Light On… Forgiveness

Forgiveness is how we free ourselves from our own past—the unpleasant parts. Forgiveness is how we free ourselves from an unacceptable present situation.  Forgiveness is a high spiritual value and a high spiritual experience.  Forgiveness blesses the forgiver and the forgiven. In fact, they often become interchangeable. True forgiveness is an awakening to the idea that no real harm has been done. According to the Course in Miracles, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.” What this suggests is that in the spiritual sense, we can’t really be harmed in ways that matter. We can, however, seem to harm ourselves. We can achieve this by refusing to forgive.

If it is true that no one can take our power from us, then the above paragraph can begin to make sense. It is our job in life—in every situation—to find our power. In every relationship I have my personal power to do what is best for me. I may want to change the other. I may feel convinced that what they do or have done to me is grudge-worthy, is grounds for severe correction. However, it is not my job to change another adult. If they continue to do things that I find unacceptable, I have the power to leave the situation. If they don’t meet my standard as a good partner, boss, friend, lover, I have the power to re-think my standard, or to move on. Or I have the power to forgive—to just let it go.

“But it wouldn’t take that much for them to correct the problem,” you say in alarm to what is written here. But that is not your business or your decision. And they may not agree with you.

Forgiveness is about letting go. It can be about letting go of what you’ve been mad about, and it can be about letting go of the idea that you are right. It can be about letting go of the idea that it matters who is right. It can be about letting go of what happened in the distant past. It can be about letting go the thoughts and memories that plague you. And sometimes, forgiveness can be about letting go of the other person entirely.

Forgiveness is how we free ourselves.

Forgiveness is a way of giving to ourselves a bright and shiny new present.

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Light On… New Beginnings

(For Optimists, Optimists in Training, and Wannabes)

Life is change, thus we are promised constant opportunities for starting over. It is never too late to change your mind, your direction, your results in life. In this perfect universe, a new beginning is promised to us all at any given moment. Ask yourself right now what would you change about your life, your situation, if only you could?

So often we labor under the myth that we are stuck. We accept the idea that whatever our life looks like today is a clear picture of what is to come. But the reality is we have the power to change.

Maybe you believe you are too old, or that you don’t know the right people, or that you don’t have enough money to make “it” happen.

You have to become willing to admit that you really want whatever “it” is. For many of us this is a problem because we hide the truth from ourselves. It is very painful to want with any intensity what we believe we can’t have. But only if we believe we can do it, or have it, will we be willing to put in the work to make it happen. After all, if “it” is impossible, why bother?

So, first, you must become an optimist. Optimism can be learned, but only if you believe. Seems like a bit of a conundrum. What are you willing to do about it? Are you willing to suspend your disbelief? That is a good start. It means you are already changing. You can act as if you are becoming more of an optimist. Now as an acting optimist ask yourself—“If I really believed I could have a better life, if I really thought achieving my dream was possible, how excited would I be?”

This is a good place to start getting honest with yourself. Take some time with this question. It might be a good idea to journal about the answer. You are worth it—the effort. You are entirely worth the effort it might take to find your enthusiasm. How excited would you be if you believed you could do it?

Belief + Excitement = New Beginnings