Decades passed. Wounds grew deep. Relationships were negatively influenced by worries. His mental dialogue replayed: Does what happened to my parents happen to everyone? Are all relationships like this? Can’t love be better?

Initial reluctance to talk was obvious. Constant humor played a part of his denial. If relationships became too serious he found an escape.

But he finally talked to a counselor about pains from his past. Months of confessions and questions, emotional releases and painful revelations: the therapy was healing him. He learned to identify tendencies. He resisted his reluctance toward relationships. He defeated his patterns of escaping. He learned to love himself, God, and other people.

What thoughts come to you as you read this? If you were speaking to a counselor today, what would you need to discuss? What hurts from your past control present and future decisions? Who should you talk to about it? What’s stopping you?

Denial. Avoidance. Escapism. Anger. Attack. Those tendencies are not the medicines we need. Seeking the correct help is. Facing reality — with the right people traveling with us — can help us transition from the danger of denial toward recovery.

Begin. Begin soon.