Thursday, July 31, 2014

What to do When You Find Yourself Judging

"I judge you not.
I extend forgiveness to myself for what I have created.
I embrace you, and I love you.  I free you to be yourself.
I bless you with the blessing of Christ." 
--Way of Mastery p. 34

These are words we can say when we find ourselves judging.  And as we say them we can visualize the image of the event or person we've judged gently dissolving into white light until there is no trace left of it.  

Then we can turn all thoughts and memories of the event or person over to Spirit.  Our work is now done. If, at some point in the future, there is anything more we need to do or say or think about, Spirit will let us know.  Until then, we are free to enjoy the peace that forgiveness brings.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unblocking our Connection to Love

My Mind Holds Only What I Think With God
"That is a fact and represents the truth of What you are and What your Father is.  It is this thought by which the Father gave creation to the Son, establishing the Son as a co-creator with Himself.  It is this thought that fully guarantees salvation to the Son.  For in his mind no thoughts can dwell but those his Father shares.  Lack of forgiveness blocks this thought from his awareness.  Yet it is forever true." --A Course in Miracles Workbook Review IV p. 273

Lack of forgiveness blocks this thought from our awareness.  

This is one of the reasons why forgiveness is the key to happiness.  Our minds can never be fully restored to their true state, where we think and create with God, if we are holding grievances and judging others.

Simply put, we can never be happy when we are in a state of unforgiveness, because it blocks our connection to God.  And when our connection to God is blocked, we are not ourselves.  We are separated from our truth.  We are not the love we were created to be.  And we are unable to give and receive love fully in this state.

When we hold grievances and judge others, we are refusing to recognize the truth that not only were we created by the father as a co-creator, but that everyone else was, too!!

It is in the recognizing of this very fact, that we are all equal and the same...that we are all one...that we are all, simply, love...that we come to receive our own happiness.

Yes, other people forget their truth and do stupid, ignorant and selfish things here.  But it is our responsibility as a true Son of God, to take the higher ground, to know their truth for them by holding a place of love in our minds for them.  And in so doing, we offer them (on a mental plane) a place to grow into their own knowing of their own truth, that they too, are simply, love.  We offer them the chance to heal when we forgive them through our recognition of who they really are, co-creators of God.


Because after all, this is all about the mind.  It's about what we do in our thinking.  All minds are connected.  So when we forgive and offer love instead of fear, we are healing our own minds and we are offering healing to our trespassers as well.  And that is their chance to heal along with us.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grace Period

Sometimes, when feelings are recently raw, it's difficult to forgive right away...and that's okay.  It's okay to let a little time heal over the pain before getting down and dirty with the real forgiveness work.  Sometimes we just don't have the strength to face it right away and we know that if we even so much as try to, we'll melt down or be unable to do whatever it is we have to do to get through the day.

Raw feelings can be very painful.  It's actually a good thing to honor our feelings and sit with them a bit.  I always allow myself to experience the sadness or the anger for awhile.  Processing and working through feelings is a good thing (And, by the way, we're not going to stay in this stage for very long anyway.  In a little while, we'll be doing our usual forgiveness work.)

While we're feeling raw, however, we can help hasten the healing while we're mentally shoring up the strength to do the real work.  When we are utterly broken and wounded and obsessing about what happened, we can always practice turning all our thoughts, hurts and fears over to Spirit as often as possible.  I like to just give those thoughts over whenever they come into my mind.  Just saying the words, "Holy Spirit, I am giving this ________ over to you", is all we really have to do.  I'm pretty visual, so sometimes I like to picture a beautiful white and shining marble altar that I can lay my burdens down on.  Once I've placed my burdens on the altar they are surrounded by white light and dissolved.

I also find that simply saying the words, "I forgive you, I release you, I bless you with love" repeatedly (as one would an affirmation) helps alleviate some of the pain.  This is not my final forgiveness work, of course, but it is an easy start and helps me to ease into the forgiveness.

Once I actually start to do the real forgiveness, I find occasionally that I will do one of my forgiveness process and complete the forgiveness, only to find myself feeling utterly angry and hurt all over again a few hours later.  When this happens, I just repeat the forgiveness.  This can go on for days and weeks and sometimes, if the wound is big enough, years.  Again, that's okay.  We can only give it our best effort.  Our intention to heal is what's important here.

