I’ve been working my way through this little book I picked up… maybe 3 years ago now called Love is Letting Go of Fear. The book is a small little thing and the content is amazing, and has little illustrations in it like a book my father might have read, which makes me kinda happy.
It’s a quick read and based in the teachings of A Course in Miracles, which I haven’t read but have heard oodles about (It’s on the list). Basically, this book takes you through some philosophy up front about forgiveness and peace of mind, and then the last bit of the book gives you little tasks for the day, geared towards getting you to Love, while letting go of Fear (ta-da!).
I originally picked the book up when things were winding down with an ex-beau of mine… I felt myself pulling away from him and our relationship, and I decided that it was about my intimacy issues (more on those later I’m sure… and SPOILER ALERT: it wasn’t. We just weren’t that into one another :)). Anyways, I read a bit of the book then and I guess I dropped it at some point, for reasons unknown. Probably just didn’t resonate at the time.
Well boy, is it resonating now. Like whoa. Little tidbits are really jumping out at me, and I’ll probably be sharing a few blogposts with all y’all that are inspired by my readings.
Anyways, last night I was reading the chapter on peace of mind and forgiveness. A core message that I’ve taken from this book is that forgiveness is the way you get to peace. The only way. Ok, great. But how? Well, read the book. ANOTHER SPOILER: Turns out there’s a lot to it!
In Jerry’s lessons, he provides you with two examples (usually) of how he has implemented this teaching into his life or witnessed it in the life of another. In this section, Jerry gave an example of a trying relationship with his mother. At the end of the paragraph, he described such a tiny shift that completely blew my mind.
“I could see peace” instead reminds me that the choice is between peace and conflict. When consistently practicing this lesson I then can choose to see my mother differently. I can choose to accept my mother without wanting to change her. This perception leads to seeing the Love that exists between the two of us and the recognition that she continues to be a most significant teacher of mine.
The first little bit- ok yes, conceptually I understand that and I am trying. The significance of the last sentence of this quote is what hit for me. I am a firm believer in, to use the cliche, “everything happens for a reason”- I truly understand and embrace that everything I encounter serves a purpose in this great big experience I understand to be my life. I understand that there is learning in challenging relationships.
So that sentence shifted something for me. Tilting my challenging relationships away from the concept of lessons to learn into conceiving of those people as teachers feels major. Seeing them from the perspective of lessons never resonated well for me. It still felt like judgement. Like those relationships were a burden, a sticky spot. Where I was clearly meant to learn something from the situation, but never from them. This was not a place of love or forgiveness, it was a mask for sympathy and pity.
From this new place, pathways to forgiveness emerge or as Jerry puts it, space for seeing the love between us emerges. And forgiveness must come from love. It could never spontaneously appear from what I saw as my cosmic duty. Positioning myself as a student in these spaces also gives me space to exist in a different role in that relationship and opens my eyes to truly being able to accept people for who they are in a way that feels truly revolutionary.