Guiltless now

I often find that right after teaching a class about a particular topic, I experience the teaching in a very graphic way. For instance, last evening in our Text Reading Program (TRP) class, we were discussing the beginning sections of Chapter 13, “Release from Guilt.” I was impassioned about communicating to the students what Jesus says about guilt and how, as the holy Son of God, we are guiltless now and will be guiltless forever. We talked about how the ego is attached to keeping us guilty and discussed the ways this operates in our lives. Condemning ourself for not living up to an idealized self-image ranked high on the list. I left the class feeling joyful and grateful for these powerful and enlightening teachings. Then this morning I woke up feeling massively guilty!

I felt badly about the way I had recently handled two particular issues. I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt, so I decided to spend some time journaling. I talked to the Holy Spirit about how I saw what was going on and how I was feeling, with the goal of working through the two issues and letting go of the guilt I felt. I didn’t quite see how I could do that, since it sure seemed as if I had done something wrong and should feel guilty, especially since I should have known better!

As I journaled, I was able to see the form aspects of the guilt, and also the content behind it; that is, my unloving attack thoughts. As I uncovered them and looked at them clearly, I felt a slight sense of lightening in my mind.

Then I started to remind myself of what I had taught the evening before, applying it to myself: No matter what I do, there’s no justification for feeling guilty, because, in truth, I am guiltless now and forever will be because that’s how God created me. Nothing I did or didn’t do can change that. What I did had not tarnished my purity. If I am sinful and deserve to feel guilty, then God is an unloving and punishing God. I wouldn’t feel guilty about my unlovingness if I weren’t a loving being to begin with. Only loving thoughts are real, so what I did or didn’t do is not real; therefore, it has no effects and I have no reason to feel guilt. This is just the ego trying to get me to condemn myself for not living up to both an idealized self-image and also my true nature.

As I continued to write, I realized that I was beginning to feel peace flowing in me and over me. Then, suddenly, all the guilt was gone and I actually had the experience of feeling totally “guiltless now.” Tears of joy and gratitude started to flow down my cheeks. I felt so clean and free, as if an enormous weight had been lifted from me, as if the “black cloud of guilt” (T‑13.I.6:4) had vanished. The feeling was incredible. This was definitely an experience of the holy instant!

The circumstances, my actions, had not disappeared, but all the guilt around them had. Actually, as I think back on the experience, it was as if my actions had disappeared and nothing was left but love. I felt love for the people involved in the two issues and immediately thought of what I wanted to do to convey to them my love—not as a way of atoning, but as a way of expressing the love that I had discovered beneath my former unloving thoughts.

Full of gratitude and enthusiasm, I decided to reinforce the experience by using as my practice today the following lines from T-13.I.9, which I have personalized to fit me:

I am the Son of God and I am guiltless now.
The brightness of my purity shines untouched forever in the Mind of God.
I will always be as God created me.

This experience and the practicing of these words have shaped my whole day. Despite only having had five hours sleep last night, I have been alert and full of energy and vitality, and I’ve had a smile on my face almost all day long. I have attended to many work-related issues with ease. I have had several phone and email communications and felt that each one was a holy encounter. I even called people rather than emailing them, just so that I could have the personal contact with them! I have felt nothing but love for everyone. At other times, seeing certain phone numbers appear on the phone display has brought a groan from me, but today, when I saw those numbers, I picked up the phone with joy, feeling really pleased to talk to the person. I have felt that nothing could hurt me today. It’s as if, as the Text sections teach, since I am guiltless, I am also invulnerable (T-13.I.12:1).

I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit for reaching through those two issues and the guilt I was feeling to teach me the truth hidden beneath. I am guiltless nowand that means so are you! Yippee!

P.S. This evening an issue arose between James and me, and I could feel the temptation to see him as guilty arising in me. I was so tempted to go with that. It would have been so easy. I responded, instead, by using a variation of my practice:

James, you are the Son of God and are guiltless now.
The brightness of your purity shines untouched forever in the Mind of God.
You will always be as God created you.

The temptation disappeared into nothingness, and we were able to discuss the issue without my blaming and guilting him and without his feeling fearful and defensive, and we’re now going to sleep with peace and love in our hearts!