Also, asking Spirit to help us turn our feelings of anger, hurt and fear to love will often help us to make important progress.

There's no denying it, life can be painful at times and no-one escapes this.  However, supporting ourselves with understanding and acceptance as we go about the job of healing and forgiving is the fastest way back to peace.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What is Unforgiven is Reposited in Our Bodies

"Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache, and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life."
  - Joan Lunden

It's true.  The more we forgive, the more peaceful we feel.  And the more we forgive (which heals our minds), the more we actually heal our physical bodies, too. 

Our bodies are repositories for past pain and hurt.  Unfortunately, if we hang onto these old harmful memories, we are also holding onto the pain and, over time, that pain is likely to transform into disease.  

Using forgiveness, we can clear our bodies of the physical symptoms that are left over from old emotional hurts.

There are several ways to remove old deposited pain from our bodies. For serious past wounds, I find it helpful to use several forgiveness processes. 

First, if I can pinpoint an event in my life that caused the wound, I'll forgive all the people involved.  It only takes me a few minutes to do this and I always use the same words and thoughts.  They are simple to learn.  Most importantly, time and time again, they have helped me to switch my mind over from fear (hurt and anger) to love.  If you're not sure how to forgive people that have caused you injury, you might want to download an audio recording I've made to guide you though this process. Once you listen to it a few times, you'll be able to forgive anyone easily, too. This process helps you forgive individual people on a mental level

Download and transfer to your iphone.  Cost: $2.99

Next, I'll tackle the physical component of forgiveness.  I'll go to work on the places in my body those old painful memories are stored.  I do this by remembering carefully all the details of the past event.  I try to put myself back in that moment of hurt and anger and I try to jack up my memories and corresponding emotions as much as possible.  

As I re-experience this old wound, I observe my body, noticing any stress symptoms that might show up. Sometimes this is a racing heartbeat, a tightening of the chest, a feeling of warmth rising in my head or a stabbing pain in my stomach.  The physical symptoms are different for different past hurts.  

Now I just sit and observe, amplifying the emotions and memories as much as I can.  Sometimes the pain moves around and changes.  Other times, memories from similar events that occurred in other times and places come to mind.  I allow this all to flow through my mind and my body, simply observing and feeling whatever feelings come up.  It's important to let this process run its course thoroughly so that the memories will dissipate and lift from the body.  

There is a more detailed description of this in my book, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness".  I've also created another guided audio meditation for this process.  It's easy to download to your computer.  You can then upload it to your phone so you can use it with your headphones whenever you have a quiet moment to yourself.  I like to do a lot of my forgiveness work in bed at night before sleep but you can do this anywhere you can find the quiet you need to concentrate. 

Easy to use, guided meditation to forgive and release physical symptoms from past hurts. $2.99

EFT, or emotional freedom technique is a process where you speak words that describe painful memories and feelings while tapping on acupressure points.  This tapping somehow disconnects and clears through the pain stored in the body from the memory.  It seems odd, but surprisingly, it works.  EFT has become a widely respected technique used by therapists around the world.  To learn more, watch this quickie video with Jessica Ortner.  

EFT is an effective technique for clearing stored and painful memories from the body and I do feel that this is a form of forgiveness.  However, the most healing work is mental.  It is important to combine EFT with some prior deep mental work such as the two guided processes above.  In this way, we are forgiving and clearing first in the mind and then following up with a clearance and healing in physical form.  

Of course, if we heal the mental, eventually the body will follow.  With EFT, we are just speeding up the process. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ask to Forgive

An "angel" will come.  An angel from deep within ourselves. A voice for love.  Ask to have that voice.  An experience of truth, not the same-old ego-story.

When you are sick and tired of chaos, confusion, pain and fear, ask for help.

Be willing, even if it is willing that it will happen later.

Ask for the help.  Love is available to every one of us.  Love is our deep immortal truth.  No matter who you think you are and what you think you've done, you are actually only love,  what you have done is only love.  You cannot be otherwise. You are not the exception to love.

