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I've been having a number of conversations and receiving emails and seeing posts online that tell me people are really hitting high levels of stress lately.
I don't know if it's the moon and the stars or simply that September has rolled in and we are quietly realizing that summer is now officially over, but everyone is hitting it hard with their work and obligations. Those are all increasing; it seems that, together, all of us have recently increased the number of activities and obligations we have going on by a huge margin.
What does that mean for you? Well, for a lot of people, that means increased stress. There is no conceivable idea or notion of how to fit in and do all the necessary things in the time allotted. The result: stress.
Meanwhile, in my continuing lessons with A Course in Miracles, I am exactly at the point where Christ is teaching us to completely step away from the world, focus on the now, and forgive "your brother's transgressions."
He also goes on to say that we are altogether too preoccupied with our past and our future goals, and to let them go for a while, while we focus on what is at hand and calling for forgiveness now.
This seems like the antithesis of what we really feel we should be doing, when the list of to-do items is a mile long. But your mile-long to-do list is likely far more than you really need to be doing. It's also a result of a sense of inadequacy; you created all those things you need to do in order to feel better about yourself.
The suggestion Christ is giving us is to realize that we are one with our brothers, and that whatever transgressions we are hyper-focused on in another person are a reflection of what we perceive to be our own transgressions.
If you can see past another's transgressions and perceive the light in them, then you have succeeded in this forgiveness and unconditional acceptance of another. If that other person's behavior or an incident that happened between you continues to rile you and come back to you, and you've tried "letting go," and you're finding that it's much harder than you thought, then it's time to look more closely into what it is exactly that is bothering you about that person.
If you can manage to find time for a sit-down with yourself, and dive deeply into whatever is most irritating or maddening to you about this one, you will discover something quite special, be able to forgive the both of you, and open the door for a miracle to occur.
What does this have to do with your frazzled existence and your mile-long to-do list?
You see, much of what is in your environment is the result of a setup, or a condition that is left over from a past perception. Usually that perception is of a mild sense of inadequacy.
Once you have forgiven the brother in front of you, your own sense of this inadequacy, or "guilt" as the Course refers to it, is healed. You therefore have eliminated the purpose of the setup, and it disappears.
You have no need for many things you thought you needed before. The light of day has come to the darkness of chaos and confusion, and light has come to the feeling of helpless hopelessness about all that is required of you in this world.
You are ready for a new day.
After completing this exercise myself, a whole new world opened up for me, with magical occurrences (seemingly magical—however, this is not magic at all), including new meetings, influencing people, and offering huge support for very big, lifelong, and life-changing projects.
So if you're feeling frazzled, stop.
You are free. Free to choose. Free to look at what's going on around you and see if there is anything you need to do involving forgiveness.
Remember, forgiveness is always the pathway to miracles.