Forgiveness and Pointing Out Others’ Errors

I really like this observation from Liz Cronkhite at the ACIM Mentor Blog. Her writings are among the clearest on the Web, particularly when it comes to the practical application of Course principles.

The errors to which A Course in Miracles refers are errors of mind, not errors of behavior. You do not have to point out to others when they are coming from ego (the personal thought system). If you are bothered that another is coming from ego it is the ego in your own mind that is bothered. It believes that it is “wrong” or “bad” to come from ego and projects away its own guilt by seeing the other as “wrong” or “bad” to come from ego. So what you need to forgive is not the other for coming from ego but the ego in your own mind that is bothered by seeing itself reflected in another.

This is quite apart from you pointing out when another’s behavior is inappropriate or harmful. You do not do others a favor by enabling them to continue in unhealthy behaviors. In fact, by pointing out their inappropriate behavior to them (even up to having them arrested when it is called for) you give them an opportunity to take responsibility for their own thoughts and beliefs (the cause of their behavior) and grow. They may not want or appreciate this and may in fact be resentful. But what they do with this opportunity is their choice.

What you want to sort out before you take action to stop another in their harmful behavior is fact from projection. What happens in the universe of form has no meaning in itself. It is neutral. Any meaning (right/wrong, good/bad, a perpetuation of your personal story) that you see comes from you. If you observe another’s behavior, even when it is directed toward you, without taking it personally, you are not projecting. You are merely observing a fact. But if you feel defensive, angry, upset, offended, etc. then you are making their behavior personal through your projections of meaning. Once you have cleared up your own projections you will have a clearer view of the situation. And you will then act, if necessary, from detachment rather than from emotions that may only make the situation worse.

 

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