Sometimes Forgiveness Means Moving On

So often I hear from students who are deliberately staying in a painful situation because they think that they “should”, they think that they are still in the situation because they haven’t forgiven “enough”, they are waiting for the “miracle” that will transform the situation. They will say they have tried and tried to forgive the person/people/situation but he/she/they/it has not changed. But forgiving means letting go, and that often shows up as you moving on. To deliberately stay in a bad situation is not forgiveness, or waiting for forgiveness; it’s self-flagellation. A situation that they recognized they needed to forgive is now being used by the ego in their mind to point out how they have “failed” to forgive.

I hear about this form of self-flagellation often in regard to relationships. You change when you become a student of A Course in Miracles, and your relationships with others around you may no longer reflect your new values. Sometimes others fall away from you; sometimes you have to be the one to leave. I have even heard of those who stay in downright abusive relationships who heap further abuse on themselves by feeling that they have “failed” to see Christ in their abuser because their abuser hasn’t changed! All relationships with others are relationships with yourself. If you are in an abusive relationship, then you are using another to abuse yourself. Christ is in you, and as you get in touch with this Fact and become aware of your Inherent Worth, “seeing Christ” means letting go of the abuser that you have projected onto another. Rarely, the other will change as you no longer accept abuse; but more often you have to move away from the abuser as a demonstration to yourself that you really do value yourself now.

Forgiving a situation means recognizing it is not real – it has no value for you - and this awareness sometimes leads you to leave behind a situation that no longer serves you. To decide that a miracle can only show up in a certain form is to miss the miracle. The miracle always occurs in your mind; what shows up “out there” is only the result of the miracle. When you forgive you will know what you have to do, and if you don’t move on when you know you need to, you are not accepting the miracle that is offered.


Chris Cade said…
I really liked this line:

"To decide that a miracle can only show up in a certain form is to miss the miracle."

And that is to miss the basis of many spiritual teachings... that we open our minds and experience... we expand.

So many people have the thought that if life were only a certain way... (or in these words, if their specific miracles would happen), that they would be "happy."

They don't realize that this single belief is the exact reason they are constantly keeping themselves from being happy.

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LightInTheDream said…
Thank you Liz! This is right on target for me! I need to hear this again and again. I plan on printing this and carrying it with me in my purse.
The Course says that the still small voice is as loud as our willingness to listen.
Many times we are afraid to release someone/something and surrender to the miracle. We can't see how walking away could be the answer. But we have to understand that when we are allowing misery to be heaped on us, if we continue to allow that to happen, we are creating the misery on ourselves. Sometimes when we feel that we are not receiving the miracle it is because we do not want (or are not ready) to receive it.
It's like the old joke where the man drowns in a flood and when he sees God he ask him. "Why didn't you save me?" And God replies, "I sent you a friend who warned you, I sent you a boat and you refused, then I sent you a helicopter to rescue you."
Once we finally manage to remove ourselves out of an abusive situation; then looking back with that perfect 20/20 hind sight, we see all the times God did answer our prayers... he did send us the answer, many times... we were just too afraid or not ready to hear it.
Thank you Liz! I need this one.
Brother Gi said…
I absolutely agree with your post! Forgiving something is realising that it does not exist. It is recognising the lack of value. It does not mean that the situation will now suddenly appear to change.

ACIM says somewhere that forgiveness has effects you might not even know of. But it also says that the illusion will not always appear to change just because you forgive it.

In fact, since it's an illusion, whether or not it appears to change should not be relevant at all. Trying to change the illusion is merely making the mistake of making it real. You can't change something without believing it exists in the first place!

So yes, this is a great reminder that you need to simply follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the illusion. If it's time to move on, move on.

ACIM also says that, apart from forgiveness, the Holy Spirit does not care what you do. Whether you move on or not makes no difference - but whether you continue to punish yourself or not does!

Thanks for this entry!

Peace to you!
Brother Gi :)
Joanna said…
I love this! Walking away is sometimes the best healing we can get from a situation. I have often fallen into thinking that I can change someone else. I certainly can't do that! I can change the way I view a relationship. I can love someone unconditionally and still find it best to leave the relationship. Sometimes we grow the most by learning when to walk away. There is wisdom in accepting people for where they are on their journey.
Thank you for this. It was exactly what I needed to hear right now.
Elia Fred said…
I feel like this is exactly what I wanted to hear also but I not sure its true. I keep remembering these passages like, 'the ego will tell you to leave your brother and substitute another relationship where your former purpose made sense' or the one, 'dont abandon your brother now', or 'every relationship is a total committment'. Just a few things hindering me from separating myself from my super aggravating relationship. Sometimes I think the course is not trying to keep me calm, or is trying to point out to me that I am an angry person. I don't know.
ACIM Mentor said…
Elia, those first two passages you quote were for Helen and Bill in their Holy Relationship. They were in a unique situation where they were learning the exact same lessons together. They are not meant to be applied to everyone in every relationship.

The quote about commitment is true, but a commitment to what? Not to the other, but to your growing awareness of Truth. You will pass through a relationship as you grow if the other does not grow with you.

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