9. How do I learn to forgive?

We start by slowly applying the principle of forgiveness throughout our life. Little things, starting at the level of human behavior. Again, this principle is to see all events, people and situations as not having power over our mental space and peace of mind – our ability to perceive from our mental faculty of reason.

A family member’s bad mood causes them to yell unnecessarily? We forgive them, realizing it hurts us more to be mad at a loved one than to love them fully.

Stuck in traffic? We find a productive way to spend our time while we wait. This is a perfect time to practice the definition of forgiveness which means “be still and watch” or an active meditation.

Dog poo'd the carpet? Clean it in a state of presence. Use the opportunity to learn of self-forgiveness and forgiveness of lower mental state organisms (the dog) which can be quite chaotic.

We don't start with major grievances. Start with small ones. After we learn how it feels mentally to be in control of our state of mind, not allowing ourself to be sucked into bad moods, we will be ready for "heavier" lifting. Here it is very important to go with God, or a trusted intuition/inner reason, to do the lifting.

God does all the work at giving the new understanding. We must be willing to clear away our past perceptions so we can receive the new understandings. This is where the mental practice of maintaining a peaceful state of mind helps.

By working applying forgiveness principles with the "smaller" griefs, we develop trust that it is a) possible to change our mind and see events in a new light and b) in our best interest to do so if your current state of mind or perception of a situation causes lack of peace.

This is the desired peace of mind and security that sustains a healthy mental life.

Once you have gone through this process with the “improper” definition of forgiveness a few times, you will learn that being accepting of events as they arise, i.e. being in a state of true forgiveness moment to moment, is the logical decision. Getting in a huff and forgiving it later is simple a waste of time if it’s avoidable.

You have learning handicaps in a very literal sense. There are areas in your learning skills that are so impaired that you can progress only under constant, clear-cut direction, provided by a Teacher Who can transcend your limited resources. He becomes your Resource because of yourself you cannot learn. The learning situation in which you placed yourself is impossible, and in this situation you clearly require a special Teacher and a special curriculum.

A Course in Miracles, OrEd.Tx.11.VI.46-47
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