Ask A Kabbalist

Should I forgive and forget?

Question:

I think my tikun has to do with the fact that I can't stand being lied to, betrayed, or having things done behind my back. I’m going through a very, very difficult situation of betrayal. Should I forgive and forget? Should I cut the person out of my life? What is the right way to react to this situation? ~CH

Answer:

Dear CH,

What a great question for so many of us! Your question brings up two important points. The first is the idea of tikun. The word tikun means correction. It is the correction of our negative behaviors–our klipot or shells that HIDE the Light of our soul. Dealing with our tikun means removing the shells of negativity by proactive transformation of that negative behavior. Since we created the klipot by easy and comfortable reactive, self-centered behavior, our tikun has to be our exertion of uncomfortable sharing for the good of others; that is, proactive transformation. This transformation unblocks the Light of our soul and allows that Light to shine into our life, bringing new blessings. So, our tikun is any reactive feeling awakened in any situation.

The second point is to forgive and forget. The Zohar teaches us that “repentance” was created BEFORE the world, because God knew that man, having free will, would make mistakes and create chaos. So, the kabbalistic idea of repentance is “repairing” the mistake, not just saying sorry.

To answer your question specifically, forgiveness is the method of repair for YOU to remove your blockage of holding on to negative feelings and blockages that YOU hold towards the person that wronged you. So, forgiveness is for YOU first and foremost, and for the other person secondarily. Forgiveness allows you to remove your klipot. Forgiving the other person DOES NOT mean that you are affirming or excusing their behavior, or that you have to be their friend. It means that you are clearing your “spiritual pipes” that channel the Light of the Creator into your life.

The question of forgetting is separate. IF the person that did the negative thing HAS NOT changed their behavior, if they have not acted with remorse or regret, then they are the SAME person that did the negative thing in the first place. Therefore, you SHOULD NOT forget what they did, so YOU don’t fall into the same negative situation again. You forgive, but don’t forget. If they did truly change, then you forget what they did because it won’t happen again. In which case, you can forgive and forget.

If you need more specific support in your situation, please speak to your personal teacher.

Light and blessings,

Chaim

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