Forgive and be forgiven. As you give you will receive W-122.6:3-4
This blog is essentially a continuation of last week’s “To give is to receive” with a focus on how forgiving others is really how we forgive ourselves.
The unforgiving mind does not believe that giving and receiving are the same. Yet we will try to learn today that they are one through practicing forgiveness towards one whom you think of as an enemy, and one whom you consider as a friend. And as you learn to see them both as one, we will extend the lesson to yourself, and see that their escape included yours. W121.9:1-3
The unforgiving mind sees giving and receiving as separate for a purpose. If giving and receiving are separate then that means we are different. We exist as separate beings in time and space. We have a separate identity proved by my experience that when I give to you I lose. I will always try and bargain so that when I give, I am always giving less than I receive. The “fact” that you and me are different is proved by my experience that I can win and you can loose or I can loose and you can win.
The Holy Spirit’s purpose in having us experience, giving and receiving as the same is so that we realize we are not separate. We remember our inherent oneness, our shared purpose and shared identity. By forgiving others with the help of the Holy Spirit I will discover that I am giving to myself and so giving and receiving are the same.
If I get upset when you behave unkindly towards me the Holy Spirit will teach that If I forgive you, then I will receive forgiveness for myself. But how does that really work when I am so sure that I can justify my judgement of you as being unkind? Surely your unkindness has nothing to do with me? What do I need to forgive within myself when it is you who clearly is the unkind one?
To be open to experience the Holy Spirit’s version of healing I need to willing to accept that my perception is wrong. My upset at your unkindness is not justified. Only when I am open to learn will the Holy Spirit be able to teach me that what I am forgiving has really nothing to do with you but everything to do with me.
I will need help to look at the unkind thoughts in my mind that tell me I betrayed my Creator, forgot my Father, and chose to turn my back on Love. I believe my unkindness and selfishness had the consequences of destroying Heaven, killing my Father and loosing my innocence forever.
Psychologically it can be helpful to understand that I took these unkind thoughts from my mind and projected them onto you, so that I could condemn the unkindness in you and see myself as innocent. By forgiving the unkindness in you I am really forgiving myself because what I am reacting to in you has really nothing to do with you. My negative reaction has come from my reaction to my mind’s unkind thoughts and is not caused by what you did or did not do.
The experience of peace that follows true forgiveness comes from quietly looking at my mind’s unkind thoughts with the Holy Spirit and knowing that they are unreal: they did not happen. Only in an insane, mad dream do they appear to be real and have real effects.
I need to look at my attack on you and forgive myself for that as well. I attacked you when I projected my unkind thoughts onto you and then blaming you for upsetting me.
In the context of my relationship with you I see that my negative reaction towards you was unjustified. I forgive you for what you did not do to me because the only unkindness was myself towards myself. I judged myself first and then attacked you by blaming you for it!
I can now see your unkind actions were a call for help. You were wanting me to respond with love and not self defense. By reacting lovingly to you is a reflection of my choosing to look lovingly at the unkind thoughts in my mind.
A while ago my son was being annoying when I was trying to concentrate on a work project. I use the evaluation annoying to describe his talking to me and wanting me to do things with him, when I wanted to be left quiet and undisturbed. I reacted by being grumpy and unfriendly and established boundaries in a harsh way. He became upset and later when I was emphasising with him I said; “even though you were being annoying you did not want Daddy to become annoyed too. You would have liked Daddy not to get upset with your annoying behavior.” He said “yes” to this attempt of empathy and I learned something important.
So with the Holy Spirit’s help I see that forgiveness happens within my mind even though I experience it within the context of a relationship. Ultimately forgiveness is not personal, it is not even about me as an individual person. When I return to my mind I am beyond ideas of a personal self. This is ultimately why true forgiveness is so difficult for us to understand. We have enormous resistance to were true forgiveness really takes us. It will lead us beyond our individual existence to an experience of oneness and joining.
In forgiving you I experience that I have forgiven myself and then I see that giving and receiving are the same because there is no separate “you” out there, just as there is no individual “me”. Giving and receiving are one within a non personal mind.