“This is the most difficult belief of all to integrate into the living of your life. Each time another thwarts you, you will be tempted to believe that giving and receiving as one is not taking place. Your previous pattern of behavior will be quick to assert itself and you will feel resentment and claim that the situation is unfair. You will be tempted to withhold as others withhold from you.
“Is it not clear how important it is to living in peace that this pattern be broken? Will you live in peace only until some “other” breaks your peace? Only until some circumstance beyond your control brings an unexpected conflict your way?” (ACOL, T2:7.7 – 7.8)
The “most difficult belief” to integrate is the belief that giving and receiving are one. When other people ruin our day (or so we think), how are we to reconcile giving love to them? How can we believe that giving and receiving are the same thing, especially when we have sought to give love?
We need to find peace in a difficult world. Not everyone will give us their best on every day, and we ourselves will fall short also. But we need to realize that our peace, our inner peace, is pivotal to a change in the world. As we project, we see. As we give, we do ultimately receive in kind, maybe not immediately, but eventually. We need to reconsider our hurt feelings when they lead to resentment and even hostility toward a brother or sister. All of us, we must remember, are doing the best we can, giving our current understanding. And nobody blames himself/herself for falling short unless the conscience is especially sensitive. Many people think that there are always mitigating circumstances that let them off the hook, regardless of how retaliatory they might be.
We do need inner peace above all things except love itself. And love will always lead, eventually, to this desired peace. We need to drop resentments as just a bad idea left over from our days of living with the ego. We need not to be retaliatory when another doesn’t treat us as we think we deserve. If we retaliate, we surely won’t find peace; we won’t give peace, and we won’t receive it. We will, instead, foster hostility and anger, two emotions that rue our days.
Giving and receiving in this world involves physical form, and so we see them as separate actions: one of us to give, one of us to receive. Within our Self, giving and receiving is simultaneous with living, because there is one entity involved. We are thus better able to live peaceably all the time when we are secure within our Self. Our brothers and sisters need us, though, and perhaps they need us especially when they do not return any love, once we have proffered it.
Forgive, and then we will come to understand. To forgive all is to understand all. These truisms merit review now. Our understanding will only come when we have offered love to our struggling brothers and sisters. And then, in this offer, our own peace will be assured.
I need to be especially solicitous of my brothers and sisters who want something from me. I can always give what is wanted, but I can give where I am led to give. If attack finds a home in my psyche, I won’t be peaceful. I will give rancor, and then I will receive rancor in return; this is giving and receiving as one. So, if I am to have inner peace, I need to proffer peace to another. This is the way the world works. This is the way of true reality.
I thank You for the guidance that I have received today about intuitive hints that are meant to influence my day. I realize that the inner Self is the author of such guidance, and this is my part of You, Yourself. I thank You for guiding my understanding, to let me feel that I am not being coerced by an outside force when I sense nudges. Thank You for the insight that You give to me today. Thank You for the insight that You give to my brothers and sisters, who are One with me.