The longer I study A Course in Miracles, the more I get why it is really about learning to forgive. In truth, it is just letting myself off the hook again and again and again. Intellectually, I understand this but the practice is another story. Like any skill, I may think I get it, but the execution (such a nasty word) – the implementation – is a whole different beast.
I’m in real estate. I’m a realtor but I’m also an investor who is part of an investing group where many people show up fresh out of some big guru’s real estate seminar. Their heads are filled with knowledge about how to acquire houses and make boatloads of money. They have stars in their eyes and greed hope in their hearts. Life will be good because they now have the secret to creating wealth.
They have no idea that it is still work. None of their knowledge takes into account how challenging the business is. None of it tells them how to deal with the reality of people – homeowners who are losing their homes to the bank, contractors who are trying to maximize on the boom and booking so many jobs at once that they can’t possibly complete yours in the time frame they promised. It’s work and the rules change constantly. And it deals with people and even those of us who pride ourselves on our spiritual practice are human and flawed and imperfect.
We have to let each other off the hook.
In the Manual for Teachers, the Course says, “God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves.”
Years ago, some rather savvy friends of mine pointed out to me that I had a habit of acting as if life with God was the time I spent in contemplation and/or writing. But life with God is every day. It isn’t separate. There is no separation. It’s in the contractor who doesn’t show up or take phone calls. It’s in the neighbor who sabotages perspective buyers because she doesn’t want anyone moving into the house next door. It’s in the house that got stripped of all its wiring so that some meth head could sell the copper for ten bucks.
All of those are opportunities for forgiveness. All of those are situations where ego wants to assign guilt and slip into anger and see separation. The Course says, “Anger but screeches, ‘Guilt is real’! Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word. The body’s eyes now “see”; its ears alone can “hear.” Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless. Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
“You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.”
“Guilt is real.” This is the biggest challenge for ego. We want to make exceptions. I want to make exceptions because there are still some situations that seem to warrant guilt.
“Did you see what he did?!?!?” screams ego, as it pours over the list of “sins.” Murder. Rape. Grand Larceny. Treason. Betrayal.
It’s not easy for easy to see past the calls for love to innocence. It’s not easy to let go of denying that we are just as guilty, and just as innocent. The Manual continues, “In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true.”
The other day on Facebook, a FB friend (some woman from California) was set off by a meme I posted that contained this quote: “Money doesn’t change who you are; it magnifies who you really are. –Farrah Gray.” Apparently it pushed her buttons because she then went into a tirade about money being nothing. I responded, “Wow, visceral reaction. Interesting,” which only enflamed her further. She had to respond/attack.
It irritated me. I wanted to engage but I knew that would only perpetuate her reaction and, frankly, I wanted to put it behind me. It’s just a fucking quote. I post many of them a day and although as a general practice I avoid the incendiary ones precisely because I don’t have any desire to argue with anyone or to judge them or to engage deeply (yeah, I can be superficial – get over it!), in this case I had to remind myself that what you put energy into grows. What you resist persists.
I knew this was merely showing me what I needed to heal, yet the irritation was still there.
So I had to let myself off the hook yet again. It’s just information. It’s just calls for love waiting to be answered by love.
Ego wants to make me guilty for this but the whole point is to learn who I really am: an innocent child of God on a path. “The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal?”
I guess I am on a path to becoming a miracle worker. I am learning how to let the irritation go and just allow what is to be. I do not know what anything is for. The longer I study, the more appreciate that it’s a lot easier to let go of thinking that I need to figure it out. It’s easier to let everyone off the hook and trust the God’s got it covered.
Because I’d love to never be irritated again and that won’t happen until I allow myself to be healed.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.