Sunday, December 1, 2013

For Peace--See the World Differently

I started studying A Course in Miracles during the 1990's, but frankly, it scared me a little bit, so eventually I put it aside.  At the time I didn't know how to reconcile the Jesus in the Course with the Jesus of my Methodist upbringing.

When I picked the Course up for the second time 15 years later, I went at it with an intense urgency and a strong desire to understand its message and to practice its teachings.  I began my studies in the Workbook and several months in, I began to hit lessons like Lesson 62 which is titled "Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world".  I started to realize that the Course was teaching forgiveness.  In fact, the Course was insisting that I learn to forgive. 

This was an immediate problem for me.  I had been brought up in a Methodist household and we were very involved with our church.  My dad ran the Sunday School and my mom ran the church office.  My sister and I attended Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, sang in the choir and were often running around the church halls after school while our mother worked.  I was, for the most part, a good kid and I listened carefully to our Sunday School lessons and tried to be a good girl.

I remember being taught about forgiveness one Sunday. My Sunday School teacher told us we should just drop our anger when we felt wronged. She told us the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and suggested that we should see ourselves as washing the feet of anyone who hurt us.

That week, my younger sister, Debbie, did something to make me angry.  Really angry.  I tried to drop my anger.  I sincerely tried.  But I was just too mad.  I thought about washing her feet and the idea utterly flummoxed  me.  I was so angry that I just couldn't even contemplate the thought of touching her "stinky" feet. 

I gave forgiveness a few more tries, but the idea of just dropping my angry or hurt feelings simply didn't work for me.  In fact, I actually liked those feelings quite a bit.  I spent a lot of time, reviewing in my mind how angry I was.  How wrong my sister always was and how right I always was!  She was selfish and bad, of course, and I was the righteous good girl. 

Now I have to laugh at this since my sister is my best friend today and I can't even remember what she could have done to make me so angry.  But I do remember feeling furious at her often during my childhood.  And since I never forgave her, it didn't take much of an affront for those feelings to flare up again, and they often did.  Each time I felt angrier and angrier at her.

Later in life I found myself judging others quickly and holding grudges for a long time.  If people behaved badly, I simply avoided them in the future or cut them out of my life.  If I was forced to work with or be around them, I often labeled them in my mind as "difficult" or "idiotic" and I would quietly fume under the surface in all our dealings

The truth is that forgiveness is the dirty little secret of Christians, spiritual people and truth seekers everywhere.  We all agree that it is important, but most of us haven't got the slightest clue how to really do it. 

In actuality, forgiveness is not only easy, but even pleasurable, once you get the hang of it. 

However, in order to forgive easily, most of us will probably have to significantly change the way we look at the world.  We will need to take a close look at who we really are and why we are all here.  It's not difficult to change how we see our lives and this world, but it does require an open mind and some thinking time.

See a different world.

In "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness", I show you how to begin to see your role in the world differently.  Plus I've assembled practical easy-to-use tools to help you forgive everyone and everything that causes you pain and hurt.  As you incorporate forgiveness into your life, you'll find that your world becomes a better place.  Forgiveness becomes a pleasurable part of your daily life.  Everything gets easier.  Relationships improve.  Peace settles in.  Love becomes the way of things, and your connection to God becomes stronger and more powerful.
"Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness" is available in both hardcover and paperback at:
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