Forgiveness was hard for me to understand at first. I understood that forgiveness is not about making something real and then trying to overlook it. At least I understood all the individual words in that sentence. I even understood why this could never work. My problem came when I tried to implement forgiveness as defined by A Course in Miracles. It just kept looking like I was really attacked, that someone really meant me harm. I could say that it didn’t matter, but I couldn’t make it not real in my thinking.
I knew that forgiveness is what it was all about, so I knew I had to get this. I tried all sorts of things. I used every process I had ever heard of. I used the forgiveness process in The Disappearance of the Universe. I used the processes I found in Pathways courses. I read about forgiveness, I wrote sermons about my successes, and my problems with it. Slowly, like peeling away the layers of an onion, I started removing all the blocks which kept me from understanding what was surely obvious. All of those blocks were put there by me to prevent forgiveness, because when I forgave every guilty thought, the ego would no longer exist for me. I had great resistance to the dissolution of the ego thought system.
What I have finally come to understand is that everyone, including me, is innocent. I don’t care what is said or done, they are innocent. I am innocent. Nothing can change this because God created us innocent, and so that is what we are. Everything else is a lie. I will not be deceived by lies. Whatever I see that is not innocence is a deception. I can choose to place my attention on what is not real, or I can choose to place my attention on the truth. It is the difference between choosing ego or choosing God.
Now that I know that all is innocent, forgiveness is no longer confusing. I don’t have to decide if the other person is innocent, and under what circumstances he may be guilty. I don’t have to figure out how he is innocent, or how I can logically move my judgment from guilt to innocence. None of that is an issue. There is no question of guilt or innocence. There is only innocence.
Here is an example of how this works in my life. I have one really major competitor in my business, and every once in awhile I run into someone from that company. Recently at a conference, I noticed that they had a vendor’s booth nearby. I went over and spoke to one of the salesmen. He was unfriendly and rude. I walked away thinking what a jerk he is. I had heard that people in this company were spreading rumors in order to discredit my company. I was building up a pretty good grievance toward the company and particularly this person.
As soon as I realized I was no longer peaceful, I took the issue to the Holy Spirit. I asked for correction because I know that if I have lost my peace, I have moved into wrong minded thinking. Soon, I had a little debate going with the Holy Spirit. I said I wanted my peace back, and He said I would have to forgive the thought that my brother could be wrong. I said that this is hard to do. I was angry because he was rude and probably responsible for spreading rumors. The Holy Spirit said that I am never upset for the reason I think.
“So what about the rumors?” I wanted to know.
“He is not his words, or his behavior,” the Holy Spirit said, “he is innocent.”
“But what about the harm his words can do to my company?” I asked.
“He is innocent.”
“Well there really was no reason for him to be so rude, and you have to admit, he was definitely rude.”
“He is innocent.”
Now here is the thing, I am losing the argument, and all the time I am starting to feel lighter, happier and more peaceful. I think this is because as I let go of the grievance I am able to see the light of truth.
Knowing that my brother is innocent, I only need to release my need to place guilt. I ask the Holy Spirit to come into my mind and correct my thinking. As I allow my mind to be healed, I am overjoyed to recognize my brother’s innocence. I am so relieved to know my own innocence.