How to forgive a partner’s infidelity – and can you really forget? – 13 Jul 12

Yesterday I wrote about a woman who found out that her partner had cheated on her. I suggested that she should confront him with her knowledge. But what would happen then? If he accepted his fault and if he asked her to please forgive him, could they really fix their relationship? Is there a way to forgive and forget this kind of thing?

My short answer would be: in general yes but it is extremely difficult.

The reality is that the trust, which is in my eyes the base on which love can grow, was just destroyed. Imagine that love is a plant which grows in a pot full of earth. One day you just take away the pot of earth and leave the plant lying there, the roots in the air. The plant will start dying, losing flowers and leaves and if you are not quick enough, it will die and nothing on earth can revive it. In most cases, this is what happens because a breach of trust hurts very deeply.

If there is however a last bit of earth, like the memory of the trust you once had, and if you act quickly, you can place this plant into a new pot and fill new earth into it. The plant has suffered, you cannot deny that, but if you take much care of it, it may start growing and blooming again.

You have to have the chance to express your pain and hurt and the other one has to have a chance to regret and tell you about this feeling. In order to forgive, it obviously has to be very clear that whatever your partner had with anybody outside your relationship is over once and for all. He or she has to see clearly that it was a mistake, something to regret and never to do again. This honest commitment to be true to each other is the only point where you can start from if you want to forgive and forget.

At this point I want to answer the question whether it is at all possible to forget. I think you have to. Only if you forget about it, only if you manage not to let this event disturb you anymore, you can come back to a normal relationship. Forgetting does not mean suppressing! Forgetting here means that you know it but it becomes less and less important so that you don’t keep on recalling it again and again.

If you don’t forget, you will have problems like imagining your partner having sex with someone else while you want to get intimate with each other again. Maybe you would ask your partner again and again about that other man or woman. Doing this would not be fair if you both decided to start over new.

If you decide to forgive the other one, to trust and to believe him or her that it won’t happen again, you need to let the past go. It won’t happen overnight. It is a process that can take years and even then, it is possible that the infidelity of your partner is still like a small scar on your skin, a little reminder of a bad time. If you want to try it together however, you have to have the will power to work through the emotional mess you are in, find the love that you have for each other and go through the presence into a future in which the past has been healed.

Love is a strong plant and it can survive. But it needs much care and a good soil, trust, to grow on.

Are you slow in connecting and fast in breaking up? – 22 May 12

Yesterday I wrote a few suggestions what you should consider before you break a relation. Those are valid points but unfortunately people seem to forget them because I often see how friends have a fight and end their friendship. I see how families break apart because of this and how people change their partners frequently. I often wonder how come it is so easy to take this decision!

It is an interesting contradiction that you experience every day if you keep your eyes open. Singles are looking for their partners for life. They search everywhere and then finally they find someone. It all seems great, they are on cloud nine and tell you how overjoyed and in love they are. One week later they tell you that it is over. Why, you ask and you get to know a reason that seems to be just insufficient, which you believe is maybe a point to disagree upon but surely not a point of breaking up?

The same thing happens with friends. Some people have this habit very badly that they can go together with one person only for a short time before they find some kind of fault, some reason to end the friendship. An explanation to others always seems quite poor and not understandable.

Among family members, too, this kind of thing happens although it may be a bit more rare – after all where would you get another sister, brother, father or mother from? It does happen though, the decision to be apart comes easily and quickly to some people.

The point that contradicts this however is that the decision to love someone, as a friend or a partner, is so difficult to many people. They start getting to know someone and they get along well. They meet once, twice, several times. They visit events together, eat together and more but they hesitate of calling the other person a friend. Even worse when you have to decide whether you are partners or not. Some people kiss but still hesitate to call the other one a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Even more difficult is the decision to actually marry the one you love. We joke here sometimes and call it the ‘trial period’ before making a purchase. It is however a serious matter because people are really afraid of making a decision for a lifetime. Could it be that the other one is maybe not ‘the one’? There seems to be always a tiny bit of doubt until they are finally convinced that there won’t be anybody better coming around.

So on one hand it takes a long time to make the decision to be together but on the other hand the decision to break up or finish a relation is made in seconds. I think it should not be like this.

It doesn’t matter whether it is a friendship or a partnership, you should have a big heart for others. Let them come freely. The other person is also a human being who does mistakes. You, too, could be in that situation. Don’t just break. If you forgive instead, you give the other one a possibility to learn and to improve. Maybe it was a mistake only in your eyes. Maybe it is only your perception and with a small change of view or a bit of time, you suddenly don’t mind that anymore. We are humans, be human and love.

Will God forgive your Sins if you pay Him some Money? – 8 Feb 11

Yesterday I mentioned that people seem to bribe God for the fulfillment of their wishes. This is however not the only reason why they donate to temples and other religious institutions. Another reason for many people to give money to such a place is that they feel guilty and want to be forgiven for something they did. If they do this, it seems as if they want to pay God to forgive them.

