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Forgiveness as Understanding there Really is Nothing to Forgive

Updated on October 6, 2012

“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.” -Lesson 63, A Course in Miracles

If it’s true that we teach what we need to learn, then I need to write about forgiveness.

To learn to forgive one’s self and others, for our limited views and seemingly misguided actions.

To do that, it will take a lot of effort to let go of the ego-based self’s habitual stance of thinking it knows it all. But the fact is, we really cannot see the complete picture. We can only trust that in God’s master plan, in the great and intricate order of things, things happen only in the fulfillment of divine unconditional love.

Our usual reaction is to demand to understand why a ‘wrong’ has been done to us or a ‘negative’ event happened. This is the ego, trying to defend itself. Once we are willing to admit that we really can only have a very limited grasp of a situation or a person’s intention, the ego relinquishes control and we find it easier to forgive.

Waiting at the other end of the proverbial rainbow of forgiveness, if we are courageous enough to cross it, are spiritual gems for the taking: joy, love, peace and profound insights into the situation.

Hopefully in the end, we will realize that there’s only a We, that there is no separation between us and our brothers, that separation is an invention of the mind-based ego to perpetrate itself.

It is a daunting task to disengage the ego, but forgiveness provides the key. It leads to the understanding that being all sons of God with the indwelling Spirit within, we are all part of each other. When we love the other, the love comes around. Although we may not become immediately conscious of it, when we hurt our brothers, so too we hurt ourselves.

What goes around comes around.

When we forgive our self, we find it easy to forgive others.

When we forgive others, we find it easy to forgive ourselves.

Some things we need forgiveness for:

1. Our inability to change some things we want to change

2. Not feeding our body with the right kinds of food

3. Not feeding our mind with thoughts that nourish the spirit

4. Comparing ourselves to others

5. Being critical of others

6. Being impatient with traffic (as a radical, any time spent waiting can be used for practicing Presence or mindful awareness).

7. Blaming ourselves for past mistakes (these may later turn out to be, when viewed in the future, as propitious events)

8. Worrying over the future (these can be constructively dealt with by developing faith or trust in God)

9. Blaming parents, family and others for negative circumstances in our lives

10. Refusal to take responsibility for our actions and to own up things that we can control

11. Pushing one’s self too hard. Being hard on others.

12. Blaming our institutions for difficulties we experience in life

13. Wars, pollution, hunger, poverty and crime in the world

14. Our initial difficulties at attempting to forgive

This not to say that external factors, such as our environment (e.g. family, school, community, etc.), do not have their share in contributing negative circumstances, but to say that to be able to forgive them is to enliven our spirit to allow us to receive insights for moving on.

Prayer of St. Francis

Sebastian Temple

Verse 1:

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.

Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Verse 2:

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope.

Where there is darkness only light,

And where there's sadness ever joy.


Oh Master, grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled as to console.

To be understood as to understand,

To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Verse 3:

Make me a channel of your peace.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

In giving of ourselves that we receive,

And in dying that we're born to eternal life.


“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.”

-Lesson 63, A Course in Miracles

Looking through the eyes of our soul, we will see that our brothers who may have seemingly wronged us in the past were only instrumental in fulfilling God’s master plan, through which His unconditional divine love is made manifest to us.

In the end, in retrospect, with the scales on our eyes thus removed, we realize that really there was nothing to forgive in the first place.

St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi

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