We are all one.  We are all the same.  We were, each and every one, created by the Divine to be perfect.  The Divine creates in his own image and he is, simply, love.  Therefore, no matter how you deny it and run from are love, too.

And you can be nothing but love.  God is only love and God is all there is.  There is nothing more that you can be.  You are not separate from God.  You are what he is, no matter how you decieve yourself.  You may choose to perceive that you are bad, wrong or sinful.  You may choose to perceive that others are bad, wrong or sinful.  But it is merely perception, not truth.

 There is no duality.  Our "dream world" of fear, violence, hatred, anger and frustration is only an illusion.  Ask to be freed of this illusion and to see the truth of yourself.  You are love.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How Projection Works

Judging others initially makes us feel good because we project our own shortcomings and insecurities onto the people we're judging.  In this way, we get to feel superior.  Think of projection just like going to the movies.  The projector throws the images away from itself and onto a screen.  This is what we do with the parts of ourselves we don't like.  We project or throw them off onto others because doing so momentarily makes us feel "special" and better than everybody else.

Of course, in a short while, the guilt that we create in our sub-conscious minds from judging others significantly outweighs any slight pleasure that we received in the original moment of judging.

If this idea that you are actually judging others of your own shortcomings seems surprising or hard to believe to you (as it originally did to me), you will need to do some deep thinking and observing as to the things you judge others for.  If you judge others for being overweight, look into your own fears that you won't be accepted by others.  If you judge someone for being too critical, look at your own habits of criticizing.   If you judge someone for physically attacking another person, think of all the times when you would have loved to do the same.

Remember, It's not what we physically do in this 3D earthly world.  What's really important is what is in our minds.  That's where the real action is.  It's our thought patterns that we are working to clean up.  I assume that if you're reading this blog, you are not running around shooting people.  What I'm discussing here is a more advanced level of thinking (although I say this being careful not to judge others who are not yet at this higher mental place).

A judgement or attack thought against anyone should be as concerning to us as it would be if we had actually physically attacked them.  After all, all minds are joined and a mental attack is known to our attackee on a sub-conscious level.  Yes, I'm saying that when we judge others, they know it.

We think that judging others is a harmless habit.  However, it is a dangerous habit for three reasons.  First because what we give out we get back.  If we judge others, we will be judged.  Second, because judging prevents us from doing the purification work in our minds required for our awakening.  It creates mental blocks in our mind.  And third because it is damaging to the people we judge.

I love the following section on judging in The Way of Mastery.  It shows how we all not only participate in judging but have created an elaborate system which is designed to do the judging for us so that we don't have to feel the guilt.  This is projection on a societal scale.
"In fact, the legal system means merely to take the act of projection and the need to judge and to make it okay socially, so that you need not be concerned with this other as your brother or as your sister who has been crying out for help.  Rather, you become justified in punishment.  Yet punishment is only the insane attempt to convince the punisher that the darkness, the evil--whatever you want to call it--is not in them, it is out there. 
Imagine a society in which the prevalent legal view is simply that your brother or your sister is an aspect of yourself.  And if you would help yourself, you must help them--meeting each cry for help and healing with forgiveness, love and support.  Can you imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to live in such a society?  How would it be different than the world you see?" --ps. 28-9

This is beautiful food for thought.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could one day start early to find our troubled children and create ways to forgive and nourish their souls so that they as adults they can feel loved and cherished in our society, instead of disenfranchised and angry?  In the meantime, we need to start this work on an individual level in our own minds.  As we heal our minds of the habit of judging, others around us become healed.

 Healing one's mind of the habit of judging is not something that happens over-night.  Habits are hard to break.  But it can be done.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to become aware each time you judge.  Then choose again.  Replace those judging thoughts with thoughts of kindness, loving understanding and forgiveness.  This is how we heal the world.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Compassion is an attitude that upholds the memory of wholeness for people when they are lost in separation, pain and conflict."

I often talk about "flipping the switch" from love to fear.  Forgiveness happens at the very moment that we flip that switch.

