Work-it-out with your best friend

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"Step 7 is an acknowledgment of personal responsibility . It is the step of growing out of long-held childhood fantasies and taking responsibility for the output of your own mind. Only you cause you to feel. Every thought reflects a choice, therefore, every feeling is a choice."

7. I am not upset at this person, place, thing or event but by a reality inside of me. If I’m in Pain, I’m in Error.

"Step 8 offers the opportunity to distinguish between responsibility and the mind's cheap copy, blame . It's time , Richard, to decide what your source is—blame or Love . Time to look at what really causes your pain and recognize that every reality output from your mind follows a pattern."

"Been there, done that!" he exclaimed. "Blame hasn't worked for me. I'm ready to go another route. I'm ready to use Forgiveness to change every pattern."

8. I take responsibility, not blame, for all of my realities. Every reality in my mind is changeable. I now choose to connect with LOVE instead of my upset ( ).(BREATHE)

"Step 9 is the core of the Forgiveness process . Write your answer, what you want from Step 6, in the blank in Step 9. Recall, in Aramaic , the word 'forgive' means to cancel . Can you cancel the people in your life? Can you cancel your life? Can you cancel today? No, but you can always cancel what you want out of a situation. Doing this sets up your mind to process through the unconsciousness around your worksheet issue."

9. A. I cancel — let go of — my need (6) B. I invite _________ to incline me toward healing ( ), restore me to LOVE ( ), assist me in keeping LOVE present ( ) and help in letting go of my painful reality ( ).(BREATHE)

9A. I cancel—let go of—my need (6) to be loved, appreciated and cared for as much as my sister.

Richard balked a little at doing this. "Why would I cancel what I want? That seems ridiculous, michael. I deserve to have what I want. You said that yourself."

"I agree with you. You do deserve to have what you want! I also acknowledge you as a powerful creator. Why haven't you created what you want?"

"I-I don't know," he stammered. "No one has ever cared for me and appreciated me the way I wanted to be. That has always been the problem in my relationships with women—they are affectionate for a while and then become distant. I'm not sure I quite understand it yet, but I cancel my need to be Loved, appreciated and cared for as much as my sister."

"Is it possible, Richard, you acquired that belief when you were a child? Did your actions with women drive them away and is that what caused intimacy to disappear? The result you produce is that you get to prove, over and over again, you are not Lovable!"

Tears were flowing from Richard's eyes as, once again, feelings welled up from deep inside of him. A quiet sob filled the room as he spoke. "Why am I not Lovable? What is wrong with me? It feels like I've never known what it is to feel Loved, so I've become calloused in order not to feel the pain . It seems so deep, like a dark hole that can never be filled."

"Keep breathing," I suggested gently. You are accessing hidden places in yourself, places that your personality structure helps you to keep out of awareness. It is safe to access those places and move what is locked within. Remember to hold the space of Love , that is where the healing happens. In Step 9B, you get the chance to ask for assistance in moving through whatever comes to the surface as you forgive."

"What do you mean?"