How Do I Forgive What I Am Not?

Ask ACIM Mentor:

This week's story on forgiveness was very enlightening. You said that most people who find another troubling is because the “other” has somehow said something that connected (not well) with our ''story of me'' (ego) and has made us feel like a victim. What if the people you don’t want to be around have what you think are qualities you don’t have? Not because there is anything wrong with the person (being abusive, etc.) but their personalities just seem to drive home the ''story of me'' that you think is ''wrong'', such as, not being outgoing enough, not being family oriented, ....these are the people I don’t want to be around, not the obviously nasty ones.
This always is my problem...comparisons which make me feel like I’m lacking, no one is ever “bad”, really, they are “good”, it's just that I feel bad because I’m not like them...self-assured and outgoing etc.
I’ve never seen this problem written about and I wonder if others have it. Thank you for listening. Requested Anonymity.

Yes, others have this problem! I had it myself. But, before I get to the heart of the question you are asking, I want to address a couple of other points in your email, just for clarity.
First, addressing what you say in the first paragraph, what bothers you is never what someone says or does, but what you think about what they say or do. You are the one who takes their words and/or behavior “personally” and makes it a part of the story that you have for the personal self with which you identify; it is therefore you who choose to make yourself feel like a victim.
Also, in the second to the last paragraph you say that no one is ever “bad”, they are really “good”. Actually, all personal selves are a mixture of “good” and “bad” (these designations are, of course, subjective judgments). When A Course in Miracles says that you are Perfect, it is not speaking of you as a personal self, but in Truth. If you want inner peace, the goal is not to “perfect” the personal self or to make it “good” or more God-like, nor is it to learn to deny what other personal selves are really like. The way to inner peace is to let go of personal selves altogether in the recognition that they are not reality.
This segways neatly into the answer to your question…All personal selves are insecure; it just shows up in different ways in different personal selves. This insecurity is the result of the inherent guilt that is part of the personal identity. You cannot identify with a personal self and not feel guilty, because the personal identity is meant to be the negation of God. When you believe that you are a personal self, you believe that you have attacked God by making a part of God not-God. You feel that you are “bad”, which leads to feelings of unworthiness, which manifest as some form of insecurity. Most often, this shows up as one feeling that they are “less than” in at least some aspects of their personality; in some personal selves, this shows up as an overblown sense of worth, which is meant to compensate for their insecurities.
For me, this problem of feeling less-than did not fall away all at once, but over time, as I learned to step back and simply observe the personal mind’s thoughts, then turn away from them to re-center my mind in God. The more I opened my mind to God, the more I experienced God, and the more God became real to me. I realized that God in my mind is completely untouched by what the personal mind does, and that God is What is permanent and unchanging within me, so God is What is Real within me. I became more and more aware that who I thought I was as a “person” was completely irrelevant, because it is made up of passing, shifting thoughts - it’s not me! All personal selves, either “mine” or “others”, have become less relevant to me, because they are not the Truth. I can just observe them, let them be, and let them go.
The confidence I have, then, has not arisen from a “fixed” personal mind that has overcome its insecurities, but from the awareness that only God is Real. I’ve found that a lot of what I thought I needed to fix in my mind has simply fallen away by my centering my mind in God, rather than in my trying to “work on” what I saw as “problems”. In fact, “working on” something only holds it in my awareness! When I attend to turning my mind to God, what causes me pain falls away naturally and effortlessly. So, when the personal mind prods you with insecurities – or, anything else, for that matter - simply recognize what is speaking, that it does not speak the truth about you, and turn within to God, Which is the Truth about you. Your insecurities, and anything else that is an obstacle to peace in your mind, will fall away naturally in time.
(If you have completed the Workbook and you want to know how to keep your mind centered in God, go to my website, and click on “The 4 Habits for Inner Peace).


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Anonymous said…
Thanks Liz! Keep these reminders coming in! How perfectly timed this post is for me. In fact, my cursor would not work until I went to your blog...funny how HS can do just about anything once I give my day to His purposes. Yay!
mer said…
This is very important. The more we say "I have to be a better me." "I have to work on my self." The more we are digging a hole in something that is devastatingly flawed. It is meant not to work.Give up on that project! It is a fail.Thank you for this.

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