The unfolding understanding of what forgiveness is

Sunday, Oct 02, 2016 1162 words 5 mins 9 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2016 Paul West

When I think about how I used to practice forgiveness, it all seemed so mechanical. I didn't really understand what forgiveness was, even if some version of it was spelled out in various books. I didn't understand what part Holy Spirit played, or what to expect of Him. It seems to have taken a very long time to refine this.

At first, I understood forgiveness was about 'it hasn't really happened' and forgiving for what people have NOT done, and that this entailed some form of taking back projections and stopping scapegoating. I tried various people's techniques and so on for releasing what I'd taken back, and sometimes it seemed to work a bit, not often. Most of the struggle seemed to be remembering to even forgive at all, or how to do it.

Over time I adopted another method which I felt provided new insight into how this works, and that involved some fairly clear steps to take, including going into the feeling and finding out where it came from and seeing that I did it to myself and then trying to see out 'the truth' about me. And in some ways that seemed to be quite powerful. But it still was pretty much me doing this on my own.

If I would ask Holy Spirit to help me forgive, he would perhaps help me with insights or wording and so on. But still it seemed to all be about me changing my perception, finding the real cause, stopping believing things that weren't true, discerning what was true or false etc. And still Holy Spirit was sort of more of an advisor or guide.

More recently, however, I became willing to start to experiment with allowing Holy Spirit to come into me, Himself, and to do whatever he needed to do. It was kind of baby steps at first. Just exploring and learning to trust. I would invite Him into my 'body' and He would seem to move in me and do some energetic/emotional changes, if I was willing. Sometimes he would do this 'flush' thing where, once he has done some setup, excess emotions/fear/stress drain out of me. Or, he would lift this 'stuff' up from my feet all the way up to and out of my head.

While this was helpful to me I didn't know why other people weren't talking about this or doing this. I didn't know in what way it fit with ACIM, and yet I knew it was Holy Spirit doing this. He would say "surrender" or "relax" and I pretty much knew that right after that he was going to perform a healing of some kind. But like anything, in order to 'open up' to this stuff it requires willingness, trust, curiosity and the ability to listen, to ask questions and build a relationship.

More recently I gradually have received more clarity from various sources about forgiveness, what it is, what it does, and what other aspects of Holy Spirit's thought system I need to align with, such as taking responsibility, being unconditional, acceptance, etc. Michael Murray has a good handle on those 'tools' and the metaphysics behind it.

What came to me then was that instead of attempting this kind of mental-oriented process of forgiving through thought and perceptual adjustments, which is very head-oriented, I would begin to open up my heart to Holy Spirit and become willing to *receive* His healing. I think the turning point was when I realized that "He will correct all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him" really literally means that HE will do the correction, not just of my perception, but also of all the side effects, symptoms or consequences that came about as a result. And that includes things going on in my body, my emotions, and the world around me.

He began to literally 'cleanse' me of guilt and sin instead of me trying to wrap my head around them or see them from a different vantage point. I could talk myself into higher truth in an intellectual way, but here Holy Spirit was starting to stir in me and move through me and heal me. Preparing the way perhaps for working through me on behalf of others. This was something I desired and wanted to explore and open up to. Now when I forgive, I know that toward the end of it, and maybe even before I get done with 'my part', Holy Spirit is going to likely step in and do something. And I mean, DO something. Action.

As I explore this more, and open up to miracles, and make myself a channel of Holy Spirit's healing power, I am allowing my 'forgiveness' to be more a practice in, ultimately, receiving healing from God (mental/emotional/physical) rather than me trying to use my head to figure out how I'm innocent. It is more experiential. I want to *experience* God. I want to *experience* truth and not have it just be some mental exercise in discernment. And it's even more than that.

What about God? What about love? I feel a stirring that I want to spend the rest of my time simply focusing on .. how to be unconditionally loving, how to receive and extend God and His miracles, and how to just love love love love love. It's not mental. It's not intellectual. It's in the HEART. God is love. I want to be in the love with God. I want everything to be focused around and centered on love. And I want to be open to God being the one who heals my mind and emotions and body, and those of others too. I want to share in God's love and receive it, instead of thinking (with ego) I have to do all this work myself. Yes I need to still take some steps and have a willingness, but I realize more and more that 'waking up' isn't anywhere near as heart-felt a 'concept' as being reunited with God. Who wants to clinically wake up unless it's all about a grand reunion?

I want God to be in my practice of A Course in Miracles, and that has much less to do with the methodical mechanical forgiveness processes I used to think were 'the way to do it'. Maybe I needed them in order to realize they are unrefined or less effective than God's way. We are meant to open up to allow Holy Spirit to flow through us fully and openly, to direct us, to speak for us, to heal through us, and to be our mind. All this 'doing it on my own' stuff is very tiresome and unnecessary.

Thank you God for revealing the truth of your light and love experientially in my life and extending it all those I meet. As Jesus outlines in the beginning of the Text about miracles (in the unsanitized version):

"You should begin each day with the prayer 'Help me to perform whatever miracles you want of me today."" - Jesus.

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