Forgiveness is a gift to myself
Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. MFT20,5.
Forgiveness is a gift to ourselves.
Forgiveness is a gift and a blessing to ourselves. It is the one illusion that leads us out of the illusion. It is the one thing we can actively do, that brings us to the Peace of God, which is a beautiful, tranquil mind. If we can quietly acknowledge that the teachings of A Course in Miracles are a gift to us, rather than something that is unknown, we can become the happy learner that the Holy Spirit asks us to be. Being a happy learner, means that even though we may not be experiencing peace right now, we have recognised that forgiveness is the gift that we desire. We recognise that it leads us away from suffering to the awareness of perfect oneness. When we become aware that forgiveness is a gift to us, we become more motivated to actively practice it.
Forgiveness is then seen to have real and tangible benefits to us. To forgive, does not ask us to sacrifice anything. Forgiveness always brings more peace to our and our brother’s weary mind. We want peace of mind. Forgiveness is the gift that brings this peace of mind to us. Peace is the goal of the course. Peace comes from having our perception changed as a result of practicing the lessons as instructed, reading the Text and developing the trust in our inner guide. We come to understand that all this brings us the gift of peace. The beautiful lily of forgiveness that we offer our brother sets us free. It is a gift to ourselves.
Forgiveness is my function.
The word function means “an activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing”. So, forgiveness is my natural purpose in this lifetime. The purpose of our lives now becomes a single minded decision to practice forgiveness. Jesus is telling us that our only purpose is to practice forgiveness. Let us make the decision to accept the correction for ourselves. Let us make the decision to practice forgiveness. Let us recognise that through this practice, we receive the gift of happiness. Let us not forget our function or we miss out on the gift of happiness.
How do I forgive?
The word forgive has a different meaning in A Course in Miracles from the worlds meaning. To forgive, means firstly that we need to accept the atonement for ourselves. Atonement means correction. Therefore, we need to accept that we need a correction bought into our minds to change how we perceive everyone, everything including the world and universe.
No one can accept correction for us. We can be helped by others who demonstrate certainty in God’s Love, but it is only us that can ask for a correction. Jesus is very clear in his teachings, that our responsibility is not to try to change the world, but to have our mind changed about the world. We cannot change our own minds about the world without help, because we have made a closed thought system that has at its base, the belief in separation from God. This closed thought system, called the ego, is based on the belief in separation. Without help from the Holy Spirit or Jesus, we remain closed off from the mind that is wise, peaceful, free, vast, divine and One.
We don’t know that we have another mind available to us to help us change our perception. We only know the ego thought system and therefore we do not have much awareness that there is another way to perceive and thus experience everything. So, we must start to trust the teachings of Jesus, that we have the Holy Spirit in our mind which will correct all our perceptions, beliefs, thoughts and concepts.
When we accept the correction from the Holy Spirit, this is called the practice of forgiveness. The Holy Spirit is the one that brings in “another way to see the person or situation”.
When we receive the correction, our mind shifts from fear based thoughts to love based thoughts. Our mind shifts from being upset to being peaceful. Our mind shifts from feelings of annoyance, depression, anxiety, shamefulness, fearfulness or anger to being clear, calm, peaceful and joyful. The outcome of the shift of our perception is peace of mind, which is called the miracle. The miracle is this shift in perception, where we experience our mind moving from fear to love. This shift of perception is no small thing. It is the miracle. It is a huge gift to ourselves. To have our minds shifted from a perception based on a hidden hatred that we have suffered from for 50 years, to a present love, is a huge change for our minds. The miracle always reveals that the true miracle is the power of God’s Love.
Each small shift of perception that comes as a correction, brings the gift of peace and the feeling of being connected to a divine love. The gift of peace, love and happiness is the outcome from accepting the correction for ourselves from the Holy Spirit or Jesus. This is the gift that Jesus loves us to have. God wants us to be happy. We want to be happy. Forgiveness – the act of accepting a correction – brings that happiness.
