“Forgiveness offers wings to prayer, to make its rising easy and its progress swift. (S-1.in.1)”
1 – Justified Forgiveness
I return repeatedly to the truth that forgiveness is perfectly justified for our brothers and sisters. The bottom line is that none of them has ever done anything that has hurt us in our essence, because we live an illusion, a dream. But that does not mean that they could just do anything that they wanted, because it is a dream. They are held accountable for actions taken in the dream. But we forgive any negative actions, because we recognize that these actions are just mistakes, easily correctable.
2 – Sights Soaring
When we forgive, we set our sights soaring. Forgiveness helps US, for we are set free. Who has really been the jailor and the prisoner when we have held things against our brothers and sisters? A jailor must stay in jail to watch his prisoner. So too have we been in jail when we have watched over others whom we perceive as mistreating us. (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)
3 – Wings of Prayer
The “wings to prayer” that forgiveness offers are great blessings. It means that our prayers reach farther than the ceiling, metaphorically. I have an old family story that told of an individual who bent on his knees before the bed, to say nighttime prayers, and rose to anger and attack, continuing an argument that had begun earlier. My mother used to say that his prayers had not reached the ceiling.
4 – Conflicted Prayers
Be that as it may, the prayers were probably very conflicted and therefore lacked the wings that a forgiving prayer would have offered. So we are helping ourselves when we forgive; we keep our rights from being sacrificed (from ACIM Text).
5 – Misunderstood Forgiveness
“No gift of Heaven has been more misunderstood than has forgiveness. It has, in fact, become a scourge; a curse where it was meant to bless, a cruel mockery of grace, a parody upon the holy peace of God. (S-2.I.1)”
We, including myself, have in the past believed that a given action on the part of another did not “deserve forgiveness.” This was a very great mistake. All actions deserve forgiveness. We do not have to stay around, though, if the actions continue in the attack mode. We have to make a decision about whether we are better off with or without our significant other. (This is perennial advice of Ann Landers, the columnist.) But whether we stay or leave, we can still forgive. We can pray out our animosity. Norman Vincent Peale indicates that the prayer may need to be ongoing for a considerable length of time. But pray out animosity we can indeed.
6 – Disturbing Passage
This disturbing passage from Song of Prayer mentions a “scourge,” a “curse,” a “cruel mockery,” a “parody upon the holy peace of God. These are strong words indeed. We are in for trouble if we fail to heed. God would not have us fail to give full forgiveness to our equal. He would also have us will to forget the misdeed once we have genuinely forgiven (an interpretation, not stated in Song of Prayer). The only way, in my opinion, that we can be sure that we have forgiven is the litmus test of forgetting. This may come immediately or may lag behind the forgiveness, but prayer will always bring that day closer.
7 – Forgiveness-to-Destroy
“Forgiveness-to-destroy will overlook no sin, no crime, no guilt that it can seek and find and ‘love.’ Dear to its heart is error, and mistakes loom large and grow and swell within its sight. (S-2.I.2)”
Forgiveness-to-destroy is the ego’s interpretation of forgiveness. We still hold the “sins” against the other. We may say that we forgive, but we do not see ourselves as equals with the other. We see ourselves as better than the other, able to bestow forgiveness where forgiveness is not actually justified. Or we can withhold forgiveness. It matters not which we do, for when we have determined to remember the misdeed, not to seek to forget it, we have not really forgiven. We have bestowed “forgiveness” on an inferior brother, not as “advanced” as we are in spirituality.
8 – Foolishness
This is foolishness. All of us are equals, and ultimately all talents and gifts will be shared. Only time separates us, and time does not really exist (from ACIM).
9 – Not Worthy
So let us seek to eliminate vestiges of forgiveness-to-destroy. It is not worthy of ourselves, and it will not give us the peace that we seek. It is an example of the ego taking real solutions from God and then reinterpreting these solutions in way that will not work. We are duped into blaming the other, and when we blame we cannot forgive. We are as much victims in this scenario as anybody else.
10 – Holy Minds
We need to think of our own minds, holy minds given us by God. And we need allow no black non-forgiveness to mar the content of our minds. Let us seek today to be rid of the ego’s machinations. This part of our belief about ourselves—the ego—can be discounted, and discounted for all time. Awakening will ultimately free us of the scourge of the ego.
I would forgive my brothers and sisters their foolishness, their insanity, now and forever. Everyone does the best that he/she can at any given moment. There are no exceptions to this rule. And when I forgive, totally and without reservations, I am free to offer gratitude to others. This frees the way to happiness, great joy. I love more completely, and the one who benefits the most is not my brother/sister, but myself. Of course, the other benefits as well, for we are in this world together.
Help me to live a good day today. This day is a gift, for another day is always a gift. May I not forget to thank You for this gift.
Gratitude is a great releaser. It frees my mind to enjoy the day. It frees my mind to love. Thank You for these truths, brought home so readily by Rhonda Byrne.