When you practice awareness, you are not trying to change anything but rather bringing awareness to everything that you do and experience. Change happens all by itself because change is always happening. There is no striving in awareness. You are not trying to get somewhere except right here where you already are. There is in fact no place else. You are not trying to live your life for some future for there is no future. When you arrive in the future, when will you be? You will be right here right now doing what you’re doing and experiencing what you’re experiencing. Today is nothing more than yesterday’s tomorrow and here we are! This moment is the eternal moment because it always is. There is no other time. You have arrived!
The only effort in awareness is to remind yourself to be aware! It is cultivating within yourself the simple innocence of allowing all things to be exactly as they are without overshadowing them with any judgment or interpretation. In this article, we will explore the nature of forgiveness and its place in this human journey. What is forgiveness? What is it for?
Very simply, the function of forgiveness is to remove the blocks to the awareness of who you are. You have forgotten. Just as you lose yourself in your everyday actions, you lost yourself when you incarnated into this human existence which is all about doing and acting. You are now trying to find yourself once again. It is the purpose of this human existence. Who am I? Who am I really? You are looking for your Self. You are looking for your true Self. Your true self is not the body.
You became a body, and your existence is now all about the body. You are afraid of losing the body because who would you be without a body? Well, you just might not exist anymore! You will be nothing. You will be nobody. And that is your greatest fear. And so, your existence is all about preserving the body. It is all about looking good, about being remembered. You want to leave a legacy. You want to show the world that you really are somebody and when you die, that you were somebody. It has become the meaning of your existence. You want to know that your life means something. If it has no meaning, it will all be a waste. It will be a waste of time.
You are afraid of being nobody. You are afraid of aging and of leaving this world. You want to live forever because this yearning is so connected to your true identity. When you remind yourself of who you are, you will know. You will know that you live forever. You are a being that does not die for you are always as God created you. You have come to believe that your identity rests in the ego-body, which is merely a case of mistaken identity! Forgiveness will re-establish your true identity. Your true identity rests in awareness and love. Forgiveness begins with activating your awareness and ends with love.
As you seek to look with innocence upon all things, a light will begin to shine through the things you are looking at. The Bible reveals that forgiveness is not merely a one-time thing. When Jesus said, “Forgive seventy-times seven,” he was saying that forgiveness is more like a daily process when things and events do not go quite the way you expect. If you are honest, does your life ever go exactly as you plan it to go? And how do you feel when things don’t go a certain way? There is a bit of an upset, is there not? And so, what do you do with that upset? Those are moments that call for forgiveness. Those are moments to remind yourself of who you are.
Forgiveness means to release an emotion that arises out of a situation that doesn’t go as you want or expect. This includes events from the past, encounters with others, and behaviors that occur within the context of a committed relationship. Emotions and thoughts go hand in hand and are in fact two sides of one experience. Thoughts turn into beliefs and beliefs perpetuate emotions. Undesirable beliefs are then projected onto others and therefore create perceptions. What you perceive in another is your projection onto them what you won’t accept in yourself. Forgiveness then is to unravel the perceptions that you have projected onto others. And to unravel a perception is to unravel the emotions and beliefs that perpetuate a perception. As the emotion is dissolved you open a new way of seeing your sister or brother.
And as you practice forgiveness, “seventy times seven,” each time you forgive you take yourself deeper into the purity of your own consciousness. You begin to see how profoundly you have been coloring, and therefore affecting, all your relationships, through the simple act of not being aware and identifying with the ego. Therefore, know well, that forgiveness is an essential key to healing and the revelation of love’s presence.
Here Comes the Judge
The opposite of forgiveness is judgment, and judgment always creates separation and guilt. Judgment and blame are synonymous. When I blame you I judge you. You are responsible for something, you have caused me pain, it is your fault. And so, I hold this against you. Your ego mind is judging and blaming all the time. In fact, judging and blaming is what keeps the ego together.
“This is right, that is wrong. This is good, that is bad. I am bad. You are bad. That is terrible. This should be, that should not be. I’m bad. I’m no good. I’m a failure. There is something wrong with you. There’s something wrong with me. It is all your fault. It’s all my fault. That’s awful.”
And on and on and on. Judgment produces guilt in the one who is being judged whether you are judging others or judging yourself. Through the judgment of yourself, you are responsible for producing your own guilt.
