You Don't Have to Make Things to Forgive

Sometimes students will tell me that they really don’t want to do something, but they are going to do it anyway, because they think that they need to forgive it or to use it as an opportunity to extend Love. This is a classic example of how the personal mind distorts what is taught in A Course in Miracles. Life in the world grants you enough obligations to practice forgiveness without you having to force yourself to accept situations just so that you can forgive them. You also don’t have to go out of your way to find situations to forgive or in which to extend Love. If you do either of these, you are actually making these situations special, so you cannot forgive them. You are making them real to you, and you can only forgive illusions. And it is not up to you to decide for yourself what you should forgive and where to extend Love; that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. The Holy Spirit is never going to force you into a situation, because It recognizes that all situations are all equally unreal, and all are equally perfect for forgiveness. So it is the same to the Holy Spirit whether or not you go to the company Christmas party or not, for example. In fact, your thinking that it matters one way or the other is exactly what you have to forgive. This is what the Course means when it says that you can’t but be in the right place at the right time: Every place and every time is exactly right for forgiveness.

To awaken to the Fact that you are really always in God, you must forgive what naturally shows up in your particular awareness. Making something to forgive is going in the exact opposite direction of forgiveness. For example, I’ve heard from students who think that they must watch the news or read newspapers to forgive the disturbing things that show up in them. But if they have truly forgiven what they see on TV or read in a newspaper, they would not have to return to it again and again. If they recognized that what is in the news is not real, they would have no motivation to watch it.

Of course, forcing themselves into situations to practice forgiveness, or making situations to extend love, is often a tactic a student will use to avoid dealing with their own specific obstacles to Peace. Like the philanthropist who takes care of everyone but their own family, picking what you must forgive and where you must extend Love can be a way of avoiding the hard work of forgiving and extending Love to what it right in front of you. What flows into your awareness naturally is flowing from your seemingly specific mind. When it does not reflect your Peace, it reflects your specific obstacles to Peace. Your real obstacles are much harder to face than the ones that you make for yourself! Center your life in God, and forgive whatever shows up right in front of you; extend Love right where you are. You do not have to make special occasions for this.

Read The Message of A Course in Miracles: A translation of the Text in plain language at


Roeland said…
Thank you Liz for your wonderful post.
I have heard of one teacher (I do not remember who) who said that one has to go out into the world to meet more situations which one can forgive.
So a quiet, simple life style would not give enough forgiving lessons.
I have always found that a strange idea. Your blog resonates with me strongly.
Hal Seeley said…
Thank you Liz. I am grateful to you for allowing yourself to be a conduit for the Holy Spirit.

I want to address the issue of forgiveness. This term, because it is a word and words are twice removed from reality, all of us do not process it the same way. As for me I had great difficulty forgiving anything because forgiving did not register with me as well as letting go did. Very recently I began to recognize an event or a thought that was not peaceful and rather than trying to forgive it I tried gifting it to the Holy Spirit (or to Jesus if you prefer) to help me let it go. Wow, it works for me big time. It is actually the first time in the six years of being a student of the course that my experience of forgiveness was realized so strongly and immediately. So if you find yourself having difficulty forgiving ask the Holy Spirit what method is best for you.
ACIM Mentor said…
It's funny that you heard that, Roeland, because a quiet, simple life is actually the result of forgiving more and more! It's true that if you holed yourself up in a cave away from the world you could have an illusion of forgiving, but even living quietly in the middle of the world you will find quite enough to forgive.
jacomina said…
Amazing comments. Can you tell me Liz (and perhaps Roeland too as I understand you are somewhat reclusive) whether I am living an extremely isolated life because I am escaping from the insanity of the world or because I have let so much of it go that I find Its always quiet now. Shouldnt I be at peace? Thank you for any insights you may have.
Roeland said…
Dear Jacomina,

Answering your question is hard without knowing you or your circumstances.
Many people who are involved in spirituality are sentive to energies. This can be a reason to try to escape the world.
However, realizing there is no person and no world ends the desire to escape anything.
After all nothing real can be threatened.

I agree with Liz that even if you lead a seclusive life style there are always things to forgive.
There may be computer problems, the roof is leaking or whatever.
Simply existing on this world means there are plenty opportunities for forgiveness.

I do not think it is possible to really escape from the world where ever one lives.

So to be at peace one always needs to forgive.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Jacomina, you should be at peace if you are living a simple, quiet life because you recognize that the world is not real, so you no longer want or need anything from it. If you are hiding out, then you still believe that the world is real, and you are trying to avoid what makes you uncomfortable. Then you haven't forgiven; you are denying and repressing.
Of course, some people already prefer a quiet, simple life, even before they recognize that the world is not their reality. Just be honest with yourself. Are you avoiding people and situations in which you want to be engaged because of fear and discomfort? Or are you simply living the life that is natural to you?
jacomina said…
Roeland said "escape from the world" while Liz put it "avoid what makes you uncomfortable". I guess the truth is I havent done the forgiveness work at all. I'm just hiding. But Oh! how hard it is to go out in the noise and crowds and do the work! I come running home and cringe at my inablility to let go. And as I write this I know I fluctuate between two world. Sometimes I'm hiding and sometimes I'm choosing. Thank you both for your comments. Looking forward to whatever else this blog may open me up to. thanks. Jackie
jacomina said…
just want to add that I do understand I dont have to go out and find things to forgive. Love it
ACIM Mentor said…
Jackie, what worked for me was not trying to let go, but centering myself in God. I put my attention on building my awareness of God (see the 4 Habits for Inner Peace at my website), and then the letting go happened automatically.
jacomina said…
okay. got it. just came back from studying the 4 habits again and was surprised at how much more they meant to me than when I first started reading your web and newsletter a year ago.
Roeland said…
Dear Jacomina,

Forgiveness does not just have to do with people.
In everybody's life challenging events happen constantly. It may a a flat tier, an internet problem, equipment brings down, an illness, the list goes on and on.
Many of these events are as challenging or even more so as events that have to do with people.
So I believe when does not have to leave ones house to encounter opportunities to forgive the world.
Of course when I am wrong about this I hope Liz will correct me.

By the way reading the Course and especially doing the workbook always brings in new insights.
It is especially important to realize what Liz says that the world is not real.
Everything is one and in a timeless and spaceless reality.
So the process is not making it real and forgiving it, but simply realizing that there is a more fundamental reality behind what the eyes can see and the ears can hear.
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