One moment we are feeling thoughts of fear; anger, hurt, resentment, frustration, annoyance, irritation, victim-hood, upset, pain, rage and most importantly a sense that we are ultimately unloveable.  We flip that switch by dropping the fear thoughts of separation and isolation and replacing them with love thoughts.  We don't have to go all the way to full love, the switch happens the moment we start up the road to love; sympathy, understanding, compassion, hopefulness and a sense of sharing and oneness.
"Love is also grounded in an attitude of compassion.  Compassion is necessary for our survival and our evolution.  Compassion is an attitude that upholds the memories of wholeness for people when they are lost in separation, pain and conflict.  Compassion is love's holding environment.  It is how love whispers to us, "I will remember the truth of who you are even when you cannot remember this for yourself."  This compassion sees through what Einstein called the "optical delusion" of separation.  Einstein taught us that we can free ourselves from identifying with this ego-consciousness by 'widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.'" --Robert Holden in Loveability p. 29 (emphasis in italics are mine)
And just what exactly is "the truth of who you are when you cannot remember this for yourself"? Everyone's truth is the same--that we are all one, that we all are a part of God's creation, that we are all one thing and one thing  We are perfect, whole and complete.  We are created by God in his own image.  God loves us infinitely and our one and only task is to extend this love by returning it to God and to each other.

When we flip the switch from fear to love, all we need to do is acknowledge this truth for the other person.  We simply need to know that they are a Child of God.  In a sense we are actually switching from the smallness of our ego minds to a much bigger and more truthful picture, in fact we are switching to the whole picture.  It's a matter of changing the perspective of our thinking and broadening our minds so that we see and think as God himself does.

This life of separation is only a dream our egos created anyway.  It's not real.  Nothing involving fear really exists. Fear is only an invention of the mind.  it is an illusion.  Yes, living here on 3D planet earth, we think it's real, but we've only forgotten the truth that we are all one and that in that oneness, we are love.

"To love and be loved is the true joy of every human heart.  There is no higher happiness than this.  Alas, in any human dramas there are also wounds and disappointments, mistakes, betrayals, pain and heartache.  Even so, love comes to our rescue.  Love offers us a solution, which is a process called forgiveness.  Forgiveness is an angel that comes to us when we sleep and wakes us from the hypnosis.  It is the ground of love that supports you when you are falling, breaking apart, and coming undone.  Forgiveness undoes the blocks to loves awareness.  It shows you that a universe of love doesn't ever stop, even when all you can see is pain.  Love always loves you, even when you can't or won't love yourself." --Robert Holding Loveability p. 29

Oddly, flipping the switch from fear to forgiveness is surprisingly easy once you get some practice with it.  It's true that when you are in the throes of anger and hurt, the thought of forgiving can feel very distasteful.  But once you learn that a feeling of love and relief flows over you with forgiveness, you will become more motivated to do it sooner.

Also, there is that little matter of increasing annoyances.  While you are in a state of separation and amplifying those fear feelings by cherishing the anger and hurt, your 3D earthly life will reflect this separation.  This is the time that you will stub your toe, lose an important business contract, upset the feelings of those you care about and wake up with a bad hair day.  This is absolutely true, and if you don't believe me about this yet, just watch how it plays out in your life.

So, learn to get over it quickly.  Drop the feelings of fear and let the hurt and anger switch over to love as quickly as you are able to.  Remember that when you give love, you get love.  Find the love and happiness you are seeking.  It's there waiting for you and all you have to do to receive it is practice forgiveness.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

The Judger Always Feels Judged

"The Judger Always Feels Judged."

I've had this statement taped to the inside of my medicine cabinet door for the past four years at least.  I'm not sure where I found it, perhaps it's from A Course in Miracles.

Regardless, it is an important reminder each day that what we give out is returned to us.  If I mentally criticize others on a regular basis, I know that I will feel like the world around me is watching me with disapproving eyes.

On the other hand, if I go about my day looking for the best aspects of everyone I meet, seeing them through eyes of love and overlooking shortcomings, I will be supported, valued and cherished by the world around me.

I once attended a seminar with Stuart Mooney, a self acclaimed American Buddha, who says he is enlightened.  I love what he had to say about the people in his world, "I just love everyone I see.  To me they are just so lovable, even the unpleasant ones."  Isn't this is a perfect way to put it?

