Moving forward into the future

In the introduction to the 2005 edition of Through the Narrow Gate, Karen Armstrong, a British author of 12 books, remembers that the first draft of this book was filled with anger.

Armstrong was writing about her six years in a Roman Catholic convent, and those years were filled with struggles and pain that she describes in detail.

However, by the time she wrote her third draft, she says, “I tried to dig a little deeper, and found that I recalled many good things that had been buried under the rubble of resentment and bewilderment. I remembered the excitement of my first days as a Postulant, when I felt that I had embarked on a wonderful spiritual adventure; I remembered the beauty of the liturgy and the kindness of some of my superiors.”

Writing the book taught her “that it is very important to look honestly at your personal life, to unravel the web of pain and anger, and see it as it really was. Until you have achieved some sense of continuity with your former selves, you cannot move forward into the future.”

That’s good advice for all of us. We all have webs of pain and anger that we need to unravel. We all need to achieve a sense of continuity with our former selves.

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