Of all the stages of Metanoia, knowing is key. I often say that the stages of knowing, healing and growing are overlapping stages. Hopefully we are always digging deeper into understanding, and that understanding may reveal places of hurt that need to be healed, and those healed places produce growth and all of those things can be happening at various levels all at once. But if it doesn't start with the knowing, the getting at the root of things, then change doesn't occur. There are roadblocks to the knowing. Some in the psychology field call these defense mechanisms. Those obstacles that seek to keep us safe by keeping key information from our awareness. Sometimes the safety is from a sense of shame. And many times that shame is unfounded and keeps us from growth as we hide our true selves from others and even ourselves. And sometimes if we look at that shame, it takes the form of conviction for one who views us positively and believes in us and calls us to being more of our true selves instead of allowing us to stay in a state of self and other destructiveness or stuck in the pit of self loathing and shame and oftentimes stuck buying into the lies we believe about who we are. Love is the most powerful force of change and when one brings to our awareness something that needs to be changed in a spirit of love and wanting good things for us then we can venture out from behind these defense mechanisms. But they can be powerful. And leaving them behind can make a person feel oh so vulnerable. So we have to be gentle with ourselves and others who face sometimes very painful truths. But to face them means to name them, and to name them means to lessen their secretive power and to exercise agency, the ability to make choices in what to do with these truths. Have you ever experienced a truth about yourself or another person, or your past that was very hard accept.? Most of us have. Were you able to find ways to heal? What did that involve? If you haven't would you consider reaching out for help and healing today? There are resources available. Your church, your local community mental health, psychologytoday.com has a list of local therapists. Currently we are in a state of shelter in place, but there are many therapists who are still available through telehealth. Knowing what hinders you puts you on the path to turning things around. Let that empower you to take those first steps in transformative journey of Metanoia.