It is not surprising that a preacher would say that one of the keys to listening to our instincts is forgiveness and letting go of past pain. T.D. Jakes wrote an entire book about it, the best-seller Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven.
Jakes believes that when bad things happen, God has a way of turning them to good. Whatever happened is never going to change, so acceptance is a vital first step on the path to forgiveness.
“It is what it is,” he says. “The only thing left to change is how you process it. And if you process it right, you can turn it into something. You can use it for fuel.”
Suffering is part of life, but it can help us grow into the people we want to be. Holding onto resentments and anger over things we cannot change doesn’t harm the people who harmed us or change the past. But it does get in the way of hearing our own instinct, what some people call the still, small voice within us. We’ve got to clear away the anger and bitterness that speak so loudly in our minds if we want to hear the voice of guidance in our hearts.
“What do you think wisdom is made out of?” Jakes asks. “Wisdom comes through struggles and sorrows and pain. And so at the end of the day, you might have lost somebody you love, you might’ve gone through something and it didn’t turn out the way you hoped. I’ve been lied to, stolen from, betrayed—it hurts you to your heart. But you made it. And if you made it, I guarantee you made it tougher and wiser and stronger and more careful, more cautious. That means that was a gift. It was a gift in disguise, and to see it in angry terms and bitterness means you didn’t process it right.”