Becoming overwhelmed by fears and insecurities and paralyzed by our own pain may be a sign that proper vaisnava relations are deficient. Pain however, can be an effective guide. It can teach us where to turn or where to reach, where to touch and be touched.
Misconceptions and doubts need to be exposed to the light of loving relationships and submissive inquiry, where they cannot endure. Due to pride we conceal them, and thus they grow and fester in the darkness of the heart. There is always pride, which goes before the fall; therefore humility is the most important ingredient in the cultivation of bhakti.
A mirror shows a crude reflection of our physical form. That image, being static, will not reveal deeper aspects of our selves and our connection with Krishna, or relations with others. Only in the reflective dynamics of relationships with others are we truly confronted with our conditioned self in order to uncover our true selves.
An experience of Krishna and taste of devotional service is proportional to the spiritual quality of our relationships. The Lord is irresistibly drawn to loving dealings between devotees. He reveals Himself in and through loving relationships, for which He is the source and the hope.
When others hurt, insult us or attack our reputation (on another level, it is the material nature trying to seduce us into the lower modes) forgiveness is our protection. If we succumb to false ego, hold grudges or refuse to extend forgiveness to others, how can we expect that Krishna will forgive us for our unlimited sins, offenses and lifetimes of aversion to Him?