Ask Amy: Forgiving Others Is Forgiving Yourself

Guy QuestionQ:  I have prayed and prayed but find it very hard to forgive my family for what they did to me including abandonment, and verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Can you please help me understand how forgiving others is forgiving myself?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAA:  A Course in Miracles provides tremendous relief for its students because it relieves us of the burden of forgiving. As you have seen for yourself, sometimes our most sincere efforts still do not work. The missing link is your relationship with your Inner Teacher, also called the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness arises as you cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit because it is His job to undo our errors. “The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.” (T-5). When you place yourself in the Holy Spirit’s Hands, He purifies you by removing everything that is not-Love, and therefore only Love remains. Only Love remains because we are One, unified in formless Truth. Until this is experienced, it is merely a concept. So for now, your job is to practice forgiveness the way Jesus directs in ACIM.

The Course teaches that forgiveness is not given by one person to another (or to yourself).  Forgiveness is the practice of giving. When you give everything, your whole life, to the Holy Spirit, you empty yourself of all resentments, wounds, grievances, sins and suffering. Then you are a clean slate. On this clean slate, the Word of God is written: Love. You need not understand how, but eventually, as you empty yourself of all personal grievances, it will become clear that forgiving others is forgiving yourself … and forgiving yourself is forgiving others.

Jesus sets the standard when it comes to forgiveness: “Condemn and you are made a prisoner. Forgive and you are freed.” (W-198) In case you are tempted to believe that Jesus is better than you, he is also very clear that, “There is nothing about me that you cannot attain.” (T-1)

If we did not feel like victims, we would see everybody who hurts us as terrified and in need of love (including ourselves). That’s how Jesus saw his persecutors. In Chapter 2, Jesus explains, “The statement, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’ in no way evaluates what they do. It is an appeal to God to heal their minds. There is no reference to the outcome of the error. That does not matter.” In Jesus’ case the outcome was torture and murder and it does not matter. “The message of the crucifixion,” says Jesus, “is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are.” (T-6)

Bodies can be physically injured. Egos can be psychologically injured. But Spirit, being Love, does not harm Itself.  Forgiveness is a mind-healing. This mind-healing can be attained no matter what situation you are in because no one can imprison your mind. You can allow your mind to be intimidated and manipulated until you learn you have the choice to turn your mind over to the Holy Spirit. Then, oppression ends. You reclaim your mind.

Jesus guides us, “… the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything.” Even Jesus was forgiven by God. Forgiven in this context means undone. In this undoing is the discovery that you are not human, you are Being. Then, the rest of your days on earth are heavenly, for you spend them being a conduit for God’s Love.

“You and your brother are the same, as God Himself is One and not divided in His Will.” (T-25.II.11:1)

For more on this topic, watch

and read Five Steps to Cultivating Your Relationship with the Holy Spirit

This Q&A appears in the Ask Amy column from the Nov-Dec 2015 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.  To ask Amy a question, email miracles (at) amytorresacim (dot) com

W-365: This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Aummmmmm …

LESSON 365

This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.

 

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-364: This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

My heart flutters like a small bird in my chest … hope, anticipation, release!  First, a feeling of being held tenderly in my Father’s Hand.  Then … as I settle and feel safe … His Hand opens and … I am released without being let go … God’s Extension is total freedom and complete unity simultaneously.

LESSON 364

This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.

 

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-363: This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

My heart eases reading these words and entering the Stillness by doing nothing.  In my willingness to follow and to receive, comes  a shift from noticing a heartbeat within my own chest to being One with the Cosmic Heart.

LESSON 363

This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.

 

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-362: This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

The Holy Spirit is in charge by my request.  From Chapter 16:

I am not alone, and I would not intrude the past upon my Guest.
I have invited Him, and He is here.
I need do nothing except not to interfere.

… Certain that Your direction gives me peace …

LESSON 362

This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.

 

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-361: This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This holy instant would I give to You, Holy Spirit.  Be You in charge.  I place myself in Your Hands, certain that following You gives me Peace.

LESSON 361

This holy instant do I give to You.
Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.

 

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

FINAL LESSONS

Introduction

Our final lessons will be  left as free of words as possible.  We use them but at the beginning of our practicing, and only to remind us that we seek to go beyond them.  Let us turn to Him Who leads the way and makes our footsteps sure.  To Him we leave these lessons, as to Him we give our lives henceforth.  For we would not return again to the belief in sin that made the world seem ugly and unsafe, attacking and destroying, dangerous in all its ways, and treacherous beyond the hope of trust and the escape from pain.

His is the only way to find the peace that God has given us. It is His way that everyone must travel in the end, because it is this ending God Himself appointed. In the dream of time it seems to be far off. And yet, in truth, it is already here; already serving us as gracious guidance in the way to go. Let us together follow in the way that truth points out to us. And let us be the leaders of our many brothers who are seeking for the way, but find it not.

