Forgiveness: Beautiful not numbing

Forgiveness is acquired. ... As sin is an idea you taught yourself, forgiveness must be learned by you as well, but from a Teacher other than yourself, Who represents the other Self in you. Through Him you learn how to forgive the self you think you made, and let it disappear.

Workbook 169 - Forgiveness is the key to happiness

An idea dawned on me. It is an idea toward the idea that "nothing happened", but it is simpler for me to process. I find that as I allow reinterpretation and forgive with exercises like below, I am better able to forgive present situations more quickly.

What Forgiveness Feels Like

True forgiveness will be experienced as a release, like coming up for air after being under water; it is not a numbing. True forgiveness happens when you understand why the experience happened, how it helped you grow, and you love yourself and the other actors in the experience more for the experience having happened.

Essentially, if you are upset with a situation, you have determined that you understand what the situation was for, and not only that, it was a very bad situation. Undo that thought. Accept that maybemaybemaybe you misinterpreted what happened. We all make mistakes, humble up, little willingness, etc. Then go into deep meditation with something like "Holy Spirit, what really happened in this experience?". Something like that.

How this usually plays out for me is I:

  1. accept that I am not upset for the reason I think (Lesson 51),

  2. realize the other people are, according to the course, other Sons of God searching for peace and joy imperfectly, confounded by ego ("Because I will to know myself, I see you as God's Son and my brother.")

  3. go into deep meditation with the question "How was this an experience of Love, what can I learn from this?"

If the above steps don't work, I accept that my holding onto anger/irritation/desire for vengeance could be an unconscious desire of my own to simply not be peaceful or joyous. And the "experience" that I'm "not forgiving" is just a boogeyman that I'm allowing to live in my mind to be a scapegoat when I want to lash out internally. In this way, letting it go is a mercy to myself.

There will be an answer. I accept that my hearing is dependent on my willingness to hear. Maybe it is not the right time to heal, maybe it is. If it's not the right time to heal, I can try to be at peace with the present moment and my current state of being.

He would not leave an unforgiving thought without correction, nor one thorn or nail to hurt His holy Son in any way.

Workbook 169 - Forgiveness is the key to happiness

Ultimate Goal

Point of note: this reinterpretation is not the ultimate goal, but it is a step within the plan of forgiveness. It is impossible to forgive a situation that has been condemned; we have already judged it negatively. I feel that if I learn how to allow internal reinterpretation, I will have a useful tool for awakening, but there will be more understandings to learn. I can use this tool of reinterpretation to build trust in my mind and mental capabilities.

If I master this, I feel I can have peace for a lifetime if a peaceful human life is my goal.

If I master this and further it logically, I learn that literally everything that has occurred in my life was for my betterment and guidance.

All things are lessons God would have me learn.

Workbook 193

And by understanding that all things in my past were for my betterment only, I easily see that all new events that come into my awareness are for my good as well.

All things are echoes for the Voice of God.

Workbook 151

When everything has meaning beyond the harsh colliding of forms, when everything is painted with the brush of Love for my well-being and growth, this is true vision. (At least truer vision!)

From the Foundation for Inner Peace's Glossary of terms:


the perception of Christ or the Holy Spirit that sees beyond the body to the spirit that is our true Identity; the vision of forgiveness and sinlessness through which is seen the real world; purely internal, reflecting a decision to accept reality rather than judge it; a shift in attitude from the ego’s purpose for the body (specialness) to the Holy Spirit’s (forgiveness), and thus is not to be equated with physical sight.

Everything that happens in my frame of awareness is the Voice of God presenting a lesson for my understanding. The only barrier for my learning the lesson is my own desire to give the situation my own meaning, a judgement I have learned based on opinions and positions I am carrying from my past.

I can either be a judgmental separated self or I can be at peace with what is. A still watcher, quietly doing nothing, merely looking and waiting and judging not. Am I confident that right action will arise?


I am.

- alex brady

For in depth Experience Reports of how this process has helped me, check out this other article

Reinterpretation Experiences

Portions of this post were originally posted on Reddit. Join the ACIM conversation (and me!) there.

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