Forgiveness is the bridge that links you to the soul “the essence” of your brother or sister.
…you will literally be able to see what events seemed to cultivate that soul’s belief that they must act in that way to survive, and what perceptions have led them to feel justified in their inappropriate behaviors.
What I learned
It has been very helpful to be reminded that I cannot recognize in someone else what I have not experienced myself. This helps me remember that it is always myself that I am forgiving. But what really jumped out at me is that when my brother acts inappropriately it is because he thinks he needs to. He thinks his survival depends on it and this helps him to justify his actions.
Someone was telling me last night about a situation at their workplace. An employee was using Machiavellian means to manipulate her fellow employees and her boss. We think we have private thoughts, (A Coiurse in Miracles assures us that there are no private thoughts) but really it is all out there for anyone with eyes to see. With just a little understanding about why people act the way they do it all becomes obvious. For instance, that I can understand this kind of behavior tells you that I have experienced that same energy myself. I may have acted on it or I may have only thought about it, but I know that energy very well. That I recognized her behavior and understand what she was trying to do tells you something about me that perhaps I thought was my secret. There really are no secret thoughts, just an unspoken agreement between us all to pretend we have private thoughts and to act as if we do.
If I became very angry and resentful of this woman’s behavior that would tell you something else about me that I perhaps thought was a secret. My angry reaction would tell you that I am perhaps still struggling under the desire to act on that energy, or perhaps I simply have not forgiven myself for past actions. In some way I am not clear of the energy of manipulation. I may be afraid of my own behavior and that is why I don’t want to see it in someone else.
I have watched myself go from that very position of anger and defensiveness with a similar situation as my friend is in, to a position of understanding and forgiveness. I still recognize the energy because I have been in it myself, but I have forgiven it in myself and no longer act on it, and therefore have forgiven the other person. I am now free to extend love since I no longer feel the need to project what I am unwilling to accept in myself. This is the bridge to my brother, this act of forgiveness in which I forgive myself and by extension my brother. When I forgave myself I no longer needed someone to blame. We now both share only innocence.
What happened in the illusion of the workplace? Nothing much. She still goes around hatching plans and whispering her secret fears in corners with whoever she has pulled into her drama. But now I don’t see her as a threat and I have no anger toward her. She is working out her own salvation in the only way she knows how and I am absolutely certain she will succeed. I am grateful to have been a part of her lesson at one time, and am grateful for what I learned. It is a different way to be. Thank you, Holy Spirit for your help in this.
All quotes are used by kind permission of the Shanti Christo Foundation. To buy a copy of this profound book visit their website at www.shantichristo.com. I invite your thoughts and comments.