This is from a spirit being named Quado. This was from 2003 and is one of my favorite teachings in the entire world. I hope you enjoy it as I have. I certainly could relate to the question that was put forth.
Today's message is in answer to a reader's question. The question is: Is forgiving someone also forgetting what has hurt us? I try, during meditation and other times, to accept and let go of the past. At times I have felt that I've forgiven this person, but then a word, a situation I cannot forget creeps in and invariably I dissolve in tears of sadness. I have spent 5 months now trying to free myself from resentment.
Quado, do you have an answer to this question?
Yes, yes, of course.
Forgiveness is a very difficult concept for most people, because most are so tangled up in their process of expectation, anticipation and subsequent disappointment. Someone has promised you something, some type of happiness, perhaps from love, perhaps in some other way. And you have pinned your hopes on this. You have built a mental future around this hope, this ideal situation which is going to deliver you from the pain of your past, the pain of being who you have been all of these years.
And this, this person fails to deliver. They may even go so far as to betray you. They may turn away and leave you. They may even go out of their way to do something hurtful to you, as inexplicable as this seems. And now the person on whom you have placed your trust, the person who was going to give you great gifts of happiness and joy, is an enemy, a betrayer, someone who has not only greatly disappointed you in this instance but who may have shattered your faith in humankind and your ability to trust.
In this scenario, it seems very difficult indeed to forgive. But look for a moment at what has set up this situation. Look at what you were hoping to get from them and the fact that, indeed, they do not have the responsibility to deliver happiness to you. No, not even your parents or caregivers as a child [had that responsibility]. It is unfortunate if they betrayed the trust of a child, but when you look back, you may see that they were doing the best they could, being who they were and the circumstances under which they labored.
But as an adult, truly, you must begin with not setting these expectations upon other people. You must learn to take responsibility for your own happiness and realize that what may appear to you to be a promise, a deal in which you are saying that you will give this and that in exchange for your happiness, may not be viewed in the same way at all by them. They may not see the deal in this way and may be formulating their own deal, whereby you are expected to give them happiness in exchange for something else. And perhaps the two of you have simply missed the mark, each trying to get something from the relationship that the other did not have to give. And in their own anger and disappointment, they have hurt you badly.
Suppose instead that you were to approach relationships from a place of internal peace. You are who you are and are comfortable in being centered there. You know yourself and know what you can count on yourself to do. You are deeply peaceful within your self, and know that the joy of life can flood down into you at your command, and bring you the peace you desire. You know and accept that no one else is going to bring you this deep internal peace and connection. You accept that other people are focused primary upon themselves, and that this is OK. You accept also that there will be people with whom you can walk on your path for a time, and if you are fortunate, you will be able to bring each other moments of happiness and joy.
But you know that this may also be a temporary thing, as all things are temporary, for life is change and nothing remains the same. And importantly, you know that there is no state of perfect happiness to be attained, there is no place you can reach where you finally say, "Ah, that's it. Now, because I have enough money and someone who loves me, I can finally rest and relax." No there is no such state, and certainly not because of love and money. That state is now or not at all.
You can relax right now, with this amount of money and with no one to love you except yourself. You can stop right now in this moment, look up at the sky and feel the connection you have with the entire universe, and let the love and joy and peace of that connection flood into you. You can do this now and in the next moment and in the next. But you cannot do it in the future, based upon having attained some state, and especially not a state which relies upon someone else to supply some piece of the puzzle, some ingredient.
And so, you are deeply disappointed, and you are full of resentment. You gave and didn't get. You made a bargain and it was not kept. You must let go of that bargain and accept responsibility for having done a possibly foolish thing. You must accept responsibility for having built up expectations in someone else and then having suffered the inevitable disappointment. For no one else can possibly meet these bargains. No one else can possibly complete these silent deals you are making. It is not their responsibility to complete you or to make you happy. That is your job and yours alone.
Accept this, and you can finally begin to forgive. Accept this, and you can begin to see that you counted too much on someone else, perhaps that you gave away parts of yourself which were not even asked for.
Do not give yourself away and then try to get yourself back. Do not give and give and give and then become angry and resentful, because you are not receiving what you think you deserve in return.
Instead, hold yourself complete. Give what is appropriate to give. Give what you wish to give freely instead of making deals. Do not sacrifice and then expect it to be appreciated. If the sacrifice is too great, then do not make it. And if you wish to make it, accept responsibility for it, accept that you are giving what you are giving and that you have no right to expect anything in return. If it is your gift, then give it. Or it is not a gift, if it is a loan which you expect to be repaid, then make sure the other party understands this clearly, and consciously accepts this bargain. Otherwise, give and let go. Give and let go. Do not give and then try to get in return. It does not work.
Contemplate all of this. See if it helps you to understand where you have true responsibility. See if it helps you understand the level to which you are responsible for your own happiness: you and only you.
And then, turn your focus and attention into now. Make your life right now so full of adventure and vibrant energy, that there is no room in it for nurturing old resentments, for harboring an old grudge. If you are full of resentment, then you are not bringing enough new material into your life right now. There are new people to meet. There are new adventures to be had.
But how can you trust anyone again, you ask? Trust yourself. Trust yourself to make yourself happy. Let other people be the frosting, not the key ingredients of the cake. Build yourself up from the inside out. No one can disappoint you if you do not have any expectations of them, other than that they will be who they are, as they are. That is all anyone can be.
Right now, you can be happy; you can be full of peace, internal peace which connects deeply with all that is. Right now, you can pull down the loving energy of the universe and allow it to fill you. Right now, you can accept yourself just as you are, and accept everyone else as they are. Right now, you can allow life to be, to unfold in its own way. Right now, you can watch a blade of grass or an unfolding flower and be filled with the great glory of life. Right now, you can build up a core of integrity inside you, a core of deep internal peace that does not need external completion, a self which is so strong that it glows and warms the world.
Focus in this moment. Focus here. Focus on your own internal truth. Stop your patterns of expectation and disappointment. Accept all that is just as it is, including yourself. And be patient with yourself as you unlearn old ways and take on new approaches. Be patient and loving and accepting, letting life unfold in its own pace. Right now, you are as you are and it is good. In the next moment, you will be a little different and that will be good too. Let it all flow gently and lovingly in this way. Allow yourself the time and grace to become.