It begins with a Thought. ACIM Review VI: Lesson 216
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me./It can be but myself I crucify.
In spiritual circles I feel like we talk a lot about forgiveness. The route to salvation. The path we walk when we begin to let go.
But what happens when we can’t let go? When I don’t even realize the grievances stored within my mind?
My beloved Martha Beck to the rescue!
Beck suggests an awesome exercise in The Way of Integrity. Every time you feel a grievance-write a letter to who has wronged you. Describe why they have hurt you. What they have done. How they can make it right. How you wish they would behave……Then mark out the name at the top and insert your own.
Whaaaaaat?!? Martha Beck you tricked me! (At least that’s how I felt when I read this). How dare you! I would never…put myself down….or disrespect my intelligence…or tell myself I wasn’t good enough….or yell at myself for not doing…..or….oh…OH….OK. As I read the letter I realized she was exactly right.
It was chilling.
The things I projected onto my beloved other. The ones that were really all parts of myself.
What Beck & Lesson 216 point out is that the things we think are hurting us from the outside, are mostly just projections of what’s within. The things we crucify or criticize for. The ones that strike us as intolerable. These are often an aspect of ourselves left unforgiven. A sliver of the shadow selves we all have within.
Keep in mind, this is not an invitation to put yourself down. To crucify yourself. We all have parts of ourselves that live in the great unknown. But it is an opportunity to forgive. To begin to see ourselves in one-another. And it all begins with yourself.
Doesn’t ring true? Try the letter.
It was life-changing for me. The subtle links to my own self-criticism. The projections of angst reflected in my beloveds.
When we learn to forgive this aspect of ourselves-the world becomes a very different place. One of beauty. Tolerance. And compassion. When you can see the beauty that God/Source created within you. When we recognize and release the negative self-talk. We create a world that is better than any world in our monkey-minds. And we transcend into the love and beauty that was always ours to live. Release the crucifixion in your own thoughts Dear Friends. Accept the love we have in our connection with one-another. It begins with the thought within ourselves.