Chapter 7: Freedom Through Forgiveness
An excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Instead of reacting to negative emotions or feelings with judgment as the ego has taught us, how would the Godself invite us to react? The Godself would invite each of us to take the following three steps:
- Bring any negative emotions or feelings to the surface.
- Release any remorse or guilt that you once chose to believe in these illusions.
- Release your negative emotions or feeling. Thank them for what they have taught you and let them go.
First, bring your negative emotions and feelings to the surface, for it is in walking the ego’s path that you will truly recognize that it will get you nowhere.
We have been walking on the ego’s path because it has convinced us that it will take us where we want to go. We have made ourselves respond with negative emotions and feelings, because the ego has taught us that judgment is a “natural and right response” to a brother’s words and actions. But judgment never offers us peace of mind and joy.
Do not resist your negative emotions or feelings because it is healthy to feel and experience them. This was very much an issue for me. There was a time when I believed that it was “not spiritual” to deal with negative emotions or feelings. I forgave many illusions before really understanding and acknowledging their illusionary nature. I swept them under the rug; and when it was time to clean up, there was a lot of dust to deal with. I truly believed that all negative emotions and feelings were illusions and, when involved in an argument, I would simply release them by forgiving the person in my mind so that the argument would not escalate. I would immediately release all negative emotions and feelings because I understood that what the individual was really looking for was love. This, in its purest form, is the Godself’s way of dealing with an individual. This, in its purest form, will always bring peace. All this is great as long as you bring to the surface what it is you are feeling. So don’t feel like you’re not being spiritual simply because you feel or express negative emotions. It is simply a part of your journey, and all of the journey’s parts are necessary for its completion.
The value of an illusion is to have the opportunity to realize that it is an illusion. The one value of all illusions lies in understanding and acknowledging their lack of value. The more we value an illusion, the more we defend it and try to protect our beliefs. If we do not physically experience its lack of value, then we will truly never believe that it is valueless. How many times in our lives have we tried to explain something important that happened in our lives only to resort to the phrase, “you really had to be there.” For most of us, this is how we learn that our illusions are valueless. We have to experience them ourselves to learn that they have no value. A guru or spiritual teacher can tell you that to find peace, you need to forgive and release your anger, but it is only by holding resentment that you can truly experience, appreciate and acknowledge its valuelessness in your life. It is only through holding onto such resentment that you can experience its full weight, its energy drain, the absolute worthlessness that such emotions bring to your life.
If you can understand that everything a brother says to you comes from either love or a call for love, then congratulations and God bless you. But most people will need to experience the valuelessness that illusions offer them in order to cease choosing them. So feel free to bring to the surface, experience and feel whatever it is you think you need to experience and feel. If these feelings are manifested as negative emotions toward your brother, then sit with them. But for your own good, for your own growth and peace of mind, ask yourself how these experiences are making you feel. Ask yourself how much peace of mind and joy they have brought to your life. Truly look inside and see what you are doing to yourself by choosing to react this way.
Second, release any remorse or guilt that you once chose to believe these illusions. Remorse and guilt are themselves illusions, and knowledge of this fact turns them into gifts. Knowledge turns all illusions into miracles. Knowledge turns hate into love, fear into freedom, judgment into forgiveness and pain into peace. Knowledge frees the prisoner and forgives the jailer. Understand that these illusions or trials have come to offer you an opportunity to choose again. Let remorse and guilt turn into a prayer of gratitude, for the experience that you once believed was true is true no more. As “A Course in Miracles” states:
24 Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before, you can now make a better one, and thus escape all the pain that your previous choices brought to you.
Third, release your negative emotions or feelings, let them go. Do not exaggerate the act of letting them go, because this only gives them the importance they no longer deserve. Be thankful that illusions you chose to see as real are now seen as the illusions they have always been. Be thankful that what once caused you so much judgment, regret, resentment and pain now simply dissolves in your light. Be thankful that the truth has set you free.
24. Dr. Helen Schucman, Dr. William Thetford, A Course in Miracles, Copyright 1976 (Foundation for Inner Peace).
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