In this case, too, they give only a few coins for smaller misdeeds but open their purse widely and pull out big notes if they have committed a bigger crime or sin. It is only logical thinking: you have to show bigger remorse for bigger sins, so give some more money.

Again there is the question: do you really think God values you according to how much money you give him? No, God does not take money. The money that you donate actually benefits the place that you went to and the people who established it and work there. It can be also a guru or a master whom you donated to. And in this way, with donations, gurus, religious leaders, temples, churches and other institutions make millions and billions. They get richer and richer because people believe they can pay God.

Don’t forget that God has other values than money. He can see in your heart and reads your wishes as well as your regret for what you did. He knows exactly who you are, with every bit of your heart, every feeling and every emotion. And if you don’t regret, not any money in the world can make God think you do.

I anyway don’t think that God judges and sorts people into good people and bad people. God loves us as we are and is not angry about our mistakes. If we regret one of our actions, He knows it before we even do. It is simply our own feelings of guilt that make us want to donate. You have to forgive yourself first. Doing something good, helping someone and loving someone can help you lessening this feeling of guilt but in the end, you have to forgive yourself.

Rape Charges Filed against Nithyananda – 29 Nov 10

Yesterday I wrote about Sathya Sai Baba and how he succeeded to save himself from accusations and even court charges through high political connections. Another fraudulent guru from South India, also trying to make political bonds to save himself, was not that much successful with this strategy. The world got to know about Nithyananda when his sex scandal came out in March this year. A video tape was published by his former driver that showed him in bed with different women. Only a bit later he was searched for and finally arrested. After approximately two months he came out of jail on bail and today finally the charge sheets for his case were filed by the CID.

Nithyananda and four of his associates are charged with rape, unnatural sex, cheating, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy. One of the four is accused of destroying evidence. This evidence consisted of hundreds of contracts that Nithyananda and his organization asked people to sign. In these contracts participants agreed that programs will contain nudity, sexual activity and practice of tantric secrets. In short, it was an agreement that the master can ask the participants to have sex with him. They actually signed that they would not mind anything of that and would surely never file a case against Nithyananda because of these sexual activities.

I think in a case like this it is very hard for the victims to have the courage to go into public. Maybe hundreds of people have signed his contract and had ‘tantra time’ with him. Because of restrictions of society and worries for their reputation however, only very few women will be courageous enough to actually stand up against him. Even though the investigating parties always announced that it would be confidential, it was difficult to do this step for many and this is how it has taken so long to get 101 witnesses from India and abroad to back up the charges.

I actually got to know about Nithyananda last year when I was in America and staying with some of his followers. I felt weird about him and his message and published a video in my diary expressing my feelings. This was even long before his scandal. When his sex video came out, I wrote again in my blog and just advised him to be honest. He could have accepted that he was in love with that girl, he could have just said that he was never living in celibate and he could just have left his dirty guru business. He, the great master however, had to make drama and tried to find a way out of it in a dishonest way. Hiding, lying and posting video messages online, he tried all he could to keep up the illusion of the holy man. He did not understand that this was actually his problem and his biggest problem. This is why I believe that he should get punished for what he did even if it is difficult to find witnesses or proof. He needs to understand that he has to stop cheating people on the name of religion. He sells enlightenment for money and the path to liberation goes through his bedroom. Money and sex, a big name and some fame, that’s all it was about and if there is no will to change, he needs to learn it in this way.

I would like to make another request to government and police or to the people everywhere: please forgive him if he feels sorry for what he did, promises to close his enlightenment shop and shut down his fake Guru business. Maybe he can find another job to survive with honesty and learn to live without golden thrones.

You can always read updates on Nithyananda here: http://nithyananda-cult.blogspot.com/

More diary entries about Nithyananda:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Ability of Children to Forgive and Forget – 12 Feb 10

I mentioned sometime already that it is great how small a child's world is. When a toy breaks, everything is broken for him but then again, just a few minutes later, there is another beautiful world waiting for the child. I said that we should more often be like children and I also think that we should sometimes learn to forget more quickly, just like children.

I know a man who was stopped on the motorway by police for driving too fast. The police men were not very friendly with him and he was fined. He told me this one day later still angry. He was angry that he had been caught, angry that the police was waiting exactly at that point, angry that they had been unfriendly and angry that he had to pay.

Okay, he was angry on the second day but you wouldn't believe it, he told the same story again when we met again after half a year and he was still angry! Why do you get so angry about a small thing like this? Use it to learn something from it, then forget the event and keep the lesson. Why would you get angry after such a long time when you know it will not help you anything anymore?

It is even worse in a relation to someone else. Do you remember playing with others as a child and one day you were best friends, the next day you did not want to play with each other and then again a little later you were inseparable again?

I don't say you should be unstable but if something happened in between you, give it some time and then forget it. Leave it behind, how long will you carry something like that around?

Separation, anger, ego and a young heart – 30 Dec 09

Yesterday I was speaking about separation and in this kind of situation a couple always has many things to take care of. The longer the relationship was, the more difficult it is to separate, the people, the feelings, the belongings, maybe a common flat or house and of course the bank accounts. And if the couple have a child together they need to be even more sensitive. They both need to take responsibility for the innocent heart of the child.

