I Forgive Lance Armstrong

I feel sad to see a hero fall.  I feel pain and compassion rise above my first reaction of anger when I witness a public figure getting caught in their own deception, and the spectacle of semantic wriggling that usually follows.  What surfaces is a web of lies that must have been incredibly painful to keep secret.  Heroes have a purpose for us—they inspire, motivate and teach through example.  So let’s take our lessons from Lance Armstrong, the famed cyclist stripped of numerous prestigious titles and his athletic and moral reputation.  I see three major lesson opportunities:

  1. Forgive Everything
  2. Let go of “Me First”
  3. Let go of “The End is More Important than the Means”

Let’s start with the most important one.  This too is forgivable.  This deception is forgivable because everything in this world is forgivable.  At the end of the day this whacked-out world is a dream.  It is not the truth.  Forgiveness releases the forgiver from the pain of the illusion.

Like the creature from the black lagoon, a monster slithers out of my judgment pool when I witness lies and cheating to get ahead.  This is the kind of judgment that seems justified.  Haven’t we been taught from the first moments our immature personalities tested the waters of lying and cheating that to do so is WRONG?  Doesn’t lying and cheating to win trample the rights of all the honest competitors?  Isn’t “underfoot“ the wrong place to put a fellow human being?  Wouldn’t our mostly unpoliceable world fall apart if everyone lied and cheated?  So why would I want to forgive Lance Armstrong—the man who spit on the accolades showered upon him by being the opposite of the champion he appeared to be—a world-class doper, liar, cheat and bully?

There are two good reasons to forgive Lance Armstrong:  happiness and healing.

  1. Happiness.  Practice makes perfect.  And if there’s one thing in life I want to perfect, it’s forgiveness.  Forgiveness is a correction of perception that offers everything because forgiveness delivers the gifts of God.  What could I possibly want more than that?

Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
Forgiveness offers everything I want.
(A Course in Miracles [ACIM] Workbook Lessons 121 & 122)

       2.  Healing.  Forgiveness is the miracle that heals me, and as I heal myself the world is healed.

Let my mind be healed, that I may carry healing to the world. . . .
Let only truth occupy my mind. . . .
When I am healed I am not healed alone. (ACIM Workbook Lesson 137)


A miracle inverts perception which was upside down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest. Now is perception open to the truth. Now is forgiveness seen as justified.

Forgiveness is the home of miracles. The eyes of Christ deliver them to all they look upon in mercy and in love. Perception stands corrected in His sight, and what was meant to curse has come to bless. Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world the silent miracle of love. And each is laid before the Word of God, upon the universal altar to Creator and creation in the light of perfect purity and endless joy.

(ACIM Workbook, Section 13. “What is a Miracle?”)

I would have to be out of my mind not to want the silent miracle of love.  And frequently we are.  But we can change that in an instant with our choice FOR forgiveness.

My Father gives all power unto me. The Son of God is limitless.

There are no limits on his strength, his peace, his joy. . .

I am he to whom all this is given. . . in whom the power of my Father’s Will abides.

(ACIM Workbook Lesson 320)

Now let’s look at the other two lessons, lessons of letting go of a competitive way of being in the world:

“Me First” – my individual goals take precedence over others, and,

“The End is More Important than the Means.”

“Me First” jumps out as the major spiritual error that Lance Armstrong must have believed to justify his personal doping program and that of his team in the last 15-or-so years.  Looking deeper for the beliefs underlying and driving the “me first” philosophy we can see:

  • My individual goals take precedence over others.
  • I must prove myself valuable.
  • I must fight to win.
  • The end result is more important than the means.

When put in stark black and white this is a motivational philosophy many of us would deny in ourselves.  But the fact is the exposure of this belief system (courtesy this time of Lance Armstrong) is a major spiritual lesson for all of us.  Healing this erroneous orientation involves healing our guilt, our low self-esteem, our attachments, our belief in non-spiritual solutions and our sense of separation from Source, from All That Is.

