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“All that I give is given to myself.”
When I asked for help in understanding at a deeper level that all I give is given to myself, I was reminded of times when I extended Love to someone. Every time I do this, I experience Love in myself. I feel uplifted, joyous and grateful. I feel peaceful and safe. As I recalled various experiences, I saw the consistency of being blessed every time. I thought I was offering Love in some way to someone else. Very clearly I was also receiving It.
I also recalled times when I offered forgiveness for something I thought was wrong. When I truly got that no harm had really happened, that there truly was nothing to forgive, I felt free. I felt lighter, as if a dark cloud had been lifted. I relaxed. There was less tension in my body. I felt less limited. I could meet the person with a sense of joy in my heart instead of trying to avoid meeting them or trying to say as little as possible. In offering true forgiveness, I not only released the other from my judgment, but I freed myself.
Today’s lesson is not about form. It is not about giving things. It is about giving Love and removing the barriers to Love’s extension. Sometimes these may be symbolized as physical objects given, but it is the content of the giving that gives meaning. The gift of forgiveness is a gift I give myself, whether it appears to start with offering it to a brother or seems to be myself I am forgiving. Because my brother and I are one, I cannot help but receive what I give. If I don’t receive it, I haven’t really given it.
If I don’t feel peace and freedom when I offer forgiveness, then I am not really offering forgiveness. Somehow I am still holding on to my attachment to separation. If that is the case, I simply need to ask for help again to reach the point of true release. Help is always available to me because it is in my mind. Today I ask the Holy Spirit to help me lay down barriers to Love’s extension so that I may more deeply experience the blessing of extending Love to all.
When I asked for greater insight into today’s lesson, I received the idea that Love is all there is, and so all that can be given is Love and all that can be received is Love. Love is the Idea of extending all of itself to all. What is given is received, and therefore the act of giving all Love to all is synonymous with receiving all Love from all. Within God’s Love, all Love is given and received at the same time. It is one action; the simultaneous extending and accepting of Love is what Love is and what Love does. Because Love is all inclusive, Love excludes nothing that is real because all that is real is Love. Giving and receiving are the same. This is reality.
I then saw a little bubble of thought that was trying to be different from Love. The whole physical universe lies within that bubble. Because all that is real is Love, it is an illusionary thought. In this illusionary bubble, all Love is not extended to All universally. The thought here is to get and keep a little love for oneself alone. The idea here is to have multiple separate, individual minds that are born and then die. Everything is in a constant state of change and flux in this bubble.
Competition for attention and exclusion are the means of maintaining this false little world reflecting the thought of separation. Here, giving Love universally or acknowledging that Love is universal is avoided at all costs. In order to maintain the bubble, the truth must be denied. Recognizing Love’s Oneness must be denied. Recognizing the truth that all is Love must be denied.
So in this bubble, individual lives come and go in the attempt to keep a little love for oneself alone. It is a sad and depressing world, reflecting the sad and depressing thought of separation that tries to deny reality. This little bubble never was in truth. It maintains its hallucinations only in illusions of separation that appear to be real only to the perceiver that wants it to be true.
I was then shown that letting go of this little bubble of thought was the only rational and helpful thing to do. Love is all that is real. Stories of separate bodies with separate minds competing for a little love and attention are not true. All these stories reflect false thinking and can be undone by letting all thoughts that reflect separation be undone by the one Self that knows what is real and what is not real. It takes a surrender and a willingness to let go of these ideas. The separate images fall away as the thought of separation falls away. This whole universe of separation is seen as unreal and not reflecting the truth.
“All that I give is given to myself” reflects the unity of God. It reflects the truth of All Love being Itself by giving all of Itself to all, and simultaneously receiving all of Itself from all of Itself. Giving and receiving are the same in God’s Oneness. This is Reality. This is God’s Love. Nothing else is real. Aligning all our thoughts with this truth is where we find joy. Here is peace. Here is Heaven.
This is one of those lessons that I have a real hard time with. It’s also one of those that is repeated over and over again, which means that it is crucial to the thought reversal, as the lessons states.
It is easy for me to apply this thought to people that I love or to situations that are comfortable for me, but I have a hard time applying it to people that have hurt me or situations where I feel insecure or intimidated. And, like the lessons states, many times my forgiveness is “basically unsound, a charitable whim”; I attempt to forgive because I feel it’s what God would want me to do, not so much because I feel it in my heart or because I know that ultimately it would be giving to myself. And thank God that the world’s salvation doesn’t depend on these charitable whims, like the lessons states.
Even though I don’t understand this idea yet, the teachings of the Course and my dedication to it will get me there; I know it. Holy Spirit, Jesus, my master teacher, help me to have the willingness to open my mind to this thought, to trust you to teach me how to forgive. Thank you. Amen.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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