Chapter 7: Freedom Through Forgiveness
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
It is a part of everyone’s development to react with negative emotions or feelings toward their brothers and sisters. In fact, it is the ego’s hope that we judge every brother we meet, and blame every brother for how we feel. The ego tries to make our brother responsible so that we will not take the time to look within. The ego hopes we will judge our brother any time he acts in a way that differs from our belief system. Yet the ego’s hopes are also its demise, for the more it gets us to react the way it wants us to, the more we realize that it is a fruitless, insensitive and agonizing method of existence.
The world is governed by rules enacted by the ego for the ego. One of the rules that this world tries to constantly reinforce in us is that there are times when judgment is a proper response. But would we judge a tourist from a foreign land for being lost? And isn’t this all our brother really is, a tourist in a foreign land? Aren’t we all just tourists in a foreign land? Every time a brother walks up to us, he is asking for directions, and it is up to us to react with judgment and send him to hell, or to react with love and remind him of heaven. And understand this: Every time we communicate with a brother, we are giving him directions to where we secretly live.
Another one of the rules that the world tries to reinforce in us is that it is right and fair to judge a brother who judges us. But why does reacting with judgment even when this world tells us that it is right, proper and fair cause us regret, resentment and pain? If, in the ego’s world, what is right, proper and fair causes us regret, resentment and pain, then how can we ever truly find peace of mind and joy? If, in the ego’s world, reacting in a right, proper and fair manner causes us regret, resentment and pain, then what would reacting wrongly, improperly and unfairly bring to us? Certainly not peace of mind and joy! In the ego’s world, there is no way that we can truly win. What the ego masks as happiness is regret, resentment and pain. Can we really believe that we will ever find true happiness by living a life full of regret, resentment and pain?
The ego has made us believe that it has laid a never-ending path of red rose petals for us to walk on. It has made us believe that it is the only safe path on which to travel. It has taught us its rules and warned us not to look elsewhere for guidance. Yet if for a moment we realize and feel what we are doing, we discover that beneath those rose petals are millions of rusted nails lining the path, ready to tear the flesh from our feet. We then see that what we thought were rose petals are actually torn pieces of flesh from those who traveled this same path. And the pieces of flesh are red with our brothers’ blood.
In moments of reflection, we have felt judgment’s pain, but we could not believe it had been self-inflicted because we did everything the ego said that we needed to do. We did everything right. So with every judgment, we took another step on the ego’s path.
The ego smiles and tells us that we also should be smiling, and so we go ahead and smile that false smile we have so often performed with. We become weaker with every step and cannot understand why. We have not quite realized that every time we judge a brother we slowly cut into our own spirits, our true selves. We do not look at ourselves, but we are slowly losing blood. We do not know why, but we understand that something has to change. Somewhere within, we understand that, for our own survival, a change must take place.
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