If you are having difficulty forgiving yourself it is likely because you are trying to get there thru the ego’s perception of whether of not you deserve it. You can save yourself a lot of pain and frustration when you realize that is simply not going to happen. It is only because of the ego’s perception you feel guilty in the first place. Self-forgiveness can only occur outside of your perception. It is, in fact, the beginning of the end of the ego entirely. Self-forgiveness is the perfect opportunity to allow the Voice for God to replace the ego’s perception in all our decision-making. Ask Love to take you to the Presence that knows your innocence is real. Find the relief that comes with knowing you cannot change what God created Part of All He Is.
Who we are is wholly spirit, joined in a single Mind, sharing a common purpose. Everything we give or withhold from anyone is given or withheld from everyone, including ourselves. Forgiveness of everyone is needed to forgive anyone. Condemning the one you hate condemns the one you love. You cannot have something for yourself without sharing it. Choose fear and you offer the experience of hell to everyone. Choose love and you bring all Creation to Heaven’s Gate.
If you look at the world and see all the pain and suffering, the hatred and attack that seems to be there and come to the conclusion that forgiveness of the whole world is too much a stretch for you, remind yourself that everything you see “out there” is a mirror for how you see yourself. Changing the world is not about changing the world, it is about changing what you see there. The world is literally a state of mind, with its events and experiences being the effect, the instant “replay” in form of the thoughts in consciousness that are their cause. And should you wonder, there is no real distinction to be made between upset with a neighbor’s noise and a war that rages over religious disagreement. With their outcome being the demand that fear is more important than love, all forms of attack are the same. So change the world by forgiving what you once have judged. Bring a loving thought to our consciousness that peace may be seen in the world.
How strange it is to realize that my perception of myself is not even about me. It’s about a character I imagine, playing a role to validate my belief that there is something wrong with me. Its even stranger to realize that to get to know myself I also need to know you, not just because we’re alike, but because we are actually a part of one another. In fact, Self-inquiry must fail if you anticipate discovering an “enlightened” version of the individual self you now see. Open your mind to finding your real self by forgiving and accepting the one in your experience you would think least likely to be your “savior.” Extending love to the character he is playing is the perfect way to discover the Presence of Love in the real you.
Don’t ever feel you have to pursue your awakening or face your challenges alone. If you can’t find the Presence of your God Self, call upon a friend for help. God is present everywhere so any friend will do.
The ego will not learn to heal itself. Its thought of sickness exists to prove that sin and separation is real. Healing is brought to us with the awareness that God’s Son cannot be sick because God cannot be sick and His Son cannot be different or apart from What created him, whole and as a part of Its One Self. Accept the God Self as a witness to your innocence then become your brother’s witness to what is true for everyone.
We are too familiar with the voice in our mind that tells us of all we have done wrong and of our many shortcomings. It seems to speak from a “place” outside of us as, as though coming from someone else. Yet I know in truth this cannot be. This “other” voice is me, the part of me that cannot wholly allow me to forgive and love myself. This is where the healing of my belief in separation must begin. This is where I must first declare the belief in sin is not real. Until I will allow my mind to be at peace within itself the world will seem in conflict with me. If there is a part of me I cannot love then hate and fear, pain and suffering seems justified in everything I see. To love your brother or know God’s Love for you, ask to remember the self you knew before the world began, the happy one who used to play with God.
To be “born again” is to remember the innocence of the love that created you like Itself.
Free will is not the latitude to make true what is not true. It is not possible4 to separate your will from the Will that created you and so make a different “truth” to govern your experience. And if you are confused about whether it is love or fear that God made real before the world began, ask yourself which would have been your will if the choice were yours. Ultimately it will be your choice to decide which you will accept as true. Seeing it in this way makes it clear that your decision is always about what you really want to be true.
Every moment of every day is a moment when truth is available to replace our illusions. For truth is in full bloom within our mind, this very instant. It will only seem to grow as we accept the single thought: Sin is not real. Forgive this one thought now and be willing to see a happy world arise to replace the one we have made a prisoner of fear. Remove the thought of sin from your mind and let the world become a haven of peace and safety. There is no world but this one within our mind. There is no darkness there but disguises the Light of His perfect Love. Choose this moment to be the one you will accept God’s Gift of Truth and free the world to be a mirror for His Love.
