It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive.
So, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was going to repeat Lesson 1 from ACIM morning and evening today.
Morning, I did it walking into work. "That tree doesn't have any meaning." "That house doesn't have any meaning." "That car doesn't have any meaning." The workbook recommends only doing it twice a day, but that's not my style. Once I have an idea or a practice, I tend to want to turn it over and play with it, so occasionally during the day, I'd think, "That computer has no meaning." "That bookcase has no meaning." Then I went up a gear and thought, "That comment has no meaning." "That interaction has no meaning."
For someone who prides herself on being able to read interactions/emotions/subtext well, it made for a very interesting few moments - very uncomfortable ones, at that.
But then, something started to happen, even before my evening exercise (which was conducted in the familiarity of my own lounge. Let me tell you, brown sofas DEFINITELY have no meaning!). I felt more of the stickiness pulling away from the inside.
Suddenly, there was a sense of spaciousness. It flickered, light a candle flame in a breeze, but it was there. Everything seemed slightly sharper, even as I felt slightly removed - though very focused, as if I was wearing this reality lightly. It's there, tentative, tenuous, but there. And it's important.
And it clicked, in part because of something chrysalisjourney said about not holding onto stories during an online chat yesterday - this exercise isn't about dehumanising or stripping things of their beauty or richness, it's about letting go of what we've assigned to them. It's creating an emptiness that allows things to be what they are, not what we want them to be. Hence the next lesson, which reminds us that we've given things stories and meanings, which means we forget to be curious about things; to ask questions and discover what they are, to see them as they are, not as we are, to borrow from the Talmud.
It's about beginner's mind, being open, learning rather than imposing, not using things and meanings and certainty about how things are to block/avoid/cover our pain, our reality. It's about opening up to what is real and allowing it to find us.
And once we let go of that investment, that need for things to be a certain way, it becomes far easier to let go - of defences, of needing to control what's around us, of that which does not serve us, of manipulating/using others to 'fix' us - not least in the guise of us 'fixing' others.
This is the first lesson, the first step, to forgiveness.
And knowing that we have been freely forgiven - by G-d, by those who love us freely - it then becomes our privilege to forgive.