7. How does forgiveness feel?
It feels like a miracle!
Many people may first experience forgiveness as a numbing of reactions. This emotion, while seemingly more peaceful than grief and resentment, is only a stepping stone to the final content of forgiveness.
True forgiveness will be experienced as a release, like coming up for air after being under water; it is not a numbing. True forgiveness happens when you understand why the experience happened, how it helped you grow, and you love yourself and the other actors in the experience more for the experience having happened.
To gain this experience, one must willingly and intentionally clear away any previous ideas, unforgiving thoughts about a situation or person and allow a new understanding to be conveyed to them from their faculty of reason. Throughout A Course in Miracles, this faculty of reason is referred to as Holy Spirit, the aspect of God that has the function of being the repository of all knowledge and reason to our individual minds.
One must be willing to receive the new understanding. This is where forgiveness defined as unwarranted pardon falls short. We must be willing to accept that any resentments we are holding are improper perceptions and can be seen in a new, peaceful light. The new interpretation we receive can only be for our betterment.
Forgiveness, experienced truly, imbues us with a sense of care, security, and guidance beyond what any external system can provide.
How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness. And how can it be difficult to walk the way of truth when only weakness interferes? You are the strong one in this seeming conflict.