Of course, not everyone out there is making the best choices.  When I say overlooking shortcomings, it's not that we don't always see another's "unpleasantness", but that we do learn to accept it as what is.  It's our job to respect everyone's right to their own adventures in this world.  If they choose to be difficult or misled, we have to just chalk it up to the fact that they simply don't know better and they're doing whatever it is they think they need to do to make the best of this life.  As Course students, we often say that we all either living love or crying out for love.

A Course in Miracles says that "we don't know what anything is for."  Therefore it's important not to judge what we see around us.  Since we are all here to get our forgiveness lessons so that we can grow and purify ourselves--until we eventually awaken, it is quite necessary that we have forgiveness opportunities.  That means someone has to play the bad guy so that there will be something to forgive. The person that you love to hate just may be a soul who has come here in this lifetime with an agreement to be annoying so that you can have the opportunity to forgive him and grow.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that we allow murders and child molesters to roam freely harming others at will.  When people behave in a manner that is dangerous to others, we need to protect the innocents.  However, even criminals are deserving of our loving forgiveness.

 Healing one's mind of the habit of judging is not something that happens over-night, at least in my experience.  I've been working on it for some years now and although I've made a lot of progress, I still find my mind thinking critical thoughts occasionally.  It really is only a habit though and if you stop and notice it, over time it will lessen.

I think it's very important that we carefully watch television, listen to the radio, read the papers or browse the internet.  We need to making sure that we are not judging people that we don't actually know (or even judging characters in TV shows or movies).  Just because we don't know someone does not give us the license to judge them.  Remember that all minds are linked and on some level, you are attacking these people.  Also, this habitual indulgence of judging people and characters that "aren't real" will make it all the more difficult to stop the habit of judging the people that you actually know or meet up with.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

What's to Forgive About the 4th?

Perhaps your 4th of July celebrations went off quietly and without a hitch.  Your 4th was peaceful or uneventful.  If so, you are free of forgiveness homework for now, but do remember that forgiveness opportunities are a part of everyone's life and if you're not being given a forgiveness assignment this weekend, you'll get one soon enough.

If, however, you had a crazy busy 4th with lots of family and friends treading on each others toes, travel traffic to deal with, crowds, summer heat and burnt BBQ, you might have a little forgiveness work to do.  Spend a few quiet moments quickly reviewing your holiday today.  Were there disappointments or moments of frustration and anger?  Did anyone insult you or hurt your feeling?  Did your buttons get pressed at any point either by people you know and love, by strangers in the crowds or traffic or simply by the events of the weekend?  If you find that there were any moments where you felt any negative feelings at all, it's time to do a little forgiveness work.

Send a little love to whomever or whatever activated your emotions over the holiday.  Go ahead.  Just flip the switch from fear and negative thinking to love.  If you find forgiveness easy, just see the people or events you need to forgive enveloped in white light.  You can say the words, "I forgive you.  I release you.  I bless you with love."  Or, you can envision them floating skyward in their brilliant white light and say the words, "I raise you. I praise you." over and over until you feel the switch has been flipped from fear to love.  You'll know it in your heart when that has happened.  If you're in the habit of forgiving, a quickie forgiveness process like one of these usually does the trick.  Congratulations...job done!

However, if you're new to forgiveness or if you had a particularly unsettling run-in with someone, you can try a more structured forgiveness process.  You can go to Colin Tipping's web-site and download one of his radical forgiveness forms.  Or, you can download my audio forgiveness meditation, "Forgive Someone Now", which will guide you through forgiveness for only $2.99.  You can load it onto your computer or cell phone so that you can listen to it anytime you need it.  It will teach you an easy forgiveness process that you can use anytime and anywhere.

Get in the habit of reviewing your weekend every weekend and clearing through any unsettling events with forgiveness.  A forgiveness habit will create peace in your life over time.  You'll be amazed at how much your life and the world around you will change with a forgiveness lifestyle.  Forgiveness is the key to happiness.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Choose Acceptance for Peace

There is a larger plan for us and our lives are carefully orchestrated to lead us to love.  In every decision, choice and pathway, love is always an option.  In fact, our ultimate and true purpose here is to learn to make that choice for love every time.

