You are Now Ready to Practice the F Word
Maria’s Goodness Message
HAPPINESS is our inheritance it’s our DIVINE right. We have everything and lack nothing.
You are Now Ready to Practice the F Word
An excerpt from Live Your Happy by Maria Felipe
Before she was an author and a minister, Reverend Maria Felipe was an actress, a model, and a TV host with a fabulous French boyfriend. She appeared in national commercials, was the first ever Latina boxing announcer, and interviewed World Wrestling Federation competitors in front of audiences of twenty thousand people. People Magazine in Espanol even referred to her as “Una Campeona Sin rival,” which means a champion without rival. But through it all, she felt insecure, unworthy, and downright miserable.
All that began to change when she began to study a book called A Course in Miracles (ACIM), and eventually went on to get her ministerial certificate from an ACIM school known as Pathways of Light. “This self-study spiritual thought system helps students develop a relationship with the ‘internal teacher’ it calls the Holy Spirit, which in turn helps us change how we see the world on a daily basis,” writes Maria. “This ‘shift in perception’ is what ACIM calls a miracle.”
In Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within (New World Library, April 22, 2017), Maria shares more than twenty years of experience studying and living the principles from ACIM. This is not a philosophic explanation of the Course. It is a practical, hands-on guide for actually living it. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.
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You are now ready to practice the F word! And no, it’s not what you think. What I mean is forgiveness, true forgiveness. This is not the same as worldly forgiveness, which still contains some type of judgment. We practice worldly forgiveness when we say things like: “I forgive you even though you did something wrong,” or “I forgive you because I have Jesus and you don’t.”
No, I’m talking about the radical form of forgiveness as taught by A Course in Miracles. Radical forgiveness is based on this powerful idea: All that should be remembered from the past is the love we have given and received.
Before we go there, let’s start with why it’s muy importante to practice real forgiveness: It’s the primary tool for getting back to living your happy. You forgive because you want peace, you forgive because you want joy, you forgive because you want to stop suffering. How will forgiveness do all this for you?
When we choose to believe we are separate from the Holy Spirit, and thus when we believe we are a body isolated from other bodies, guilt comes along with that choice. We don’t remember making this choice, and that’s why we don’t understand all the guilt we feel. This is why the Course says that we are never upset for the reasons we think. Other people may seem to cause our problems; unfortunate life events may seem to make us unhappy; all the seemingly inevitable difficulties of life may make us feel that we’ve been treated unfairly. All that comes from our choice to feel separate, alone, and guilty.
We don’t make that choice just once, however; we keep making it all the time without realizing what we’re doing. Nor will our “normal” ego point of view ever let us in on this secret: What we give, we will ultimately receive. If we give the world our guilt, we will get back guilt. On the other hand, if we give love, we will experience love. This is why we are guided to forgive: It is our recognition that we are responsible for the way we experience other people, the world, and our life.
Here is another great reason to forgive: Judgments kill your happy. While judgments may make us feel temporarily more sure of ourselves, ultimately they keep us in fear, bound by the illusion of separateness. When we make anything outside ourselves real, we are holding a judgment. Judgment means we have forgotten we are in the mind of God, and that will inevitably make us feel miserable. As the Course puts it, “Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is the weapon I would use against myself, to keep the miracle away from me” (ACIM, workbook lesson 347).
Here are some judgments I have heard from my students:
“What kind of guy would say that he likes me and then tell me he wants to be with someone else? What a jerk!”
“How can that crazy person be running for president?”
“That killer/child abuser/terrorist is a bad person!”
However justified such thoughts may seem, they add to our fear and make the separation real. They mean we are buying into the ego’s thought system and getting lost in illusions. Of course, it’s hard not to buy into the drama, the madness, and the general BS of the ego. Our judgments seem to help us make sense of a crazy world. But it’s worth thinking about whether judging is truly helpful and making a positive difference in one’s life and the world. If a bad person dies, will that make you truly happy? When you watch the news and react with one judgment after another, do you end up jumping for joy or wanting to cut your veins? It’s vital to realize what you are thinking because whatever you’re thinking is what you put out into the world. And this will be exactly what you get back.
Whenever you are tempted to judge another person’s thoughts, beliefs, or behavior, you might find it helpful to ask yourself: Would I judge myself for this?
To get back to your happy, you must learn to hold all things in high regard, no matter the form. You must be willing to look at the battleground of the world and realize it cannot be real if only love is real. Forgiveness removes the barriers to love, so that you can begin to see the world differently. You cannot believe in love and fear at the same time.
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Excerpted from the book Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within. Copyright © 2017 by Maria Felipe. Printed with permission from New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com
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