By Tom Carpenter
Here is an exercise that can be very enlightening, is fun to do and can, coincidently, change your life.
Each day for a week count all the opportunities you can find to forgive and bring a loving intention to answer what you had perceived as a problem. Be creative. Try each day to best the day before. Do this with friends. Help one another when something seems unforgivable. At weeks end take a moment to contemplate if you are happier than the week before.
At the end of the week it will likely have begun to become evident there actually is no problem for which love is not the only answer on which we can rely. Which, in turn, leads to an amazing revelation: What makes a problem a problem is only our unwillingness to see love as the answer.
Change is something we generally resist unless we find it brings us more of what we want than what we had before. Recognizing that forgiveness makes us happier lowers our resistance to hearing the Voice For God and so leads us to the Vision of our loving Self held there for us. And the more we use this awareness the more clearly what it expresses becomes real to us.
We are learning how to forgive because what we would judge is not real. Yet we keep feeling compelled to judge because we continue to make the old choices in our lives that support the ego’s belief of what is real. The existence of something in the world does not make it real. Only belief in it has made it seem real. It is only this that has given it the “substance” to be in our world.
Feeling the freedom of our release from guilt and the happiness that comes with it gives us a different “measure” for what is real. Now when Jesus refers to a world ruled by fear and suffering as “unreal” we can more easily relate to what he means. Even the briefest glimpse of what it is like to be free of guilt revives our memory of what love is and who we really are.
Using the intention to love to solve our problems withdraws the value we have placed on hate and fear. Without those values, what we want for ourselves changes and what we want to be real shifts. Now the Vision the Holy Spirit holds of a forgiven world becomes real for us because we have chosen to use that Vision in the world we see.
I speak to many people now who want to understand why there seems to be a sense of impatience, a kind of dissatisfaction or uncertainty in their lives. This is the feeling that arises when our seeking and our learning has given us a greater depth of understanding, yet our world seems much the same as it was before. This is not easily understood because to the ego’s perception the goal is learning and that has been achieved. The ego does not acknowledge that it is our belief and the thoughts which arise from it, that make our world. And so understanding alone does not change our belief or the world we see.
When what we learn has opened our mind to a beauty we cannot find in our perception from understanding, the desire and need for a more loving experience assumes a higher priority in our consciousness. Learning how to “convert” understanding to belief then becomes the goal.
Belief changes as we use a different awareness to make different choices that change the outcome of our life experience. For those who study ACIM, this is the purpose of the Workbook, the daily “lessons” designed to encourage us to make different choices from a different awareness on a consistently continuing basis. Feeling the more peaceful effects these choices have in our lives is what changes our belief.
For those who choose to do this exercise, please share with us what you discover in the “Comments” section of the Blog page on our Forgiveness Movement web site. We will all benefit from the examples of sharing our experiences. Blessings, Tom