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May 26, 2024

Inner Peace: The end of guilt

one planet Inner Peace
One planet, one people, one family, by Sally McKirgan.
May 2, 2024

It can be hard for us to forgive ourselves and others; Ken Wapnick says that is only because we have turned away from God

By Sally McKirgan

I recently listened to a lecture called “Forgiveness and the End of Time” by Ken Wapnick. In it, he answered the problem of guilt over self-blame. Now maybe you don’t blame yourself for past mistakes or have any regret. But if so, you most likely are not human or have already forgiven and don’t need to think about forgiveness any more. In the lecture, a man asked this question: “What am I to do when I just can’t forgive someone? I try and try again and it just doesn’t happen.”

Wapnick’s answer was that the whole problem, which this world is attempting to conceal and never resolve, is our turning our back on God. Now you may not believe in God, but I bet you believe in right and wrong. And maybe you’ve never turned your back on God, but this world has so done so and probably to some extent you have as well. In the myth of separation, we told God, “Your love is not enough; I want more. Therefore, I am justified in being an individual on my own where I am in charge and not you.”

Do you think God is in charge of this world? Not if any world leaders or army generals have their way. Wapnick goes on to say that we have a lingering dislike of ourselves for telling God, “So long. We don’t need you.” And that separation caused us doubt, and it is where guilt originated. We left God, chose the ego and the individuality it offered, and now we are in a world sans God. It is not limited to just one wayward country; it is global.

However, this separation never really happened, but the story of the world is that it did, and consequently we fear God and retaliation. We cannot separate from God any more than a wave can separate from the ocean. Can you separate yourself from your parents? You can avoid them or hate them but they are still your parents. It is the same with God. And God is only Love. The Biblical God is another story because primarily that God can get angry and “smite” whenever he pleases. That is the God we fear. But according to Wapnick, that is what various prophets throughout the ages have attributed to God, and they had egos too. They blamed God just as we do today. But consider for a moment that maybe God is just, simply, beautiful, forgiving, accepting, embracing and non-judging … Love. That Mind is Love and you inherited it.

For a long time, I saw this world as not being a nice place and decided I didn’t want anything to do with God. There have been wars throughout time, neighbor hating neighbor, family disputes and misery, none of which is a loving God’s fault. It is our free will, the ego mind that separates and divides that we listened to. The world is bereft of love, but we don’t have to be. Everyone wants to feel love.

Wapnick went on to tell the questioner to look with open eyes, realize that he made a mistake, and let the guilt go. It is like the mistake we made when we rejected Love. Let it go because we never left Love, it never happened. Simple forgiveness is when we realize we made a mistake, an error in judgment, or a hateful statement and decide to let it go. We can give ourselves permission to stop feeling guilty. If you can learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes, that’s a wonderful healing because you are forgiving yourself for the thought that you can be separate from God. It is not possible now or ever.

Perhaps you have remorse and want to say something or write a note? Do it, because the other person may be holding a grievance as well. What a gift to give, to let them release it! Forgive yourself when you do not do things perfectly. These are reminders of the original mistake.

Sally McKirgan, former editor of the Inner Peace column, now lives in Olympia, Washington, misses Ashland, and paints and writes in her blog. Her book, “The Gift of the Great Rays, Inner Peace Essays,” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She also has an art website at sally-mckirgan.pixels.com.

Want to contribute? Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (rcarey009@gmail.com).

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