It is incredibly difficult to counsel someone if they are feeling unsafe and vulnerable. The dig their heels in; they deny the problem; they procrastinate; they will joke or digress on to other topics; anything to avoid the problem. That is just human nature.
We can understand that more easily if we can see things in real concrete terms, for example asking someone to let go of their precarious purchase on a cliff edge to let a rescuer take the strain, or the swimmer in difficulties to let go of the lifeguard so he or she can hold on to the swimmer and swim to shore. When it comes to less tangible things such as a received slight, injustice or hurt pride, then a person may hang on to the injury and feeling despite knowing it to be a waste of emotional energy or that the emotional stance prevents the person moving on.
So, so many problems have their root in this kind of thinking. For example the jilted person left at the metaphorical altar, the burgled home owner feeling so vulnerable, the crossed customer or the driver left at the scene of the accident. They just cannot leave those feelings behind.
One story I remember that illustrates this so well is that of two Buddhist monks, one young and the other old. On their travels they came across a young woman not able to cross a swollen river, so the young monk offered to carry the woman across, which he did, and then the three of them went their separate ways. After a while the older monk reproved the younger one from holding a person of the opposite sex, upon which the younger monk said that he had left her safely on this side of the river but he, the older monk, was still carrying her.
Consider what is holding each of us back from our individual and personal journeys through life. What baggage or luggage do we needlessly carry with us? Why? And if it is so difficult dealing with individuals imagine how neigh impossible it is dealing with family feuds or injured national pride. Come back Mr Kissinger.
Have a good Equinox