For to forgive means to choose to release another from the perceptions you have been projecting upon them. It is, therefore, an act of forgiving one’s self of one’s projections.
What I learned from this lesson
I’ve already learned that I am the cause of everything in my life. No one else is responsible. Nothing else is responsible. On the soul level I am responsible for choosing what I will experience, and on the mind-body level I am responsible for choosing how I will experience it. So I am never justified in placing blame. At no time is anyone else to blame for what happens to me or how I feel about it.
An example: I ran some tests for a customer and the results were not correct. As it turns out, I was using his equipment and that was the source of the problems. But when my boss heard about the error he was very angry. He had already sent a proposal and the new numbers negated it. He was upset that he was going to have to change everything and concerned about the company looking unprofessional. He saw me as the cause of his problem and so he was angry with me.
My first reaction was to defend myself by thinking what an impossible person he is to please and how unfair he is. I was upset for awhile, and anxious about the consequences. The more I thought about this the more upset I became. The fears that I indulged in opened the door for other fears and I was off into a real ego storm. The way I stopped this is that I wanted peace more than I wanted the ego rewards of righteous indignation. The ego kept pointing out the facts and insisting that he was wrong and I was right and true as that might be, it did not make me happy. In fact I was miserable.
I remembered that on the level of soul I chose this lesson. In order to have the lesson, Paul had to agree to join me in it. We were in this together. It was our common goal to have this lesson and to learn from it what each of us needed. Paul does not need me to point out his lesson to him. He doesn’t need me to tell him that he is misperceiving and acting badly and that there is another way. I only need to learn my lesson and trust him to learn his. I did tell him what happened, but I did not attack him or defend myself in any way. At least not out loud, and later I was able to withdraw my judgment of him.
On the level of body-mind, Myron had a choice about how to experience this situation. She could choose to listen to ego point out Paul’s errors and use the facts of the case to “prove” he was wrong and she was right. The goal then becomes win or lose and they are no longer working toward a common goal. They now have separate interests.
This was not Myron’s only choice however. She could choose to step back a moment from her fear and anger and allow the Holy Spirit to show her another way to see this. She could see that Paul was operating from his fear and was calling for love. She could see that this was an opportunity to choose to practice remaining in peace no matter what happens.
She would then be able to see clearly and know that the blame she placed on Paul was her own projection and that he was blameless. It was always her choice to feel upset. Paul’s words did not make her upset. Even if he fired her that action would not make her upset. It was entirely up to her how she chose to experience it. So in the end, it was not Paul who was forgiven, but Myron’s projections onto Paul that were forgiven. It took awhile, though, because the ego part of the mind really hates giving up a change to be “right.” The ego thinks the way to protect itself is to put the blame outside itself and onto someone or something else. Accepting responsibility feels very scary to the ego.
Even now as I write this I feel a tug of resistance as the ego tries to win me back to the dark side. That part of my mind would like Paul to be wrong no matter what the consequences. It really believes that it can protect me by winning. I don’t fully believe it anymore. I feel a little sick to my stomach when I think of winning by hurting the other person, which is what the ego thinks it is doing. I think that this is the underlying anxiety I feel when I listen to the ego. I know I am wrong but I get distracted by the “facts.” My salvation is remembering that no matter what it looks like I am never justified in my anger and never justified in placing blame. Starting from that premise I am able to allow the Holy Spirit to bring me back to sanity.
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.