Sunday, March 18, 2012

Forgiving and Forgetting – The Process of Salvation

Several weeks ago (“Here Comes De Judge,” #1 March, 2012) I discussed how my ego is determined to judge and by judging I keep myself separate from you, which is deadly for my spiritual growth. As long as I refuse to rein in my judging ego, my spiritual growth remains stagnant and I begin to rot.
A reader from Ireland – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you! – emailed asking how to go about forgiving. The writer stated that she was able to forgive, but it was almost impossible to forget. “Is that still forgiveness?” She asked.
It’s a very good question. This is not the first time I’ve heard someone make this distinction between forgiving and forgetting. It seems to be a common malady among all of us: “I will forgive you, but I will never forget what you did/said.”
As I see it, the principle issue is your understanding of you. The critical question? Are you a body with a spirit or an already-loved spirit currently with a body? How I answered that – honestly – makes all the difference to me in how I approach forgiving.
As an already-loved spirit with a body, I am beginning to understand the continually interactive process of Forgiveness and Atonement: Forgiveness (asking for the Holy Spirit to help me see things differently); Atonement (Seeing things differently from the perspective of the Holy Spirit). This interactive movement of Forgiveness and Atonement (when taken as a single process) is what A Course in Miracles calls Salvation. Going through this process as a partner with Jesus is what He says I am all called to do.
I ended the message, “Here Comes De Judge,” by stating:
As long as I believe I am truly separate, my ego is in control and my spirit suffers. When I feel separated from you my spiritual growth comes to a grinding halt and I stagnate. After a while a stagnant spiritual life, just like stagnant water in a pond, begins to smell.
“The ability to not judge and the ability to forgive are very closely related. AA says simply, “The easiest way to learn to forgive is simply to learn to not blame in the first place.” Similarly, ACIM outlines 3 steps to forgiveness: 1) I forgive the projected perception of you I have created in my mind; 2) I forgive myself for creating this perception; and 3) I ask the Holy Spirit to give me another way of seeing this situation without judgment, and then I try to still my mind and listen for His whispers of Truth.”
Unfortunately, I often find myself listening to my own past experience. Which is really listening to me – not the Spirit of God! Using my own past experience to guide me is to continue to listen to my ego – to make my own meaning out of the world. By not doing this allows me the ability to really hear my Spirit Guide, or the Holy Spirit, speak to me and take his rightful place in the awareness of my higher mind.
I have to constantly remind myself that Step 3 (above) is not of my doing. It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit. When I do listen and see things differently, I am beginning to see the situation or person differently. This change in perception – this gift of the Spirit of God – is the Atonement and is the key to Forgiveness. This change of perception reinforces my ability to continue saying: "I am determined to really see with true vision! I am not the victim, potential victim nor the victor. I am an already-loved spirit currently having a human experience."
The process of “forgetting:” That’s the story of truly seeing each other as One – the end result of Salvation. When we see each other as One, there is no longer any blame or shame.
When the Spirit opens our eyes to a different reality or different perspective, it’s really as if it never happened. For me, it’s remembering that my old way of thinking is not relevant any more. Rehearsing or rehashing the issue is not relevant anymore. A simple example is an argument you may be having with your life-mate about where to eat, which simply vanishes when you come across an accident and get out to offer assistance and call 911.  In doing all that your issue of which restaurant to choose just disappears.
In AA I’ve found that often things, problems, issues just seem to melt away. I’ve had people in the Program come up to me after a meeting and ask about the status of some issue I had shared about several weeks earlier. I couldn’t recall it any more. It had simply disappeared – into thin air. When did that occur? I had no idea. Why did that occur? I had no idea. What had happened to resolve it? I had no idea. Simply – POOF!  It was just gone.
I don’t know about you, but I want more and more and more of that in my life: Forgiving; seeing things differently; and watching troubling issues just go “POOF.”
Thanks for listening and, as always, please share this message (it’s designed to be forwarded easily) with my blessings.

#3 March, 2012

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