize in order to forget. It is the reason why many men are so pathetic at talking to women during their teenage years. Whether insecurity or heartache, we cannot decide how best to handle the pain.

Pretending makes us feel awkward, as though we are out of step with the rest of the world. Admitting makes us feel weak, ashamed, and disrespected by those whom we have trusted and have not taken our hearts seriously.

We find no middle ground. Not really. We cope as best we can; some with food, others with work, some with alcohol, others with drugs, still others with sugar and/or tobacco. We do what we can, compensating ourselves for the loss by allowing ourselves whatever it is that makes us fine.

But somehow we have to learn how to forgive. It is true that the act of forgiving doesn’t really let the guilty go free; it lets the victimized go free. Holding onto the pain from an insult, offense, or betrayal only means that the person refusing to forgive cannot leave the pain and trauma behind.

God, grant us the grace to forgive, and the wisdom to choose it.

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