Life is most often defined by pain. Most of us have at least one person in our past who hurt us deeply. Our journeys are often framed by avoiding pain and/or learning how to not hurt others. Our adolescence was marked by dominating or suppressing others, our identities forged with the pain we caused. If we were on the receiving end of that domination, we spend years unpacking the self loathing.
Our pain is not separate from God. But we are taught that it is. The evil of what was done to us is often confused with the receiver. We are validated by being told we are a victim, and in the next moment, we are shamed for being a victim. We are told forgiveness is our yoke to God. We are never allowed to merge our pain with our understanding of God, but I believe this emergence is where true healing occurs. Not in forgiveness, which is a social construct that requires a witness for validity. Can you truly "forgive" someone in the recesses of a dark night, among your thoughts? Is forgiveness a Jedi mind trick? No. You must tell people you forgive them, or you must tell other people that you've forgiven someone who is not sorry. You have to post that meme. Forgiveness does not exist if it is not spoken aloud. Yet your pain exists without acknowledgement, without any attempt to create it. Perhaps God is already there, nestled within the bare truth.
If you must forgive to be worthy of God, you must earn God's love. And if you have to earn God's love, you will not heal.
We are born into a world that tells us we are not worthy. We must earn respect, and sometimes we are denied respect for truths we have no control over. We are told from the pulpit that we are sinners, regardless of who we are or what we have done. And in this social setting, the challenge to prove who we are (to others) begins, with those around us, (not God) as the judge. Our truths are buried under piles of guilt. We work to show others we are recipients of God's love. That includes "forgiveness" which is a concept so often misunderstood and so often misused in conversation.
And it is under this pressure to prove ourselves that (ironically) we lose touch with God. The world almost never acknowledges or accepts us in our present state. It encourages us to find our weaknesses and seek improvement. The idea that God is within us, around us, and unequivocally loves us without our effort is so foreign, so contrary to the messages we've received our whole lives, that we can't accept this reality of God. And at our most rudimentary level, we cannot love ourselves. This world will not give us permission to. How sad that it is the world we listen to, and not our deepest selves, where the divine is found.
About your pain. God dwells there. There is a yoke of suffering between you and the divine. God meets us completely and knows our pain. The validation you never received exists within your truth, if you dig for it. Touch on that coldsore of a memory and connect to this sacred knowing that no piece of you has been lost, that your divinity remains whole regardless of others' blindness and foolishness. Your healing is found not in the forgiveness you owe to someone else or to God, but in your own sacred knowing.
Melanny Henson Osborn considers herself a Mystic Christian, a seeker of truth, a student of religion, and a spiritual healer. She has two degrees in Creative Writing, including an MFA from Iowa State. She has worked as a professional intuitive reader since 2013. Her gifts are discernment of spirits and prophecy. An astute student of Tarot, she is the author of Art History Tarot for Past Lives.