My sinless brother is my guide to peace.
My sinful brother is my guide to pain.
And which I choose to see I will behold.
Who is my brother but Your holy Son? And if I see him sinful I proclaim myself a sinner, not a Son of God; alone and friendless in a fearful world. Yet this perception is a choice I make, and can relinquish. I can also see my brother sinless, as Your holy Son. And with this choice I see my sinlessness, my everlasting Comforter and Friend beside me, and my way secure and clear. Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice. For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.
This journaling is from about this time several years ago. I was having serious problems with getting my house finished and the plumber was my archenemy because he was holding me up. I started to update this posting to something more current, but as I thought about it I realized that this symbol of inner conflict works as good as another. I notice that I sometimes still try to find someone else to blame for what I called to myself with my beliefs. Even though I am more firmly established in the belief that I am 100% responsible for my life, I still occasionally try to get out of it by blaming others. But I also notice that I cannot hold that position long. I just don’t believe it.
The only thing that seems to stand in my way of seeing my brother sinless is my need to be right. The plumber keeps promising to show up and then failing to do so. The ego says that he is wrong for that. I don’t want to see him as sinful because we are one and if he is sinful so am I. There is no getting around that. Yet, the ego insists that it is obvious that he is sinful. Every time he does not show up it seems proof that he is sinful.
This is how the ego wants me to think of it: I am left with no recourse but to see myself victim to his sin. I seem to be trapped on every level. On the level of form, I cannot move forward on my house because his refusal to live up to his obligations is keeping me in limbo. No more work can be done until he completes his work. I am his victim, or so it seems.
Even on the level of thoughts, it seems he is holding me hostage. I try to think lovingly of him and I try not to see him as responsible for my frustration, but then I run up against a wall. This wall says, “But he did it.” How do I get around that? So now he is responsible for my house not being finished, for my hateful thoughts about him, and for my self-condemnation since obviously, his behavior has made it impossible for me to forgive and so to see myself as blameless. It is all his fault and I hate him! At this point imagine a mental foot stamping. Maybe holding my breath until I turn blue.
At one time in my life, this is where I would have stayed. Then the only recourse would have been to try to gain control of the situation through retribution or some other equally destructive means. But now the ego comes up against a wall. This wall says that anger, blame and refusal to admit responsibility for my own creations are unacceptable. Seeing myself as a victim is unacceptable.
So for a while, it is a stalemate. Sometimes I notice that I am trying the ego thought system out again, but then I run into that Holy Spirit wall. Sometimes I am listening to the part of my mind that knows the truth then suddenly I imagine I am looking at the ego wall again and it says, “But it is happening and it is he who is doing it.”
Oh, how the ego hates it when I turn from its arguments! It gets louder and more persuasive. It calls me fool to trust, and fool to love when obviously I am being taken advantage of. The other part of my mind simply asks, “How might I be helpful in this situation? What would be the most loving and helpful response?” I refuse to see this plumber as guilty. He is completely innocent. He is the Son of God.
The part he plays for me is victimizer to my victim, and for that, I owe him a debt of gratitude. Never before have I been given such a clear opportunity to see how determined I am to be victim to the world and to find someone to blame for my choice. How can I feel anything but love for the one who helped me see what needs to be healed? This is where I used to get really stuck. What do I do about my plumbing needs? How do I love him and still insist that he meet his obligations?
This is confusion experienced when the ego tries to fix things. The ego has no understanding of how to love. I do not know what needs to be done, but to the degree that I am willing to set aside my desired outcome, I will be perfectly guided. I know that I will never be guided to see my brother as sinful. It is possible to approach my problem from the desire to see love made manifest, rather than from a place of fear, which is where I have been.
I have been suffering because I have been afraid. I believed that getting my house finished was important. I believed that being right was necessary. I believed that to make this happen the plumber had to be guilty. This is why I was suffering, not because of the plumber’s behavior, but because of how I feel about the plumber. Love is the solution and the way out of fear and suffering. As I set aside judgment my mind clears, suffering ends, and I will know what needs to be done.
What I understand now that I didn’t really understand before, is that how I perceive my brother is always a choice and never has anything to do with his behavior. I practice this as I go through my day and notice that I still want to see him sinful for the many little errors that seem to impact me, and instead of believing this, I ask that my mind be healed. I forgive what I perceive and I flourish. I decide that I would rather be right in the ego perception of my brother, and I suffer. It is completely up to me.
I forgive the world, I forgive my brother, I forgive myself; it is all the same because I am the world and I am my brother and I am myself. I berate and accuse my brother or the world and I make myself guilty. It is completely impossible to see guilt anywhere without seeing it in myself. As I continue to desire to perceive only innocence, this happens more and more often. When I become confused and see guilt, it becomes easier to change my mind and see innocence. This practice is changing my mind. Thank you, God.
It is never, ever about the other person. No matter what direction the story takes, no matter how obvious it seems the other person is guilty and the cause of my suffering, it is always about me. My purpose is to awaken from this dream of separation and I cannot do this if I single out my brother and decide he is guilty. There simply is not a single case that this true. In his ego story, he may be playing the part of victimizer, but he is not his story and he is innocent.
I can perceive him as if he is to blame and if I do I will suffer, or I can accept responsibility for my life events and allow my mind to be healed of the beliefs that make up the images I call my life. Then my suffering ends. It is up to me. But I know for certain that no one makes me suffer. I choose love or I choose to suffer and the story does not determine that choice.
I have two favorite ways of getting to the cause of my suffering. In one, I ask myself why this situation upsets me and I continue to ask that of each answer until I get to the root cause, then I ask for healing of that belief. The other process is to realize that the only problem is that I asked the ego what the situation means and then choose to stop asking it. I then ask the Holy Spirit what it means and choose to allow Him to show me a different way to see things. In both processes, I am being directed away from the story and into my own confused mind so that the problem can be solved at the level it is occurring. Both processes lead me to forgiveness and to peace.