Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.
What does it take to resolve conflict? ACIM teaches forgiveness. What is forgiveness? It is the willingness to give up making other people and circumstances responsible for your unhappiness. We are not victims. We are the agents who have choices in how to respond to the external circumstances that impact us. The problem is not what has happened to us, but how we manage ourselves in response to what has happened to us. Will we respond in fear, in anger, in resentment, in hurt, in grievance, in guilt or is there a better way? ACIM teaches that there is a better way and the tool to pursue that better way is forgiveness. Jesus, as He is being crucified on the cross, demonstrates this principle when He says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Indeed. Amen.
In Alcoholic Anonymous it is suggested, in step six, that we allow God to remove all our defects of character. In step three we made a decision to turn our will over to God, and in step ten we continually take a personal inventory and when we are wrong we promptly admit it. We can’t forgive others until we forgive ourselves.
In Unitarian Universalism, forgiveness is not a concept taught, because UUs are engulfed in nihilistic narcissism when they think pretty much anything goes. However, in principle four UUs join together to affirm and promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning and this principle does imply that individuals and communities should be searching for the right things in life and in this search it will bring the seeker to the awareness of the importance of forgiveness. So UUs may come to the idea of the importance of forgiveness in a roundabout way.
Today, it is suggested that we reflect on the idea that forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here and apply this idea in practice.