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“God’s answer is some form of peace. All pain
Is healed; all misery replaced with joy.
All prison doors are opened. And all sin
Is understood as merely a mistake.”
God’s peace is what is real. Our reality as united Love is what is real. As we let go of trying to replace Heaven with illusions of separation, the peace we are and the Love we are returns to our awareness because it has never left us. From this perspective, forgiveness just means letting go of what could never happen, letting go of trying to make up an identity that is different and separate from Love, Which is united for eternity.
Making up dreams of individuality and conflict is very stressful. Trying to have a will that is separate from God’s generates enormous fear. We create nightmares and become very frightened and then call out for help. As we open to receive the help, the help always comes in some form of peace.
As we learn our nightmares are not true, we open up our closed minds more and more. The separation that we thought had happened was just a mistake and had no real effect on us. We learn that we are still safe in Heaven. We are just dreaming of being on a distant shore. God is not far away. God is nearer than our beating heart. As we are willing to let the false ideas of separation fall away, we know again the peace and joy and Love that are eternally ours.
When I experience true forgiveness, I think of a phrase from an old Alka-Seltzer commercial, “Oh what a relief it is.” A heavy burden of judgment, condemnation and guilt is lifted from my shoulders. The air is clear, like a sunny spring day after a rain. I walk with a smile of joy on my face and I am at peace. I have received God’s answer to the pain I thought I was in. I have learned that what I thought happened that needed forgiveness did not really happen. I was not changed or harmed in any way. I remain as God created me. And so do all my brothers.
Forgiveness is such a great blessing. It is a wonder that it seems at times so hard to forgive. Sometimes it seems that pain and sorrow are more appealing than God’s peace and joy. If you asked me which I prefer, I would say I prefer peace and joy. But as long as I align my mind with the ego thought system, I will prefer pain and loss over the peace and joy of God, though it doesn’t seem that is what I am asking for.
The ego dresses specialness in fancy clothes and sparkling baubles to make it seem appealing. It does this to hide the death and decay that are the price of specialness. To have specialness I must perceive myself as separate and distinct from my Creator. Thus I perceive myself as cut off from Life, and death is inevitable. I try to claim the temporary pleasures of specialness, all the while believing in the inevitability of death.
“Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” is the ego’s swan song. For many this is the best that “life” in this world has to offer. We don’t realize that being in this world is not Life, but the denial of Life. We have one Life, and that Life we share with God. The good news is that this world is just a mistake and this mistake has had absolutely no real effect on us, the Sons of God. As we let the Holy Spirit help us forgive, our minds are healed. Pain fades away and we return to the joy and peace of God, our natural state.
Holy Spirit, I stand before You in humility, remembering that of myself I know nothing. I look to You for all meaning and trust with confidence that You will guide me Home to the Heaven where I remain in truth. And I give thanks.
Something I have noticed is that the more often I bring my dark thoughts to God for healing and receive that healing, the less tolerance I have for discomfort. Now, as soon as I feel anger or fear or guilt or whatever, I want to get rid of it. Even if it seems “small,” the discomfort is acute.
I also have noticed that the results seem to come much closer to the surrender. I don’t seem to work as hard on it as I did before. And I don’t dread the bad feelings like I did before; in fact I usually feel grateful that this is being brought to my attention
Knowing all of this, it never ceases to amaze me that there are certain aspects of the illusion I still cling to and find myself recycling through the whole process on a regular basis. I don’t care, though. I have seen that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it works to look at this stuff and then let it go. So I try to be patient, but persistent with myself.
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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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