QUESTION: “How does one truly forgive and forget betrayal, deception and lies of those you love? I have been lied to all my life - great and small lies. I also went through bad relationships. I made lots of poor choices as an adult and have unvalidated feelings. But that was then and this is now. I am over 40 and still cannot forgive and forget.”
This is a beautiful question. It is indicative of a strong and grateful heart, which is indeed a thing of beauty in this world.
ANSWER: “The pain within your heart is great; but know that it will heal with time. You have taken the first step with this expression of your desire to understand, to forgive, and to heal. For first must come the desire; the door is now open and the way will be revealed. It must be, for God always honours the sincere and seeking heart, which is Love made manifest.
“You say you have made many bad decisions. This is the burden you carry. You have weighted yourself down with guilt and judgment – judgment of yourself, first and foremost. You cannot move forward into true forgiveness of others from a place of self-loathing or self-rejection. Look back now and see the You of the past, at the place of each of these decisions you regret. Take the time to picture You at each of those moments of choice. You have judged that person; now see that person with eyes of Love. See who that person was then and how that person perceived the world and what pain that person was carrying which would caused the decisions that brought more pain. For only someone in pain would do this to themselves. Painful decisions come from a place of insecurity, doubt, and despair.
“Your true essence is one of Love, for you were created by Love. Thus when decisions and choices are unloving to yourself, it is because you are going against your true nature. For this is the true source of pain: the denial of who you truly are. Perhaps in your early training you were taught to see yourself as sinful and defective, and that what you call ‘poor choices’ were the inevitable expression of that sinful or defective nature. This is not true. Your central, core essence is one of Love. When Love denies itself, it can only experience the pain, regret, loss, dissatisfaction and unfulfillment of not being and expressing its true nature.
“When you come to realize that you in these past actions acted from pain and denial of your true being, you will also see that this is true of others as well. Someone who would hurt, deceive or betray you, could only do so because of their own betrayal of themselves and who they truly are. This is all that is ailing each one, both the one that lashes out to hurt another, and the one who feels the hurt and cannot forgive. It may seem a daunting task to forgive such great injuries, but you have asked, and that asking is your beginning. We honor and celebrate you for this. And we encourage you to see this desire to forgive as a seed you have planted, and which will take time to emerge.
“You have planted the seed of your willingness to forgive. Now wait patiently and trust, and let forgiveness grow within you. Pray each day and ask, how may I tend this seed today? You may be led to shed tears of healing, to spend time in solitude, or to simply rest. You may be led to read a certain book or seek the company of a certain friend or to dance. Be led by Love, knowing and trusting all the while that the great work of forgiveness is being grown within you, and will sprout and bud and bloom with time and with healing. For your own heart must heal first, and you can never forgive another until you have forgiven yourself.
Please trust and know that all is not lost, all is never lost. You are the beloved child of God and you are never lost. Love cannot lose you. Love can only love you, and waits but your receiving. God Bless you, and may peace wrap its arms around you, that you may feel the Love in which you dwell.”