”T-3.III.7. If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself.” I find this an intriguing concept this week as it has showed up in my life in the small. Often, we can speak to others from a perspective of wanting change. We say, “You are doing this wrong,” “If you only knew better,” “What are you doing?”
We say these things because we see something we’d like to see differently. Sometimes we can flower it with fancy words and be gentle in our approach, but other times it comes out like “puke” and is not well received. If we can just tell this person to change, then we can see a change for the better? We’ll, yes, perhaps, but as they say sometimes, “the road to hell can sometimes be paved with good intentions.”
The course says,” Any attempt you make to correct a brother means that you believe correction by you is possible, and this can only be the arrogance of the ego.”
The first rule of thumb is, “is the correction something that the brother is asking for?”
Remember, if you make him wrong it may not be received well. When I was in practitioner training, they said to be careful with “unsolicited advice.” Good words to heed.
The course goes on to say, T-9,”4 When you correct a brother, you are telling him that he is wrong. 5 He may be making no sense at the time, and it is certain that, if he is speaking from the ego, he will not be making sense. 6 But your task is still to tell him he is right. 7 You do not tell him this verbally, if he is speaking foolishly. 8 He needs correction at another level, because his error is at another level.”
What is the course in miracles suggesting then? The correction is love. Seeing people in love as best we can so that we can find the space to see them in a good light. Giving them grace. When we don’t, it does nothing but hurt us both.
The best example of this that I can think of as a father is my love for my children. They may have a tantrum and they may need a time out, but I still love them. My love goes without question. What if we could give this unquestioning love to other adults? Why do we give them less grace. Yes, you think, they are old enough and should know better. However, what if they really just don’t know better. What if we have all been taught to not know better?
Concider giving a brother grace. Unmerited reward of love, regardless of what is unfolding and how they are behaving. Now, I’m not asking you to be a dormat. Love is love. Love doesn’t imply giving people with bad credit, your credit card. Love is not allowing your children to walk in the street when a car is coming or they will cry. You do the right thing. Just love in the process.
Recently, I wanted correction in a few relationships so I could have a more healthy and better relationship with those individuals. When I asked for the correction, it was not love that I received. It was not love that they heard. Even though I thought it was love I wanted and love I thought I was requesting. Clearly it ended with feedback that ego had once again slipped into my intentions and conversations. “If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself.” I got hurt and for that I asked for forgiveness. (A whole other topic to cover another time.)