Remembering to heal

In life, we suffer the loss of loved ones but none could be more painful when one loses them to unnatural circumstances. Many innocent Naga lives have been cheated off their youth and from their aspirations to becoming fully conscious of their potential to generate life giving realities. It is perhaps the painful experiences of having a loved one killed, violated, missing, threatened or humiliated that gives the most anger and may often seem unforgivable because faith and confidence one destroyed are not easy to rebuild. These are circumstances most experienced in situations of armed conflict.

The pain and hurt emerging out of these experiences creates two forms of dilemmas: the dilemma of truth and the truth about dilemma. Recognizing that there is in every story a view and the other point of view it is of utmost importance to acknowledge the various views in a balance manner that would make transcendence possible. In the final analysis the key towards transformation lies in our ability and will to address issues of hurt, injustice and humiliation.

During these moments of dilemma, we are faced with our own internal-self as the enemy within. The reasoning side of us wants justice, while ‘feeling’ cause emotions of rage, anger, hate, fear, shame, humiliation and insecurity. If not appropriately addressed, the ‘reason’ is co-opted by ‘feeling’ and there is an instinct to equate revenge with justice because there is an assumption that revenge will vindicate and relieve the anger, fear, shame and humiliation. Revenge could provide feelings of relief, vindication and pride but it does not last, since through the act of revenge the victim becomes the offender and more negative energy is created. However, it only leads to internalized shame and guilt with internal contradictions abound.

The process of acknowledgement and being heard are therefore critical steps in opening up space to move forward. Indeed, the act of remembering represents a symbol of recognition and is empowering. A symbolic act of remembrance may help each of us to feel like we can all do something and to live out the visions by striving and embracing the ideals of our common humanity. By remembering we have a choice to see it as an invitation that is nudging us towards healing to make spiritual, emotional and societal transformation possible.   

It is in the desire to open our hearts and renew ourselves that we commit to lead a life of involvement and participation to reclaim dignity; embrace those feeling disempowered, and to support those whose loved ones are gone from our physical earth. This involves empowering and caring for those who have survived traumatic situations and by doing so it leads to a deepening faith, renewed vision and practical ways to nurture the processes that bring God’s healing, hope, justice and peace to individuals, communities and nations as a whole. 

If the Nagas are to be a dignified Nation of nations it is essential that we Remember to Heal.