Ask Amy: How Do I Forgive Myself When I Caused Another Pain?

Guy QuestionQ:  In the past I made a mistake (I used to think I sinned) that hurt another person.  The relationship is ruined and the person will not allow me to express any remorse for the mistake.  How do I forgive myself when I caused pain?  I know the past is gone (I see only the past is the lesson I am on) and I know the mistake did not occur except in my dream.  I don’t understand how forgiveness works in a situation like this.  Do I forgive the perceived situation or what?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  The wonderful thing about A Course in Miracles is that you do not have to understand how forgiveness works at all.  You are simply asked to give every belief you’ve ever held to the Holy Spirit to release and heal your judgments of the perceived situation.  As you open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, forgiveness occurs naturally, so you are not actually doing anything.  In Chapter 16, we are advised, “I need do nothing, except not to interfere.”

Try working with the exercises in Workbook Lesson 21, “I am determined to see things differently.”  Give every thought, idea, belief, opinion, and interpretation you have about your past mistake in detail to the Holy Spirit.  Either talk to Him or write a letter.  Then sit and listen — open your mind to Love.  You may have to do this many times.  Sometimes you will feel a sense of peace, your breath will come easier, something will release.  Other times, seemingly nothing happens, but the Course assures us a healing has occurred.

I’m glad you now see “sinning” as making a mistake.  That’s a sign that you are allowing the mind training ACIM offers us to heal your sense of guilt and separation.  The Preface states, “Since love is all there is, sin in the sight of the Holy Spirit is a mistake to be corrected, rather than an evil to be punished.”

As far-fetched as it may seem, we truly cannot hurt another person.  What hurts is our interpretation of events.  The Course tells us we know nothing and that is true.  But it is still necessary to breathe through all our feelings in order to release them to Spirit and contact the Light which is always within us.  As you do this, your sense of Innocence will arise, and you will understand the entire situation through the Holy Spirit’s unified vision of Love.

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the March-April 2013 issue of Miracles magazine.  Miracles is a well-loved staple in the ACIM community.  To get a subscription, email or call 845-496-9089.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com