To practice forgiveness, we need to first notice that we are upset. Feeling upset is usually experienced as feeling angry, annoyed, inpatient, frustrated, rushed, depressed, anxious, ashamed, guilty, jealous, fearful, sad, lonely, overwhelmed, feeling you always fail, not good enough, unworthy, sinful, stained with sin, dark inside, tired, sick, suffering and pain. Being upset also includes feeling slightly irritated, bored, blaise, flat, purposeless and that everything is meaningless. All these are classified as feeling upset. So, our responsibility is to first notice that we are upset. Then once we can see that we are upset and confirm that we don’t have the experience of peace and happiness we desire, then we remind ourselves that we need correction by our wise and loving inner guide. We remind ourselves that we need a correction.
The correction can include applying the daily lesson to the upset, opening the course and reading something, receiving a word or phrase to repeat, feeling to meditate, a prompt to sit and focus on God’s Love, a prompt to write about the upset and then do a written process which brings another view or a prompt to call a trusted friend to share the upset and let Holy Spirit speak through them. These are just some of the ways I have received correction.
I also was given visualisations to do with by brothers over the years. I was given to wash their feet as if they were Christ. I was asked to say “I love you in my mind to everyone I saw or met. I was even given to say “I Love you” outloud to everyone I met when I was out Christmas shopping one year. I was asked to write down everything I wanted my partner to say to me and then I was guided to say those things to him, without expecting anything in return. I was asked to let go of the meaning of Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthdays and anniversaries, but instead just enjoy the joining with my brothers. I was asked to cook and feed all the members of my ACIM group and expect nothing from anyone. I was asked to give my time away freely to everyone without any thought of how I would pay my bills. All these I followed exactly as asked. I found that each thing I was asked to do, was the practice of forgiveness and it bought me closer to trust, peace and happiness.
Over the years, I got very good at remembering to practice forgiveness, whenever I felt upset. I could feel that I was stablising in the Love of God and I was enjoying the gift of receiving the correct view of everyone and everything. I then received guidance to apply a particular Christ blessing to my brothers. I was guided to visualise my brothers face in my mind, one who I may have even the slightest grievance towards and repeat slowly the following blessing to him, whilst maintaining eye contact with him. The blessing goes like this…
I love you, I bless you, I honour you. You are innocent. You are sinless. You are guiltless. You are perfect. You are whole. You are complete. You are Holy. You are as God created you. Amen.
This Christ Blessing shifted instantly any grievance I held in my mind. It shifted any annoyance, frustration or feeling of being unfairly treated. It instantly let the past go and bought my mind to the Holy Instant with the Holy Spirits view of my brother, which is my Self. I was guided by Jesus to teach this Christ blessing to others, as a way to “See your brother as sinless and thus release yourself”. This blessing shows us what we are NOW. It brings us directly into the Christ Self.
The gift of forgiveness is for us. It shows us that the darkness within us, is simply the absence of light. Darkness has no reality at all. A dark room is not scary, it simply has no light in it. Let us accept the gift of light into our mind that is the Holy Spirit, who was given to us to help us awaken. Let us surrender and let him do His job of bringing in the Light that releases our minds from everything we have made. Love and blessings to everyone, everywhere. Love Cate xxx
Below are some beautiful quotes relating to Forgiveness.
“Do not hide suffering from His sight but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from his light and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover. For he will heal every little thought you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God.”T13,III,7.
“Atonement teaches you how to escape forever from everything that you have taught yourself in the past, by showing you only what you are now. Nothing you have ever learned can help you understand the present or teach you how to undo the past. Your past is what you have taught yourself. Let it all go. Do not attempt to understand any event or anything or anyone in its “light,” for the darkness in which you try to see can only obscure.” T14,XI,3. FIP
“Learn of God’s happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth, and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take. Every dark lesson that you bring to Him Who teaches light He will accept from you, because you do not want it. And He will gladly exchange each one for the bright lesson He has learned for you. Never believe that any lesson you have learned apart from Him means anything.” T14,XI,4.