Home Life Challenges Forgiveness Adultery has blocked my spiritual life

Adultery has blocked my spiritual life

Q: I was unfaithful to my spouse. I stopped the affair, but our marriage is ending. I now feel blocked spiritually, like I can't forgive myself and move on.

A:  "I feel so sorry that you are suffering such painful regret. I understand regret, as I suffered with it for quite awhile in my past—still do, at times—but when it was at its worst, I was no good to anyone...I can understand that space of inertia, where you can't really move forward because the past is just too heavy around your heart...

Whatever your misdeeds were—in this case, infidelity—they are already forgiven. I can say that with absolute certainty, and I hope you can take that in and believe it as well. God has forgiven you, especially since you have recognized and seem to have sincere remorse for what you did.

You are right: a very important piece of forgiveness is to forgive yourself. Jesus said:

"My disciples must not only cease to do evil but learn to do well; you must not only be cleansed from all conscious sin, but you must refuse to harbor even the feelings of guilt. If you confess your sins, they are forgiven; therefore must you maintain a conscience void of offense." (156:2.7)

That is kind of a "wow" statement, but it is very true. When we continually harbor the feelings of sorrow and regret over our failings, we simply cannot move forward. And so, it is important that you begin to actively and seriously think about forgiving yourself.

One technique that was of some help to me during some particularly dark days was to imagine that I was looking at my life as from the outside—as if I was looking at a friend, perhaps. How would I respond to a beloved friend or relative who was in the same situation I was in? Would I withhold my love and care from her because she was unfaithful to her husband? I can see she's sorry...and has taken steps to stop the affair...would I shun her, and expect her to wallow in sackcloth and ashes? Or would I say to her: "You know, we all make mistakes in life. We all fall short of our ideals. One mistake does not define a whole life. I love you, and I know you will do better in the future. You'll learn from this, and it will never happen again"

In short, practice the same kind of compassionate love on yourself as you would practice on a beloved friend or sister or brother. To refuse to do so effectively says "no thanks" to God's forgiveness. Thinking that you are unworthy of forgiveness is really an act of pride...there is no one who cannot be forgiven—no one. Try to let this truth sink into your inner being...

What you are going through cannot be ignored or wished away. You do have to deal with it, but it does not have to last forever. You say that you feel spiritually blocked. This is understandable. I have some suggestions from The Urantia Book; Take all, some, or none, but I want you to know that it is the kind of truth revealed in The Urantia Book that brought me back from the brink many years ago. I know that if you are a truthseeker, you will always benefit from its truths and comforts. And if you do this assignment, maybe you'll be too busy in the present to want to dwell in the past. These activities will help you live in the present moment, which is where we find God and open that channel of relationship with him. God is our heavenly spirit Father and he loves us with a fatherly affection. He wants to help you.

I would like to suggest that you begin your spiritual recovery by doing a bit of reading in The Urantia Book. Start with Papers 1-5—about God the Father and his love for us, and perhaps you might like to read Papers 100-103—these are dealing with spiritual growth and reality of religious experience, and are mightily inspiring. Start with either one.

It is important that you try to gain a larger view—one that is not concentrated solely on your problems. You are a human being of eternal destiny and you carry within you a Divine spark of God. I guarantee that if you sincerely acknowledge the presence of God who walks through your life with you, you will find new purpose and a way forward. Not only that, but you will learn new ways of viewing your life and your choices and you'll gain strength to deal with the present problems you are experiencing as a result of this past event.

Another suggestion I can offer is to find someone who needs you—find someone who is worse off than you are and do some service for them with no thought of repayment. There are lonely people everywhere. Look for them...nursing homes, in homeless shelters, women's shelters, hospice...there are volunteer positions you could add to your day—delivering meals to seniors through "Meals on Wheels" for example. Find something to do. Fill your spare time with service to others. Instead of lamenting your loss, you may find a part of you that will fill the empty places. Again, this is an activity which encourages present-moment living—the eternal NOW, where God can be found..

Said Jesus: "My children, if there exists a true and living connection between the child and the Father, the child is certain to progress continuously toward the Father's ideals. True, the child may at first make slow progress, but the progress is none the less sure. The important thing is not the rapidity of your progress but rather its certainty. Your actual achievement is not so important as the fact that the direction of your progress is Godward. What you are becoming day by day is of infinitely more importance than what you are today." (147:5.7)

The fact that you are reaching out now says to me that you are turning a corner. I am so glad that you chose Truthbook.com as a place that you felt good enough about to share this personal time in your life, and I will agree with you in prayer right now that you will from this day forward, seek truth, beauty and goodness in your life, and you will find it."

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:: Author: Staff