A Course in Miracles says: Offer him thorns (condemnation) and you are crucified. Offer him lilies (forgiveness) and it is yourself you free. (ACIM T-20 II)
A Course in Miracles teaches that the purpose of the world is to obscure your function of forgiveness, but to the Holy Spirit (the voice of and for God) the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation. (ACIM W64)
Our practice of forgiveness and our extension to others eventually allow the eyes of Christ to open within us. These are spiritual eyes in us that see with true vision. Seeing past bodies, they look upon the holiness in others just as plainly as our body’s eyes look on physical forms. Through the eyes of Christ we will at last see the real world, a world of light composed of the radiant holiness in everyone and everything. … No longer will we see a world of enemies poised to attack. Although the forms of the world will still behave much as before, we will see beneath the surface to a world that could not be more opposite. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest friend. And we in turn will love everyone, with a divine love that completely ignores all differences between people, including differences in how they treat us. (ACIM Intro)
I don’t think the above needs much explanation, but I do believe it is important we explore what forgiveness actually means. My 83 year old father and I were discussing what true forgiveness really means. We hear so much about forgive and forget; but it is not about that. It is not about forgiving someone and forgetting what has happened. We hear – forgive the person, because holding on to the unforgiveness only hurts you (much truth in that), this too is not the real reason. So what is forgiveness and how can we live in a constant state of forgiveness?
Let’s get practical for a second. Someone does something to provoke you and your immediate instinctive habitual pattern is to react. So, instead of calmly staying in the center core of yourself, where you find the peace of God, you react. You lose your center point of being, and you react to an illusion which is not really there. So why does this happen? It is just the ego’s attempt to unsettle you and to keep you from the one thing that you desire above all – to return home, back to eternal communion with the one who created who you are; your eternal Source of Creation, God. (Side note – I am not religious and neither am I describing God mentioned in the Bible or constructed by man’s interpretation of God. I am talking about the Divine Intelligent Being that created everything, is in all and desires for us to awaken and return to our Source.)
But what I have found is this. While I can spend a good part of my day being grounded and centered in peace, there are times when my resistance is lowered and I react to things that ordinarily would not even get me to bat an eyelid. And when this happens, chaos ensues. Energy shifts start happening, and in place of peace, I find myself in a self-seeking justification mode. How dare he/she do that to me! After all the things I do for them! Who do they think they are blah blah blah. You know what I mean. And then, after a few moments have passed, I wish I could have initially placed the whole thing in perspective and seen that it was all an illusion to begin with. Now this might sound absurd to you, because you can say – but hey, they DID do that. And to you, looking out through your physical eyes, that is what you see. But if you stepped aside from physicality for a moment and saw that you are not your body, but that you are truly free, an unlimited source of love that is one with your brothers (there is no gender in the spiritual realm, so I am using brother to refer to what we know as male and female), and one with your Source, hereinafter referred to as many different things such as – God, the Universe, Love, the Truth, Light etc, you would see that your brother is wholly pure and innocent.
If you truly stepped aside and looked at your brother with your spiritual eye, then you will see that your brother is whole and perfect and loved by God just as much as you are. You would not react to their physical manifestations, because you would see that that is only bringing you out of the harmony of who you truly are, who you are in your brother and who you are in God.
So what does it mean to forgive? It is simply this.
Let go of the illusion. Let go of the fact that something external has happened to you, for everything that happens to you is an internal manifestation, and see you brother as whole and pure.
Forgiveness is about bringing yourself back into peaceful alignment with who you are and to continue extending love to all you meet. Release the energy of wanting to do harm to another. Release the energy of fear, hatred, guilt, shame, desperation, anger and all other emotions that keep you stuck.
Just the other day I felt stuck energy in my psyche, so I decided to go to a yoga class at gym. I dedicated my session to someone I felt that I needed to release and I did as much as I could. After the session, the subtle shifts in energy was palpable. It was loving, kind and I could feel energy flowing again – not that same old stale stagnant energy. Now while there is still some more shifting that needs to be done, I am grateful for the process that has begun.
I encourage you to forgive yourself, God, others and all things that you have ever felt has betrayed your confidence or hurt and disappointed you. Let it all go. Because by not forgiving yourself or your brother or God, you are only crucifying yourself.
I firmly believe that everyone is doing the best they can in this world of illusions. Some are awake, some are awakening and others are fast asleep. For those who are awake and awakening, you have the gift of sight that so many do not have. Be gentle on them. Be gentle with yourself and see that everyone has the spark of the Divine in the center of their being. All that has happened is that the illusions of the world have stuck fast to them, and so they are not able to break free, for the illusions have them firmly in their grasp, telling them that everything else is a lie. That is what the ego does. It convinces you that you are right. That you have a right to stand your ground. That you have a right to protect yourself. But the truth is – you are already protected, loved, safe and secure, you just cannot see it.
So with tenderness and kindness, remember that your brother is one with you and treat everyone accordingly.
Love and light to all.