Loving support and guidance are always with us. They are a natural function of a joined mind in harmony with Itself, expressing love as its only purpose. It is our awareness of this that comes and goes depending on whether we feel deserving to be loved. When you feel disconnected and unable to hear, ask the God Self to bring you someone who needs your love. Watch as you give love how it comes back to you. Notice as you connect in love there is no one you cannot welcome there. Now notice that what you could not “hear” before has come into your mind. Whatever the question seemed to be, loving is always the answer.
Many years ago a friend gave us a lovely in-laid, colored glass plaque to hang above our entry door. PEACE TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE, it said. It felt so good each time I saw it I decided I would also mentally “hang” it on the entry to my mind. It’s a good reminder of what I want there.
When you feel called upon to give love to someone your ego tells you is undeserving, you feel a sense of sacrifice, as though you are “losing” something by giving it. Just the opposite, however, is true. It was only your feeling deprived of love that made you reluctant to give it. But in the act of giving you now discover what you didn’t know you had. A brother never asks of you what you would not benefit from by giving it. It is not possible for one to lose while another gains. Giving and receiving are the same. It is all an exchange within our one Self, a mutual satisfying of every need or desire we perceive to have. Recognize this and you have taken a giant stride toward accepting the reality of our Oneness.
Few have yet realized the value and the power of the Love residing in them. This recognition does not come until we have let go the seeking of things that have no real value. Its meaning will remain elusive until loving a brother and loving yourself merge into one love. But come it must for love alone defines the nature of your Being. There will be a moment when you look into a brothers eyes and see reflected there all you have ever searched for. You will see a Light so radiant and pure the thought of sin will lose its meaning; a feeling of joy that only God’s Love could express. And you will recognize it is your Self you have found in him. This holy encounter awakens the truth in both of you and throughout the one consciousness. You will know then you are free to come Home, for you have now found your Fathers lost Son.
When you wonder why it sometimes seems that fear is stronger than love, recall how often you practice using each of them. We will always rely upon what we believe serves us best. The more you practice relying upon love the stronger it will become in your experience.
What you see thru the perception of separateness will appear to be different and functioning apart from you and everything else. But in truth nothing can exist apart from your awareness of it, and so you have the power to change the meaning and the purpose of everything in your awareness. Picture yourself connected to everything you can think of, its form and its function now being irrelevant. The world that once seemed “out there,” now fits nicely into your picture. Hold this thought and feel the dimension of your mind expand to embrace a truth it had forgotten, but now begins to remember. Now thoughts of your brother flow freely into your picture and you welcome the feeling of connection that has drawn them there. Your “seeing” and theirs begins now to merge as you feel the love of your joining. Here your awareness of what is real will change. For here you now feel what it means to be whole.
It is confusing when ACIM teaches that what is not in alignment with the truth of our Oneness is not real and does not even exist. How can it not exist when our eyes seem to “see” a whole world all around us? It is confusing because we forget the eyes of our physical body, thought to be outside of our mind, function only to serve our perception of what else is out there. We believe it is possible for there to be something “outside” the one Mind of God so our eyes must confirm this is true. Remind yourself that your physical eyes can see nothing real for there is nothing outside you to see. And what is not part of you does not exist.
It is good to be reminded that when the world’s suffering and seeming lack of love tend to overwhelm us, these experiences arise because they best reflect what we think is true. It is easy to forget when we blame a brother for his shortcomings we bring lack into our own lives. Or when we accuse him of attacking us it is the same thought we use to condemn ourselves, bringing guilt and sickness to our experience. We do not recognize that accepting sin and separation as real brings all the accompanying thoughts that support it. So when angry or fearful or unloving thoughts about others appear, remind yourself who suffers their consequences. Then forgive yourself for attacking yourself and feel your God Self answering your call for love.
Jesus frequently reminds us that the memory of God is forever in our mind. I ask how to best awaken that memory. He replies, “With the willingness to love yourself.” And how do I do that, I ask? Ask to see your brother before you long ago cast the shadow of sin upon him. When Love no longer is denied It’s Source will be remembered.” God is present, here and now. The Light has come.
If you think your perception is the truth and then experience the thoughts that arise from it fearfully, you have associated fear with truth and you will be afraid to find the truth of yourself. It is this thinking that has led us to fear the Will of God, firmly establishing the “reality” of fear and the weakness of love. If you want to be free of fear let this awareness be your motivation for turning more to the God Self for guidance. Learn to associate fear with illusion, truth with love and you will come to know your will and the Will of God are one.