Forgiveness: The Secret to Lasting Love

"Over time any deception destroys intimacy, 
without intimacy couples can't' have true lasting love." Bonnie Eaker

Have you ever stubbed your toe, or slammed your finger in the door? The pain experienced is often excruciating and it's like it vibrates throughout the body in layers. The injury happened to your toe or finger, so why are you feeling pain in other areas? Did the thought cause a deep frown, or did your body scrunch up? Did you think, 'yes I have and I don't ever want to feel that pain again'? The incident might have happened sometime ago, but the remembrance of the pain it caused, is clear enough for your body to react now, at the mere thought. Your body has a physical reaction to your emotional pain as well. We can carry stress and pain in different physical areas of the body. Our bodies have ways to protect us from feeling pain and will shut down to protect the inner organs if needed. Keep this in mind as you read further.

Now think of a time when someone close to you deceived you and violated your trust. The injury wasn't an attack to your physical body per say, but your body probably reacted to your emotional pain. When someone close to you lies, cheats or does something to deceive you, the trust once established is quickly destroyed. Trust is built over time, but can be shattered in an instance. It's difficult to be close with someone we don't trust. It's even more difficult to restore trust where it has been destroyed. Where there's no trust there's no intimacy. Think of how your body reacts to someone you don't trust. You no longer desire to be close to that person, touched by that person, etc. Your body responds indirectly to protect your inner workings from being hurt in the same way again. You can become callous or hard without even noticing.

As this process happens you no longer communicate, share space or yourself. How can you have a healthy relationship if your desire to be close to the person leaves?  It's just not possible. How do you restore the lost intimacy? Intimacy is present when trust is present. You only desire to be intimate with someone you trust. Trust has to be rebuilt. In order for this to begin, both parties have to own the pain that came as a result of the deception. That's the first step. Acting like the injury wasn't painful only allows the pain to swell and become an open sore. Every time it's touched, you are taken back to the time the pain was created. As a result the pain keeps being recreated and the wound doesn't heal properly. If you make a habit out of dealing with pain this way, it's safe to say your filled with a lot of open sores. Your body probably doesn't know which is which. The impact of the new injury and pain caused, only adds to the injury list, and layers of pain. 

Time will allow the pain to subside, but the wound doesn't begin to heal until we make a decision to forgive those who caused the pain. Forgiveness doesn't need time. Forgiveness needs deliberate action. You have to decide to forgive. Time will heal the wound. Time will allow trust to be rebuilt. However, this isn't possible until: 1.) We acknowledge it hurt and the pain we feel. 2.)We decide to forgive the person, the act, and the pain it caused. 3.) We decide to work together to rebuild the trust first. The intimacy will show up again as a result. Remember the more layers of pain present, the more time it will take to heal them all. This process can and should be done as often as necessary to keep the love and intimacy strong in our relationships.

With Love & Gratitude,
~C. Nzingha