You should not give a child any bitterness about the other one. Don’t plant a seed of poison in the mind and heart of the young one. Let the child build a healthy relation with their mother and father, with both! For that it is necessary to forgive and not to be angry. Anger is the name of the poison that you should not feed to your child! Why would you do that? If you choose the separation, why do you choose anger?

Most of the time I think the reason is ego. Ego is very powerful but it will not bring you anywhere. You know you are doing wrong but still ego keeps on thriving you on and on and keeps you from accepting your mistake. But then you suffer too much! I already wrote about this and want to bring it also into the context of this situation. You chose that separation is better, don’t have the ego that you are the better one, that the other one is wrong or did wrong. Your child doesn’t need to hear any of this forth and back, otherwise the young one’s heart will get torn apart. Does the small one really have to decide between the two people whom he both loves more than anything? No, please take care of this: whatever was there and whatever happened, be in the moment, go on and let your child develop its own opinion, relationship and life!

Forgive Yourself and Leave Guilt Behind – 22 Dec 09

Yesterday I wrote about guilt and of course, like other decisions, this feeling is also your decision. You want to live in guilt. If you do not make this decision you can come out of it. You can just leave it and decide not to be in guilt. But being in this feeling is easier than making the decision of not being in guilt. So people often take the easy way.

Your decision of not feeling guilty also shows your forgiveness. When you are feeling guilty it means you cannot forgive yourself. In this way it is good to accept your mistake, to say sorry and to leave the guilt.

Unfortunately because of ego we don’t do that but rather create guilt. We believe it is more uncomfortable to say sorry although we know it is wrong. What you don’t realize in this situation is that you start feeling guilty and this guilt grows and grows and you water it. Instead please make your heart big, learn forgiveness for yourself and others and be in love, not in guilt.

Forgive instead of Resenting – It Makes it Easier – 18 Oct 09

Yesterday I wrote about it how we sometimes keep some anger over many days although we could have solved it since long time. We humans tend to make our lives more difficult than they are. I have said this about people who are too much in the mind. People who think and think and think and thus make a big problem out of something that is not worth worrying about. But also people who want to make everyone happy make their own life more difficult. Of course, because it is a goal that can never be achieved.

And then there are people who are resentful and cannot forgive. They also have a hard time which they created themselves. I often meet people who complain about things which happened a long time ago. Why are you still carrying this around with you? You might think this is justice, another person did wrong to you so you need to be angry forever. But please see that this is the wrong concept! Live for yourself and see that you feel much better if you are not angry! Forgive and leave your anger behind and remember that this is not an act of grace towards the other person but that it is something that you are doing for yourself, too! Be in love, that will make many things much easier for you!

We had another beautiful day and in the evening a nice pooja ceremony which is also part of the Diwali festivities.

Forgiving can be the biggest Lesson – 27 May 09

I always say that we should express our emotions. Even if it is sadness or anger which is normal and often comes with disappointment. But another great quality of human is forgiveness. We need to learn to forgive. Anger can only burn you from inside, but if you want to have peace, you need to forgive. And this you also have to start from yourself.

Many times and in many situations we don’t even forgive ourselves and even punish ourselves. But we often also want to punish others. You can imagine what kind of lesson you can give the other one if you forgive. You punish because the other one ‘has to get a lesson’. But forgiveness can be a much bigger lesson than any punishment.

In many religions God is shown and imagined as a judge who punishes but I see God as full of love and compassion. He has the great quality of forgiveness and always forgives us even though we do mistakes. He loves us, embraces us and forgives us. You should also learn to forgive yourself, then you will be able to forgive others. Because you can see that if you were in that situation, you would also forgive yourself. Why would you not be able to forgive others then?

Today's food was sponsored by Golshan Raj Dawoodarry. Thank you!
Click here to see pictures of the food

Forgiveness is the Jewel of Life – 21 Jul 08

I received a mail today from a woman who used to read my diary. She asked me for advice, or rather for my point of view on her family situation. Her son, 22 years old, does not have a good relationship to his father. In his childhood he had seen his father being violent and then the father did not keep his promises towards him. This seems to have left an injury inside him. He doesn’t speak more than necessary with his father and whenever both are in the house, the atmosphere is tense. The woman wrote that she wanted to talk to both of them but the son doesn’t want to hear anything about it. She wanted him to forgive.

I told her that I cannot give any advice to her but if I could talk to her son, I would tell him that forgiveness is the jewel of life. When we are able to forgive, we are rich. If he could forgive, the other person, the father, could also realize his mistake. When you realize a mistake you will take care not to repeat it. It happened when he was a child and a child’s heart is very soft and sensitive. When this kind of impression is there, it can last very long. That is what I feel that is happening in her son’s heart and mind. He doesn’t even want to talk or hear about it. When he thinks of it, he closes his heart. For him it was an experience that creates anger and this is what I want to say: If he doesn’t release his anger, he will suppress it and will never be natural. He should forgive his father. That is the only way to be happy.