One of the gifts of being a co-creator of WITH Forgiveness is that I have the opportunity, on a daily basis, to expand and deepen my capacity to forgive by practicing what I preach! One afternoon, I was home watching some documentaries. The first and last one, I watched that day was, “Jesus Camp.” Yes, there are references in the film about Jesus-loving-you but they are interspersed with a powerful message that our way is the one way, the right way.

This is the doctrine of fundamentalism; it is exclusionary and creates clear divisions between people who are like us and people who are not – and those who possess a different point of view from us are sinners. After watching supposedly loving people in this documentary, teaching their children to fear, hate and see demons in others, my faith in a loving God who connects all beings was wavering.

I wondered if there will ever be peace when the fundamentalist message all over the world is that there is an enemy out there and we have to be fearful of them. I was experiencing this state of mind when I went to meet Gary Renard, an early supporter of WITH Forgiveness and the best-selling author of The Disappearance of the Universe and Your Immortal Reality.

Gary was leading a workshop and I had been invited to participate. Gary’s message is clear, based on A Course in Miracles, which aims at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, and uses forgiveness as the key that opens our hearts and minds to Love.

And what is it we are forgiving? We are forgiving our beliefs in separation from God. We are forgiving ourselves and others for forgetting that we are connected through the Holy Spirit, God, the Loving Energy of the Universe that animates our physical form. It is when we forget this connection with Source that we believe our judgments and are able to harm ourselves and others emotionally and physically.

Gary’s workshop began with an invitation to connect with the Loving Energy that moves through us. And this was just the invitation I needed. In Love’s presence my fear, uncertainty and hopelessness dissolved. This is the power of Love, in its’ presence all that isn’t Love dissolves. AS I sat listening to Gary speak a story I had heard about 25 years ago, from a Native American Medicine Man popped into my mind:

There was a big, bad, ugly being that had been going from one village to another destroying the crops, raping the women and killing the men. Community after community was shattered and a black cloud of fear was spreading across the land.

There was one remaining tribe as yet untouched by this fear, and the Elders knew that it was only a matter of time until the big, bad, ugly being would make its way to their community. A Council of the Elder was called to discuss how they would meet this being who had destroyed the surrounding villages. They knew that gathering their weapons would not work, since this strategy had not worked in the other villages. So they sat for many hours in silence immersed in the love and trust of their community, when a Medicine Woman spoke; “We need a virgin maiden to meet the big, bad, ugly being at the entryway to the road leading into our village.”

Her words were filled with authority, conviction, and Love. So the maiden was identified and she was lovingly bathed and dressed in preparation to greet the big, bad, ugly being. And then she was led to the road through which this being would enter the village. She knew she had been chosen for a sacred task and that all the members of her community were gathered in loving prayer on her behalf.

Minutes became hours, and she felt herself filled with love when she heard grunts and the ground beneath her feet began to rumble. She continued to keep her gaze straight ahead ready to greet the big, bad, ugly being. And then the big, bad, ugly being approached and stopped before her as she gazed directly into his eyes with all the love in her heart. As she put her hand out in greeting the big, bad, ugly being it dissolved into the ground below. In the next few moments a beautiful tree grew out of the earth on the exact spot where the big, bad, ugly being had just stood.

In the presence of Love fear is natually transformed, not destroyed and gotten rid of -- rather transformed into something that nourishes and embraces us and extends to all we encounter.

Take a moment to connect with the love alive in you and then nourish it, share it and allow it to grow.

Author's Bio: 

Susyn Reeve, M.Ed. is the's Official Expert Attitude Guide and the co-creator of Self-Esteem-Experts and WITH Forgiveness. She is the author of the award-winning book, Choose Peace and Happiness and The Gift of the Acorn and WITH Forgiveness - Are You Ready?

Contact her to schedule a coaching session or to arrange to have her speak to your organization or group (