Open Our Heart to Parents & Friends

“Your parents probably did misperceive you in many ways, but their ability to perceive may have been quite warped, and their misperception stood in the way of their own knowledge. There is no reason why it should stand in the way of yours. It is still true that you believe they did something to you. This belief is extremely dangerous to your perception and wholly destructive of your knowledge. This is not only true of your attitudes toward your parents, but also of your misuse of your friends. You still think that you must respond to their errors as if they were true. By reacting self-destructively, you are giving them approval for their misperceptions.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.13:1-7)

Here we find that our attitude toward our parents and our friends is pivotal for a good future for our minds. When we believe that parents and friends “did” something to us, we are giving our power away, dangerous to perception, wholly destructive of knowledge.

We still don’t believe that we ourselves, and others, are innocent creatures, children of God, who made mistakes that actually, in reality, never occurred. We are living in illusion! How often do we have to reiterate this to ourselves?

When we believe that illusions are true, we bind ourselves to the past, and we make a future like the past, a deplorable future. Let’s wash ourselves clean, now, of these misperceptions. Let’s ask God to tell us how we can all be innocent. Step out in faith, and His Voice will answer.

We don’t need to stay in self-destructive thinking. Let the heart lead, for its way is Love, and its understanding is true. We can and will come to understand what innocence is all about when we open the heart to our parents and our friends. We have closed down when we misconstrued them, and this makes a mockery of innocence.

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Forgiving Our Parents

“Why should anyone accord an obvious misperception so much power? There cannot be any real justification for it, because even you yourself recognize the real problem when you say, ‘How could they do this to me?’ The answer is they didn’t.

“You have a very serious question to ask yourself in this connection. We said before that the purpose of the resurrection was to demonstrate that no amount of misperception has any influence at all on a Son of God. This demonstration exonerates those who misperceive, by establishing beyond doubt that they have not hurt anyone. Your question, which you must ask yourself very honestly, is whether you are willing to demonstrate that your parents have not hurt you. Unless you are willing to do this, you have not forgiven them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.9:1-3 and 10:1-5)

Blaming our parents has become perhaps even more common than was the case in the sixties and early seventies, when A Course in Miracles was channeled. We have to get into the theology of ACIM in order to understand that blaming is counterproductive. On one level, everyone does the best that he/she can, given his level of understanding. And so, forgiveness is due one’s parents in this regard.

In the larger dimension, we are all innocent children of God, living in illusion, not actually doing anything at all that is true reality. So, on this more ethereal level, our parents deserve forgiveness. They have really done anything at all to us, for illusion means nothing.

It is true that we perceive illusion as real. It certainly seems like the things that happened to us when we were growing up were real enough. But let our minds play with the idea of living in illusion. Our parents dealt with us from a place of madness, or insanity, for all of us are lost in insanity until we Awaken. Madness is forgiven when it is not made real in our minds. If we focus on the bad deeds, we will attempt to make illusion real, and then we will find forgiveness harder to allow.

Know that we choose the things that happen to us, on some level, from our soul. This is not to blame the victim, because the personality doesn’t do this. But our soul knows better what we need than we do. And emanating from the God within, our soul doesn’t make mistakes. It is only the personality that makes mistakes.

So: On many levels, our attitude toward our parents needs to change, change, that is, if we are still blaming them for not giving us a perfect upbringing. We did have the perfect upbringing for what we wanted to accomplish in life.

And on this we ought to stand.

To Live the Life Dreamed Of

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“The only difference between the life you are living and the life you want lies in your willingness to express who you are. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.1)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to know who I really am today.”

Reflections:

1 – Self-Expressive

We need a certain freedom to be self-expressive in this world. We will live the life that we have dreamed of when we let ourselves go and not try so hard to conform to dictates from others that find no place in our heart.

2 – Our Childhood

Many of us grew up trying to conform to the wishes of our elders, usually our parents. Others rebelled against their intentions, but still this was a reaction of “no,” and doing the exact opposite was still an influence from elders.

3 – Guidance

How exactly do we live the life that we want? We follow guidance from God. The inner Self/Christ will know, just know, what to say and do. Our will and that of our God are identical. He speaks for us (a tenet of A Course in Miracles, speaking of the Holy Spirit). God would have us express who we really are, but we are such confused beings on this issue. We wonder, “Who am I?” And we ask this question in a thousand ways and more. Yet inside we know the answer. Only the ego prevents our emergence into the Self/Christ that will blossom one day.

4 – The Past

We need to stop living the constricted life that is based on the past. We need to start afresh each day, turning to God each morning for the marching orders for the day. He will not be harsh or stern with us; He will love us. And we will benefit greatly from our times of communion with Him. Living the life that expresses who we are is not hard at all. It is going against the truth of who we are that is contrary to God’s will and our own will.

5 – Starting Over?

Now, many of us can get some rather crazy notions in our heads, in an impulsive way, about throwing over the life that we have so carefully built and starting all over. Lest this direction be your bent, think again. Impulsively throwing overboard our loved ones for a life of “freedom” is not what being who we are is really about. We need each other, and God has given each of us significant others for whom we are chosen people. Impulsivity is not living who you are. Insufficient thought before change is made is a detriment to the right change. So think carefully, with the heart, before chucking it all to be “free.” There is not greater freedom than the joy that we get from attending to the needs of our loved ones.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your guidance today. It is easy to want to be independent and free, freed of ties. But I would not live thus. My significant others are given to me for a purpose. And I am given to them. The blessings that we enjoy together come from You. I know that independence is best lived when it is actually interdependence.

May we leave behind the chains from our past, our childhood. We need to forgive our families, for they did the best that they could. Even if it was imperfect.
I too am imperfect. And I thank You that Jesus can heal those imperfections of mine if I will give him half a chance.

I would give him a chance today.

Amen.