Today’s workbook lesson is another lesson that teaches a ‘skill’ that helps us awaken. Notice how we are to begin our longer practice periods. We notice a person that we have a grievance against. We hold that person in our mind, and we review that one as we see her now. We examine her faults, etc. We let it all come out of denial to be looked at. We be honest about all of our grievances against this one person.
That’s important. As NTI 1 Thessalonians points out, we have a habit of automatically denying the thoughts we have that intrude upon our peace. To heal, we reverse that process. First we let everything come out of denial so we can look at it, and then we ….
Before I finish that sentence, let me share an image that may be helpful. Imagine yourself as a glass of water, except you aren’t a glass of clear water. You are a glass of murky, dirty water. As water, this makes you suffer, because you have an inherent desire to be clean water. The reason you are murky is because there is about 2 inches of mud at the bottom of the glass. Some sediment from the mud floats up and causes the murkiness. In order to be clean again, that mud needs to be lifted up from the bottom of the glass, carried to the surface and removed. When all of the mud is removed, the water will be clear again.
That is what we are doing when we look at our grievances (or fears, guilt & unworthiness) honestly. We are reaching down in our glass to the mud packed at the bottom (repressed thoughts & perceptions) and lifting the mud up so it can be removed from the glass.
So as I was saying, first we let everything come out of denial so we can look at it, and then we …
Well, the next step really depends. You might:
• Ask God, Holy Spirit or Jesus to help you see another way. I used to imagine wrapping those thoughts, feelings and perceptions in a box, tying a beautiful bow around the box and then giving it to Holy Spirit as a gift. As I passed the gift to Holy Spirit, I let it go completely. After all, you aren’t giving a gift if you hold onto it, right?
• Practice rest, accept and trust while realizing you don’t want this anymore. This is a practice I moved to after I became more experienced with forgiveness.
• Practice inquiry, such as Byron Katie’s “The Work,” until you see through your previous way of thinking.
• Refocus your attention on awareness, and let the realization of truth heal the silly thoughts that you believed before.
No matter which of these practices feels right and genuine for you, you are letting the mud be removed from the glass. When the mud is removed, you will experience the ‘miracle’ of peace-acceptance. You will be able to let the person remain exactly as she is without wanting her to change in any way. If the mud is heavily packed in the bottom of your glass, you may find you will have to do this more than once before you experience compete peace-acceptance, but that’s okay. It’s worth it.
For years, I found it helpful to practice forgiveness through journaling. Now I prefer to do it through a meditation practice, like the one recommended in today’s workbook lesson. Either way, I recommend taking this skill as a practice that you continue beyond today’s workbook lesson. Learn to look at the grievances you have with anyone and anything. Look and let go. This is how we clear the mud away. It’s a silent practice. No one else needs to know you are doing it