Remember who you are for within this memory is peace set free.
Today, I sit on the sunny Atlantic shores of mid-Florida. It’s a lovely day and it’s on days like this that I feel there is nothing in this world that needs my forgiveness. But, can this be true?
As remarkable as this may sound, it is!
Believe me, I did not grow up believing and behaving that there is no one or no-thing to forgive. I grew up believing that people, not me, need my forgiveness and that I would honor them with it only as I saw fit. I also grew up understanding that forgiveness was conditional. Anyone who stepped out of line would risk having my wrath of anger yield upon them once again and often times I would add a little something to the mix by vowing to never forgive them again. Does any of this sound familiar? Did you grow up with similar beliefs about forgiveness?
Well, if you did, you came to the right place!
You see, my spiritual journey has taught me that forgiveness is the richest tool we have in our toolbox. It is the Tool of all Tools. Without forgiveness, we would drown in our hopelessness. As we become angry at one and withhold forgiveness, we step onto a slippery slope that leads to nothing but quicksand below. Once angry, we are always angry until the solution is discovered – forgiveness.
However great forgiveness is as a tool, one has to wield it wisely to summon the greatest effect – everlasting peace. Yes, forgiveness cultivates peace everlasting. There is no other tool more effective in your tool shed. However, in order to use it wisely, one must find its operator’s manual, the manual for self-forgiveness.
What, you say! Yes, the operator’s manual will tell you how to use self-forgiveness wisely. Well then, you ask, if the operator’s manual is our guide to everlasting peace, who, then, created the operator’s manual? Good question. Common sense would dictate that if forgiveness is a miracle given and thus received, and miracles come from something larger than ourselves, then it must be that Large Portion of ourself that created the everlasting solution. I call it God, but you can call it whatever you want.
Now that we know what forgiveness is and who it is for, we need to apply it. You see, whenever we offer forgiveness unconditioned by egoistic rules, we miraculously develop clarity, meaning, we allow ourselves to see another in a different light.
Seeing is perception. Once we’ve asked for a miraculous solution, our perception changes. As our perception changes, we become closer to who we are – Creators – and we begin creating miracles. The Author of A Course in Miracles talks to us about the miracle of forgiveness.
This is the miracle of creation; that it is one forever. Every miracle [of forgiveness] you offer to the Son of God is but the true perception of one aspect of the whole. Though every aspect is the whole, you cannot know this until you see that every aspect is the same, perceived in the same light and therefore one. Everyone seen without the past thus brings you nearer to the end of time by bringing healed and healing sight into the darkness and enabling the world to see. For light must come into the darkened world to make Christ’s vision possible even here. Help Him to give His gift of light to all who think they wander in the darkness, and let Him gather them into His quiet sight that makes them one.
The Author speaks of the “Son of God.” The Son is you and I together as One. True forgiveness creates true perception, meaning, that whenever we dare to take a leap of faith and change our perception of another, we proclaim Oneness. We announce to the Universe that we understand that what is given is received. As we offer forgiveness to one we once thought was guilty (of some act), we wisely choose to see differently. As our perception changes, our sight is healed. As He heals our sight, we begin to see as Christ did (does). Christ heals us through forgiving sight because His was forgiven. Therefore, when we choose to overlook or pardon the mistake of another, our unhealed perception of another’s guilt is healed. Because we are One, we heal as we offer healing.
If someone or something does anything that takes your peace away, say to yourself, “You are forgiven.” It is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to say it out loud to the person and in some cases it will not be necessary. For all that is necessary is that you have agreed to make the offer and have vowed to never rescind. This is how true forgiveness is used.
What is most notably important to understand about offering forgiveness is that it does not mean we condone the behavior or some condition that we believe has stolen our peace. Rather, we look past the behavior/condition, accept it as having been part of our experience, and move on!
Furthermore, forgiveness does not mean we give the offender or offending situation a ticket to reoffend or allow them to use us like a doormat. Instead, we move on leaving the offending person, group, thing or cause behind. If we cannot live with the offender (condition), or have them (it) in our lives, then we need to kindly walk away. In other words, if we cannot live in peaceful Oneness with the person, relationship, cause or condition, then it is time to turn the other cheek and walk away. We do this for our own peace of mind. This is what it means to understand our Oneness. If we cannot be at One within a two-ness relationship or condition, we must wisely choose to walk away so that we may regain our sanity (otherwise known as a state of peacefulness – Oneness).
Being One means we operate from an understanding that since forgiveness is given and received as one then it must mean that no one really needs to be forgiven, right? It is the same as giving someone who needs two dollars and you give him two dollars, and as you give him two dollars, he gives you two in return. Haven’t you ever done this with your sister or brother’s kids for their birthdays and they return the same amount of cash to your children for their birthdays? Whose further ahead economically, you or your sibling? No one, right? Why don’t they just agree to keep their cash and give it to their kids on your behalf? Wouldn’t that make more sense
When you look upon forgiveness from this same vantage point (perception), you can easily see that no one really needs forgiveness because as we give it, it comes back to us like a boomerang. Just remember it like this. If you believe someone needs to be forgiven, then so do you. On the other hand, if you do not believe you need to be forgiven, then neither does the other.
Next time, we will discuss what true forgiveness does when it is given. In the meantime, I lovingly encourage you to open up your heart and change your mind for as you do, you will have become the Creator of miracles and master peace everlasting.
If you are truly ready to change and heal your life, you will want to practice the miraculous art of forgiveness. Believe me! It is worth your time.
A Course in Miracles. Ch 13 “From Perception to Knowledge” II. The Role of Healing. ACIM OE Ch 13, 5.