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I am pretty sure that I understand the process of forgiveness in terms of forgiving others for what I think they have done to me. My question is, how do I forgive myself for what I think I am doing to others? By being who I am I think I am hurting other people. How do I correct that?
In what way do you feel like you are hurting others?
The first thing that came forward for me is that you're not Michael. The belief that you are is what needs to be forgiven. Our ego's are "suspicious at best and vicious at worst" and as long as we're identified with the ego, we'll keep hurting others. Rather than clean up our egos, we're asked to be willing to exchange what we made for the truth of who we really are.
See if you can find some willingness to give this belief in being Michael to the Holy Spirt.
"The insignificance of the body must be an acceptable idea" for us to really truly work these ACIM lessons.
We need a systematic process to exchange our sense of ego self to who we are in truth as God created us -- our forgiveness of our small self lies in that exchange.Your question is the reason why I follow the Course (but only the Course -- quite some time ago, I decided to dedicate a full year practicing the lessons and find out IF it is my path and it is).
The reason I say to try ONLY the Course is the same reasoning that one would apply if you wanted to go on a diet to lose weight -- how many diets can you be on at one time and find success? Likewise, if you want to get physically fit, you can't hire someone else to go to the gym for you and expect to see results. You are the one who has to show up and follow the trainer's instructions. In this arena, the Course tells us that our problem is that we decide how we want things to be and then ask for help (Hey God, if my picture is lookin' good then I'll know you're there...)
The whole purpose of the Course is to help us remove the blocks to Love's awareness -- the awareness and acceptance to waken and realize we are dreaming and that we have only made a mistake. Would you punish your child for having a bad dream? Likewise, you can't prevent your child from having dreams but you can be there to comfort them and help them realize that they were just dreaming.
There is no quick "fix" but a process of replacing your ego beliefs INSTEAD adding to them. As the Course says, "Your past learning must have taught you the wrong things simply because it has not made you happy...The curriculum of the Atonement is the opposite of the curriculum you have established for yourselves, but so its its outcome. If the outcome of yours has made you unhappy & if you want a different one, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary."
Any quick fix will result in frustration b/c you are trying to do it yourself and the small ego/self' you are trying to do it with is the problem you are trying to overcome. "Of myself I can do nothing, but I am not of myself...This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. Whatever troubles you, be certain that HE has the answer and will gladly give it to you IF you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him (but be honest and admit it to Him when you have already decided how you think things should be...).
You ask a great question, Michael. It is the Course' whole purpose.
To everyone below:
Thank you so much for the outreach!
Truth is, I have a very strong desire for "things" in my life to go a "certain" way. It's as if I'm saying that when "things" show up in my life the way I want, THEN I can have faith the Holy Spirit is with me. It's this fear of letting go and melting into who I really am (and possibly hurting and disappointing others in the process) that absolutely scares me to death.
It's like I'm saying "I'll give it over to the Holy Spirit, BUT only if I have control over the outcome".
Yes, I've got a lot of work to do.
Again, thank you.
We've ALL got a lot of work to do, Michael! You're not alone my friend. Now with doing the Course, we're just aware of where the work needs to be done. And yet, we can heal in an instant. The Course says all we need is a tiny bit of willingness. And it sounds like you have it! :)
A great article which covers "Forgiving Yourself",
In the world of form "forgiveness" is absolution,...letting someone off the hook for what is perceived that was done. The Course's constant reminder that "I am not a body but free and still as God created me," leads the new studier to the Truth that "I" Am much more than I think i am. Forgiving mySelf is simply resting in the conviction that the body and all of its properties are little more than mis-perceptions and I will not be fooled anymore with its antics...:-)