31 Dec 2016 Comments Off on Ask Amy: Forgiveness – Am I Doing It Right?
Q: Ever since I began studying the Course, I have been questioning my forgiveness practice. Am I doing it right? It’s hard to tell. Your technique of slowing down, breathing, feeling what I feel, placing my hand on the “troubled area” and giving it to the Holy Spirit has helped me. After the first time I tried this, I felt like a major chunk of guilt was released. But how do I know?
A: How do you know if you’re doing the forgiveness practice right? Well, Jesus says you will feel lifted up and carried ahead. He says you will smile on everyone you see and walk with lightened footsteps; your mind will be lit with happiness and love. He says that forgiveness sparkles on your eyes as you awake and soothes your forehead while you sleep.
Notice that all these descriptions reference the body. Even though Jesus is very clear in the Course that the only illness is mental illness, that does not preclude the necessity to work on the level of the body. When you give your body to the Holy Spirit, He uses the body to undo the body. For instance, Lesson 353 instructs:
“My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today
Have but one purpose; to be given Christ
To use to bless the world with miracles.”
Remember, you, the person, cannot assess whether you’re doing it right. In fact, the clue that this is an ego question is the word “doing.” The ego is the do-er. Your true nature is Being. Trust the clicks of recognition that move through you as you practice forgiveness – those clicks are deeper than the individual self and can be relied on.
Those clicks are holy instants, when Grace frees you from grievances and you see everyone as “not guilty,” including yourself. Guilt is the glue that keeps us stuck to the ego thought system. People often tell me, “I feel guilty,” not “I think I’m guilty.” Guilt is felt in the body, and exercises that bring our attention to the body dissolve sticky ego illusions.
Jesus assures us that if you are sincerely practicing the Course, you cannot fail. The ego does its best to have us doubt and deny genuine spiritual experiences. Don’t fall for it. Trust that the major chunk of guilt that you felt was released, actually was.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with my body-oriented approach to the forgiveness practice,
you can watch my video, “The Purpose of the Body” on YouTube and read articles from my blog series, “How to Use the Body While You Think It’s You.”
This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Nov-Dec 2016 issue of Miracles magazine. Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community. For a subscription, email Jon@miraclesmagazine.org or call 845-496-9089. Click here to purchase digital copies. To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com