Each time that I judge or blame anything or anyone, I have literally created guilt. And of course, when I have finally proven how wrong and bad you are, then, of course, you are deserving of one final effect of judgment and that is punishment. You should be punished and pay for the wrong that you have perpetrated. You should suffer the way I suffered as an effect of your wrong-doing. And the same effect occurs when I direct judgment toward myself. I can just as easily blame, judge, and punish myself. It is how I create my own suffering.
This is the way of the world, occurring on all levels from the global to the personal. It is the perfectly “reasonable” way of being, and to be otherwise is considered insanity.
You who live in this world believe yourself to have many problems. But there really is only one problem and one solution. The one problem is the problem of judgment and blame. Judgment is the “stuff” of which the ego is made. As an ego, you judge everything, and the ego is relentless in its judgment. The ego is never satisfied until it has proven that the object of its judgment is guilty. It is all very reasonable to the ego. Of course, if something terrible has happened we must find out who is to blame, who is at fault so that we can judge them. This is the way of the world. Once we find out who is guilty, we are now justified in punishing them, attacking them, making them pay, or in the global sense waging war on them. It is all very reasonable.
But you who judge everyone and everything outside of yourself, see this clearly. There is only one object of your judgment and that is yourself. And the self that you judge is the Self that is in alignment with God.
Therefore, when you judge, you move out of alignment with what is true. You declare that your innocence is not innocent. And when you judge another as being without innocence, you have really declared that this is true about you. Therefore, practicing forgiveness cultivates the quality of consciousness in which, finally, you come to forgive yourself. And it is, indeed, the forgiven who remember who they truly are.
And so, forgiveness therapy is practicing the power and simplicity of forgiveness—how to accomplish it, how to cultivate it, how to refine it, how to understand the depths of it. It is essential to bring up within you all that has not been forgiven but perhaps forgotten. You will come face to face with the judge in you that has held everything in place. As you release the judge, everything clears up. As you practice forgiveness you will more and more live in the spirit of forgiveness and bring that spirit to every situation and relationship you encounter. You will not only learn forgiveness but also experience being forgiven.
As we speak of these things, you may immediately bring up a feeling of seriousness and grimness, and certainly unreasonableness. It may look like an overwhelming task, but it is not. Forgiveness always starts with right where you are, with what you are doing and feeling. Forgiveness is not serious but carrying the burden of the belief that who you are is an ego is extremely serious for that is what the ego makes of everything. The ego creates a heaviness in your countenance and a lack of safety in the world. As you release the burden of guilt and judgment, suddenly you are free—free to be, free to love, free to experience the wholeness of all that life brings. You could think of it as taking your rheostat and turning it up a bit by enlightening you, taking the burden of guilt and judgment from you.
Therefore, understand well: forgiveness is essential. And what has not been forgiven in others, has not been forgiven in you—not by a God that sits outside of you, but by the you of the true Self that you are. What you have not forgiven in another or in the world is but a reflection of what you carry within as a burden that you cannot forgive yourself.
What you judge in another is triggered by what you perceive in the other. And you judge them because you fear that energy in yourself which you project on to them. Or you remember times when you were hurtful when you have acted from that energy. But when you have forgiven yourself, you will know what it means to walk in this world yet be not of this world. You will be able to feel the energy or the activities that any other soul may freely choose. And you will discern that energy, understand that energy, you will see through it, and know this other as your brother and child of God. You will not react, which literally means “to act again,” as you did in the past. You will see the events that seemed to cultivate the other’s beliefs that they feel justified to act in the way they do. You will see it as clearly as though someone had drawn a picture in front of you.
Even if you are being criticized, blamed, condemned; even if another is behaving badly, you will cultivate the ability to love. In all situations, no matter what another is doing, your first response will be to go within yourself and ask,
“What is calling me in this situation? What is the most appropriate response that furthers this relationship in this moment? What will be helpful or hurtful? What will bring me peace of mind?”
For when forgiveness has purified the mind and the heart and the emotional field of your own beingness, you will discover that you exist only to extend Love. In each situation, you will know your only role is to bring healing to all situations, and that is accomplished by your loving presence and response. So even if one is hating you, you will not respond with defensiveness but with curiosity, with innocent witnessing, by entering the quiet sanctuary of awareness.
“Forgiveness therapy is practicing the power and simplicity of forgiveness—how to accomplish it, how to cultivate it, how to refine it, how to understand the depths of it. You will not only learn forgiveness but also experience being forgiven.“