Going Back In Order To Move Forward

Forgiveness is an interesting thing. It evolves or unfolds. Forgiveness is something that happens over time. Healing is very much like an onion. You recover from old wounds a layer at a time. At each new level of healing, which happens over time, there is a new layer of forgiveness that occurs. True forgiveness comes with true knowing. You can’t release something that you are unaware or unconscious of.

We would like to be able to forgive once and be done with the whole thing. The disciples asked Jesus how often they should forgive. Peter suggested seven times—thinking that this was an amazingly generous number. Jesus countered with seven times seventy. This suggests that forgiveness is a process—not a one-time event. It also reveals to us that our process of healing, grieving, and recovery is an on-going process requiring much forgiveness and much time.

With each new discovery or growth period in life we find that we are confronted with a sense of grief. New discovery brings joy along with new awareness and a greater reality. Included in that new reality is a greater sense of what we have lost. This tends to come as a surprise. As a matter of fact, friends will not understand why, when you are moving forward in life, you are bothering with “old” pain or memories. That is all in the past, they remind you, and wonder what you could possibly have to grieve over.

Rather than being helpful, this usually causes one to feel guilty on top of the grief. In order to fully move into a new way of looking at things, there is an opposite, corresponding awareness of loss. It is inevitable that along with this new realization is a new process of grief. It doesn’t last as long as the events that created the wounding, but there is a new awareness of just how much was lost.

With this new awareness comes a need, once again, to let go of the pain and forgive everyone involved. Sometimes it seems like it will indeed be seven times seventy before we have truly let go and truly forgiven—not only others but ourselves. But we can know that the process of healing and cleansing, the cycle of growing and grieving, will eventually complete itself. Spirit is in the process of healing us from the outside in to the deepest levels of our hurt.

What are needed at this point are courage and a belief in the process of grief and healing. Facing the pain once more, releasing blame, practicing compassion, and thanking Spirit for guiding you through the process opens the door to healing and allows you to move forward into a fuller life of beauty and joy.

Rather than resist what you feel you should have already left behind, see the lessons, the loss, and the growth that you are gaining. Letting go of the pain and practicing forgiveness makes the needed space in your life for the new and beautiful. Jesus tried to prepare us and to reveal to us the path of growth by reminding us that forgiveness will be called for over and over.

In spite of the fact the others do not always understand the process of grief, you can understand that it is a necessary part of your moving forward. Spirit is helping you move into the future—the pathway may be stained with some of your tears—but they wash the soul and prepare you for something new and fresh. Prepare to see a rainbow!