And to this purpose let us dedicate our minds, directing all our thoughts to serve the function of salvation. Unto us the aim is given to forgive the world. It is the goal that God has given us. It is His ending to the dream we seek, and not our own. For all that we forgive we will not fail to recognize as part of God Himself. And thus His memory is given back, completely and complete.

It is our function to remember Him on earth, as it is given us to be His Own completion in reality. So let us not forget our goal is shared, for it is that remembrance which contains the memory of God, and points the way to Him and to the Heaven of His peace. And shall we not forgive our brother, who can offer this to us? He is the way, the truth and life that shows the way to us. In him resides salvation, offered us through our forgiveness, given unto him.

We will not end this year without the gift our Father promised to His holy Son. We are forgiven now. And we are saved from all the wrath we thought belonged to God, and found it was a dream. We are restored to sanity, in which we understand that anger is insane, attack is mad, and vengeance merely foolish fantasy. We have been saved from wrath because we learned we were mistaken. Nothing more than that. And is a father angry at his son because he failed to understand the truth?

We come in honesty to God and say we did not understand, and ask Him to help us to learn His lessons, through the Voice of His Own Teacher. Would He hurt His Son? Or would He rush to answer him, and say, “This is My Son, and all I have is his”? Be certain He will answer thus, for these are His Own words to you. And more than that can no one ever have, for in these words is all there is, and all that there will be throughout all time and in eternity.

LESSONS 361 – 365

This holy instant do I give to You.
Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.

And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.

 

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-360: Peace be to me, the holy Son of God. Peace to my brother, who is one with me. Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

The Great Rays remain forever still and undisturbed within me.  Reaching inside in silence and in certainty, Peace is right Here … Holy, Holy, Holy Innocent Peace … Amen.

LESSON 360

Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.
Peace to my brother, who is one with me.
Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.

 Father, it is Your peace that I would give, receiving it of You.  I am Your Son, forever just as You created me, for the Great Rays remain forever still and undisturbed within me.  I would reach to them in silence and in certainty, for nowhere else can certainty be found.  Peace be to me, and peace to all the world.  In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain.  You Son is like to You in perfect sinlessness.  And with this thought we gladly say “Amen.”

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-359: God’s answer is some form of peace. All pain is healed; all misery replaced with joy. All prison doors are opened. And all sin is understood as merely a mistake.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

I have imprisoned myself, forgotten that I did so, judged myself a sinner, blamed my Father and my brothers for that, felt guilty, terrified and alone … but, hallelujah!, I was wrong 🙂  And in that error, in that wrongness, all that happened was I hallucinated and believed that what I hallucinated was real; all that happened was I limited my Self and believed I was a personal self — me.  Now I am using “me” to awaken to the Truth: I am the Wholeness and the Oneness of the Living Loving Light which is eternally and infinitely Peaceful.  Forgiveness is the recognition that what I think I think, and what I think I see, is merely illusion.  And so it is.  Happy Unborn Day, Jesus!

LESSON 359

God’s answer is some form of peace.  All pain
Is healed; all misery replaced with joy.
All prison doors are opened.  And all sin
Is understood as merely a mistake.

Father, today we will forgive Your world, and let creation be Your Own.  We have misunderstood all things.  But we have not made sinners of the holy Sons of God.  What You created sinless so abides forever and forever.  Such are we.  And we rejoice to learn that we have made mistakes which have no real effects on us.  Sin is impossible, and on this face forgiveness rests upon a certain base more solid than the shadow world we see.  Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed.  Help us forgive, for we would be at peace.

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.  

W-358: No call to God can be unheard nor left unanswered. And of this I can be sure; His answer is the one I really want.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

Words are not necessary to call to God.  A sincere heart is all that is required.  And even an unsure heart can be willing to be sincere.  Ask to recognize what you already are, ask to use your life to love and be loved, ask to be used as a clear conduit, ask that every aspect of your individual life be a symbol of God’s Love for the highest good of All … ask for this and you can’t go wrong.  Ask and it is given.

LESSON 358

No call to God can be unheard nor left
Unanswered.  And of this I can be sure;
His answer is the one I really want.

 You Who remember what I really am alone remember what I really want.  You speak for God, and so You speak for me.  And what You give me comes from God Himself.  Your Voice, my Father, then is mine as well, and all I want is what You offer me, in just the form You choose that it be mine.  Let me remember all I do not know, and let my voice be still, remembering.  But let me not forget your Love and care, keeping Your promise to Your Son in my awareness always.  Let me not forget myself is nothing, but my Self is all.

Let’s practice together!  Click here for more information and to sign-up for Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.