And, as it says in A Course in Miracles, we don't really know what anything we see in the world around us is for.  Sometimes life seems confusing.  It may not always look like we are being taken care of.  In our human smallness, there is just too much that we cannot know.  However, if we always look for that choice for love, we can know that we are on the pathway to peace and happiness.

"What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?" --A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 135

Sometimes that choice for love is in simply accepting the world around us as we see it.  We drop our defenses, quit battling with life and just breathe and accept.  It is never going to be the world our egos want it to be.  And, in fact, our egos don't have our higher interests are heart anyway.  What the ego wants is not necessarily the best for anyone involved.

So stop desperately wanting to get ahead.  Stop the constant wishing for a thinner body or a lottery win.  The answer is not in a fancier car, lower cholesterol, a fatter pay check or a better love life.  All the worldly things you desperately long for will never bring you the life you actually want.  Putting all your energy into planning, controlling, spinning, lamenting, begging and nudging the details of your life to become the life you wish it was will never work.  And here's the proof of this...has it worked so far?

The life you actually want comes through acceptance, forgiveness and love.   The world around you is the one that has been chosen for you, by you and with you.  It is the world that is very best suited to lead you to peace.  Make that choice for love in every moment you can today.  Just love and accept what you see around you today.  No need to judge it.  It's all good.  Forgive what bugs you and accept the rest.

And when you wake up tomorrow, make that choice for love again.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Repeat Offenders

Many of us have someone in our regular everyday lives that repeatedly presses our buttons.  For some of us, this person annoys or triggers irritation in us just about every time we see them.

What do we do about this?

We forgive them every time this happens.  Yes, every single time.  Even if that means that we are forgiving the same person over and over each day.

It is very important to keep our forgiveness current, because when we go about our day with an un-forgiveness, we have switched ourselves out of a state of love and into a state of fear-based thinking.  Our day will then be filled with further problems and upsets until we get ourselves back into a state of alignment through our forgiveness.

It's also a good idea to review each day before going to bed at night and forgive this person once again before sleep. This will help to keep our dreams free of further disturbance and entanglement with them.

Some people are just difficult for us.   I've mentioned before that we come into this life with forgiveness challenges.  Life is a classroom and we have particular lessons to learn.  Some of us are given certain people that we need to learn to forgive.  It's part of our growth and purification process.  That means that we might find ourselves married to a spouse that irritates us frequently, or we might have a boss or an employee that is a constant challenge for us.  Perhaps one of our children is difficult for us to deal with.

Rather than letting this situation unduly frustrate or upset us, it's important to view it as what it is, a forgiveness opportunity.  This person is in our lives giving us the chance to grow and learn.

It's also important to take a good long deep hard look at why we feel annoyed with this person.  Chances are this person is mirroring back to us something we don't like about ourselves.  Look at what it is that makes this person difficult for you.  Are they too critical, short-tempered, easily frustrated, quick to lose control?  Whatever it is, you will probably find a little of that same characteristic in your own make-up.  As part of your forgiveness work, you'll need to go deeper in developing a more realistic understanding of this aspect of yourself and releasing and forgiving it in your own psyche as you work to forgive it in theirs.

Now, here's the good news.  Over time as you forgive this person again and again, you will find yourself becoming less frequently annoyed by them.  Part of this is because as your forgiveness washes over them, they will actually begin to lesson up on the annoying behavior.  Additionally, as you work on releasing this aspect of your own mind, you will feel less and less activated by their behavior.  This might be a slow process and take weeks, months and even years to resolve completely.  However, keep at it and you'll find that your life steadily improves as you do this work.

Remember, we're all here to see the truth about the world.  And that truth is that we are all really only LOVE, that we are One and that each and every one of us is the same.  We are going to have to figure out how to live this belief one way or another.  Be in a state of gratitude that this irritating person is in your life, showing you the way to Truth.  You have an easy everyday assignment that will get you there.  Just forgive this one person that annoys you over and over, every day.  Bless them and show them love through your forgiveness and bring on a happier state of mind for both of you.

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