ACIM, 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 true!
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.