I've started this blog in my head about 60 times in the last couple of months. How do I begin? How do I explain everything that's happened in the last 15 years since I first found A Course in Miracles?
I decided to start in the middle of things. It's 3 am and I can't sleep because I'm busy hating my father. I woke up an hour ago, but my mind was taken hostage by this voice in my head that kept re-hashing his email of last night, plus every little selfish comment, every unfair treatment, and every unreasonable request he's ever made of me (I don't have to explain the specifics -- you have relatives too.) He's sucking me dry and it's just not fair. Not to mention he's done this to me in a half a dozen previous lives, but that's another story.
I suddenly become conscious that as long as I'm thinking of the past (what he's done to me) and the future (what I'm going to tell him when I speak to him) I am not present -- I'm lost in illusions. I decide to reclaim my mind.
I allow myself to feel the anger and then the pain. I feel it in my chest and for a second I wonder if I'm dying. I notice there's a wicked kind of pleasure in this feeling and that's why I resist letting it go. This is a HUGE step for me. In the past I've done some serious sweeping under the rug in the name of "happiness" and spirituality. I remember that the Course urges me to look for the monsters that hide in the closet. The Course says "Do not hide suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him....Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His light and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover...." T p. 243. This is how we undo the ego system: we bring all our pain out of the closet and ask the Holy Spirit to reinterpret it.
So I finally decide there must be another way. My own judgment of the situation has only brought me pain. I am open for new interpretation!
I close my eyes and I invite the Holy Spirit to look at the situation with me. I begin to own the situation through forgiveness. I tell my father mentally (inspired from Gary Renard's books and seminars) "You're not really there. I made you up. Everything you appear to be doing to me is a projection of my own ego and its purpose is for me to forgive. You can't hurt me, because you are innocent, spiritual, pure and perfect. I forgive you and I release you."
I sit with this for a while and soon, I see clearly that the role my father is playing, I've assigned to him. How can I blame him for acting out my own wishes? I forgive him for what he has never done. A sense of freedom envelops me. My pulse goes back to normal. I breathe easier. My mind is quiet again.
Related post: Forgiving our parents: re-visiting our self-concept
Thanks so much for this blog! Not only do I appreciate your honest thoughts about how you were thinking about your father - I loved reading how you made the transformation. I have always been interested in knowing more about ACIM - so I look forward to your future blogs :)
Thanks a lot for this blog. Yet, I still do not manage to understand how exactly one can forgive. I am in a similar situation -- I hate my father, and number of ex-aquiantances, and I see myself entering a negative spiral. I would like to free myself from this, but the idea of being a humble thing without own dignity does not really appeals to me. I do not want to hate anyone. I would like to release the past -- to let is all go, but not to let hurt myself again. Honestly, I deeply respect and like Jesus, but I am not able to set my other cheek to the enemy -- it is not in my nature. I don't want to be stuck in old feelings, I want to let the past go without swallowing the hurt and without humiliating myself. I really don't know HOW this can be done, although. Until now I've forgiven either those whom I love, or those who are much weaker than me, but never those whom I neither love (as my father) nor they are defeated. I believe in natural dignity and also don't like to violate my instincts. Yet, I would like to really go beyond all this past emotional waste. It seems to lie on my way.ReplyDelete
Thank you for writing. I appreciate your honesty and your willingness to share. The situation you present is really everyone's dilemma: a part of us (our right mind) wants to let go of the past with all the pain that it causes us, and a part of us (the ego) wants to hold on. We all have a split mind and at any given moment we are seeing the world through the ego's eyes or through the right mind (also called Christ, Holy Spirit, or Jesus in A Course in Miracles). A good rule of thumb is that if we feel pain, we are seeing or interpreting the situation with the ego. Our goal is to see the situation through the right mind's perspective. Through our right mind we see that what is hurting us is not what happened, but our interpretation of a situation.
The first step in forgiving your father may be just to notice how much that "emotional waste;" the anger, the hate, the resentment, is hurting you. It seems to me that you're already taking this important step. It may be that for a while this is all you can do. Be patient. Notice the pain. The Course says that our "tolerance for pain is high but not without limit." That pain may intensify as you notice it and it is this that what will give you the motivation to someday choose against it. Then you'll be ready for the second step.
The second step is to ask for a different perspective. Forgiveness as defined by A Course in Miracles, is simply a change in perspective. We let go of the ego's interpretation of a situation in favor of the the right mind's. Forgiveness is not concerned with the other person. It does not require you to apologize, become friends or do anything that would make you uncomfortable. It simply liberates you from the seeming effects of the situation.
In the post below I explain a little more on the process of forgiveness.
The path of forgiveness is not easy, but it is extremely rewarding to those who follow it. Let me know if I can be of further assistance :o)
Hi Aileen -ReplyDelete
Thanks for this entry. It was very helpful to me.
I was just not really experiencing anything to do with my father - just a general restlessness that kept me surfing the Web for ACIM blogs.
And I clicked on the Gary Renard tags (he has been a wonderful teacher for me), and it brought me here. It brought me some peace on a difficult day.
Thank you for sharing, Anil. I'm happy to hear from you. Gary has been an inspiration to me too. Feel free to stay in touch :)ReplyDelete
Hi Aileen -ReplyDelete
I suddenly remembered your blog this evening while reading about my favorite stuff on the Web (a.c.i.m (:)... and I had even forgotten that I had written a comment to this first post of yours ! (:
Re-reading it this evening, I have to say yet again - thank you ! your blog is a blessing to us all..
Thank you so much for writing again. It really touched me that you did. I'm watching to see when I will write again.
Much love to you!