All I have to do is recall my typical mental and emotional reactions when I, driving alone (read unobserved), get stuck behind a slowpoke driver on my way to—well, anywhere—to understand that this and precisely this need for healing also applies liberally to me.  What comes up?  The discomfort and unease inherent in the “me first” philosophy of individual competition:

  • I need to get where I’m going on time.  (My individual goals take precedence over others.)
  • What I’m doing is important.  (I must prove myself valuable.)
  • If I’m feeling afraid or angry (which includes frustrated, impatient or annoyed) this underlying attitude applies:  (I must fight to win.)
  • I REALLY need to get where I’m going, so my perception is justified.  (The end result is more important than the means.  AKA, the destination is more important than the journey.)

Our worldly lives are built on the foundation of who we believe we are.  What does A Course in Miracles offer to counteract the misguided philosophy of individual competition that robs us of peace?

  • Only illusory goals are “individual,” since our true identity is in the Oneness of God’s Creation.  When I value “my” goals over “yours,” I reinforce the belief in separation.
  • As innocent Children of God we are all inherently valuable beyond and outside of anything having to do with the world of illusion, in which we seem to be bodies living in time and space.
  • We win when we remember Oneness.  Fighting reinforces our belief in separation.  Oneness can be defined as holy WITH thou, not holier than thou.  Forgiveness makes Oneness an emotional reality.
  • Worldly “results” are not the “ends” we believe them to be.  They do not satisfy our longing and thus our need to search continues.  The “means” and the “journey” are the important aspects of our worldly lives because it is through the means and the journey that we express the love that we are.

Seek not outside yourself.

The search implies you are not whole within

and fear to look upon your devastation

and prefer to seek outside yourself for what you are.

(ACIM Text, Chapter 29)

How do I claim my lessons from Lance Armstrong’s experience?   I can ask myself some questions:

  • In what ways do I “dope”—artificially enhance myself to the point of misrepresentation and untruthfulness?  Have I doped in the past?  Am I willing to forgive myself and do better?
  • In what ways do I lie, cheat and/or bully?  Have I lied, cheated and/or bullied in the past?  Am I willing to forgive myself and do better?
  • What have I not yet forgiven?
  • What attachments can I let go of to create a more peaceful life?
  • What changes can I make to value the means more than the ends?

As we assess ourselves (and hear the news of the world), remember that it’s ALL forgivable.  Errors call for correction, not punishment.  As we do the work of healing ourselves, we can be thankful that we are in a teachable place, an introspective place, that holy place where errors are laid to rest.

Let me be still and listen to the truth.

Truth will correct all errors in my mind.

And I will rest in Him Who is my Self.

(ACIM Workbook Lessons 106 & 107)

With Peace and Love,

Mira Carroll


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Healing Loss: Choose Love Now by Miradrienne Carroll

outlines spiritual principles and practices

for anyone who wants to heal, at any time,

from the context of healing grief and loss.

Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved

4 Responses to “I Forgive Lance Armstrong”
  1. orbphotog says:

    Well done! Forgiveness is release…


  2. Mark says:

    Mira, you did it again, I am all teared up and totally understand what you are saying. I wonder what people or sports fans think when they ask for the tallest players, or the fastest runners, or the biggest and strongest football players, or the best soccer players and so on and so forth. Are we the people judging these individuals when we ask them to be better.Go figure! It will be a life time to understand people and what they want and when you give it to them and their reactions after something like this happens.We are just as guilty as Armstrong.
    Great job!


    • miracarroll says:

      Thank you, Mark! Collectively we are certainly part of the overall problem of the drive for “bigger, faster, stronger” and “more, more, more.” But it is us as individuals making “small” choices that keeps us in these problem-generating mindsets. Each choice becomes a stone in the wall. And here’s something to chew on: we are completely responsible, and yet totally innocent.


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