I have often told people I have been blessed with magnificent friends in my life. Here is a letter I received today from my friend Joe. I think after reading it you will see why I make such a claim about my friends.
“Most of us have had many discussions about the topic of forgiveness – especially as it relates to ‘A Course in Miracles’ or Michael Ryce’s teachings and the forgiveness worksheet. This is a brief recap.
The mind is an evidential device; it gives us evidence of what we focus on or ‘want’ to see at some level of our being.
The mind is about 10% conscious, the rest is either sub-conscious or un-conscious.
What we focus on with emotion, we create. If we focus on one thing with the conscious mind but sub-consciously/un-consciously we want the opposite the sub-conscious/un-conscious generally wins because there is more mind energy there [90% vs 10%].
Forgiveness is defined as letting go or releasing the sub-conscious/un-conscious mind pattern that gives us pain [physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual].
If we do not have a sub-conscious/un-conscious mind pattern for something it will not resonate in is. So something that someone or something does will not upset us if we do not have a mind pattern to resonate with it. This leads to the statement:
“If I’m in pain; I’m in error” and its corollary “If you are in pain; you are in error”
So I’ve been working with the forgiveness/releasing process for about 5 years through ACIM & Michael Ryce’s work. Something bothers me about this work, and that thing is that it seems like there are some issues that at least for me forgiveness work does not work on – or at least it does not seem to ‘stick’.
I’m going to use my back as an example – because it is an easy example – NOT because I’m looking for someone to tell me how to fix my back [that is not the point here].
There were several times in 2007 when I was in Tennessee and my back was really painful and stiff. On these occasions I’d do 4 or 5 Forgiveness Worksheets a day for several days, and after this the pain wold ease up and I’d feel pretty good. Then a couple of days later I’d wake up with a twinge in my back and I’d say, “Why is my back hurting again?” And then it would get worse and later in the day I’d ask “Why doesn’t the benefits of the work on my back seem to last?” And maybe the next morning I’d wake up in pain and ask “Why is this happening to me again?” And pretty soon my back was as bad or worse than before. And again I’d thing “Why doesn’t the benefits seem to last?”
I went back a number of times and listened to “Why is this happening to me … Again?” and the answer I gleaned was I was just getting into deeper levels of the negative mind patterns that caused the back pain – and these also need to be forgiven.
So that is what I’d do and the whole thing would happen – Again.
I was pretty diligent but frustration would set in, forgiveness seemed to work real well for some issues but for some issues it did not work or if it worked the issue would come right back. And again I thought “Why is this happening to me … Again?”
So about a month ago I read an article and part of the article was about questions; more specifically the questions that we ask ourselves all the time in our ‘self talk’. The article posed the question – “Are we asking ourselves the ‘right’ questions?”
The article went on to explain that a big job of the sub-conscious mind is to get answers for the questions that we ask ourselves through self talk. We pose questions and this massive, massive computing power goes to work looking for answers and then it presents the answers to our conscious mind. The sub-conscious mind cannot discern a ‘helpful’ question from a ‘harmful’ question, to it a question is a question and its job is to answer the question.
SO when I asked “Why is my back hurting again?” my sub-conscious went out to find a million reasons why my back was hurting, and at some level my conscious mind ‘heard’ the answers and was influenced by them. And then I asked “Why doesn’t the benefits of the work on my back seem to last?” and the subconscious wet to work again to provide me with answers to this. And I begin to think the work does not work for me. And I ask again with lots of emotion this time “Why is my back hurting again?” and I get back answers with the same high emotion and power – your back will always hurt – you do not deserve a healthy back – you cannot do anything to change your back – and so on and so on.
So I’ve RE-CREATED the situation or a painful, stiff, out of alignment back with a few simple unhelpful questions. Wow.
So the article went on to say that if we pay attention to the questions that we ask and ask ‘power questions’ instead of harmful questions; we can get our sub-conscious to answer questions that we WANT ANSWERS to. What a novel idea.
So using my back as an example again; after I read this article I got up from my chair at work after sitting a long time and a pain shot through my back, and I asked “What can I do to have a healthy, strong, flexible back that is in perfect alignment?” And then I went on with my day. And each time the pain in my back came to my awareness I’d ask a similar power question. The next day I got up from my chair and my back hurt again and I asked “How can I relieve the pain in my back?” and on my way to the bathroom I thought “I need to be sitting on a Body Ball instead of a chair.” So I went out and bought a Body Ball and took it to work and started to use it instead of a chair. I also got some insights about what kind of exercises to do for my back, and some things to do with my diet to lower inflammation.
By the way I’ve been doing this for about 3 weeks and my while back is still sore it is about 75% better than it was a month ago.
I’m asking questions I want answers to and then listen for the answers – the answers may come any time and you need to listen.
I try to pay attention and whenever something comes up that I feel negative toward I make a point of asking myself a question to turn it around. For example.
I do not feel like going to work today, I ask “What can I do today to make work feel fulfilling?”
I do not want to get up early and exercise, I ask “How can I feel energized in my morning exercise?”
I’ve got a project at work that is stuck in the mud and going nowhere, I ask “What can I do to give this project energy and move it forward?”
I do not always perceive an answer but I know the sub-conscious is working on it and just asking a question that I really want an answer to seems to give me an energy boost.
Here are some guidelines about questions; if you are interested give it a try.
The Purpose of Asking Questions:
1. Direct behavior in a positive way
2. Direct a thought process in a positive way
3. Build positive emotions as it pertains to valued outcomes and behaviors
4. Collect useful information
General Rules of Thumb:
1.Only ask questions you want answered
2. When asking yourself positive questions, give yourself some time to come up with the answers 3. Keep asking the positive questions until you begin to perceive the answers
One more thing, these ‘unhelpful’ questions seem to come natural to me, it is as if I’m preprogrammed to ask questions that bring me down. Historically I seem to ask them all the time with a lot of energy, so I get unhelpful answers back with a lot of energy too.
Before I read this article I thought a question like “Why is my back hurting again?” would give me an answer that would help fix the problem. I did not think that I would get answers back that would support the problem and actually make it worse.
I also think that some people come preprogrammed to ask ‘power questions’ – or questions that are helpful and that they really want answered. I think that a person like that would read what I wrote about power questions and say – “Well shucks I do that all the time.” More power to them.
To those of us that tend to ask questions that are unhelpful [like I did], knowledge is power – if you use it. What have you got to loose –> except maybe all of the ‘wrong’ answers.
You may want to start by thinking about something that you would like to change and write down a power question or 2 about it. Then put the paper in your pocket and review it during the day. Then before you go to bed write it again and see if you can write any answers to the question, just see what comes up, you may be surprised.
Have a good journey