“Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes. Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave. Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams. He represents his Father, Whom you see as offering both life and death to you. (T585)”
Affirmation: “dream of your brother’s kindnesses”
1 – How We See God
The final sentence in the above passage is pivotal. As long as we are caught in the ego, we will see our brother as offering both life and death to us, because we see God the same way. This idea is startling when we are new to A Course in Miracles. Do we really see God as offering both life and death to us? We probably never thought this way before reading ACIM.
2 – We See God in Our Brother
We see God in our brother, though we are not usually aware of this. When we progress, we gradually realize that God offers only life, and then our brother’s significance to us becomes clearer and more benign. This helps, I hope, to explain the meaning of the “life and death” statement about God (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).
3 – Our Intimate Relationships
The earlier portions of this passage help a good deal in our intimate relationships. We can choose what to fantasize, what to think, about our loved ones. We can think of the times that we have been disappointed or hurt, or we can dwell on those times of happiness, when our brother has been all that we might wish in a loved one. The obvious choice, for happiness, is to choose to focus on the good aspects of our relationships. And certainly this is valuable. Jesus does not negate happiness; it is one of several functions that he says in ACIM are important for us. (Other functions are salvation and forgiveness.)
4 – Our Brother Has Only Made Mistakes
Note that the more negative times with our brother have signified his mistakes, not his real self. We may also see that we contributed to the situation by our own mistakes. But the Course stresses that mistakes, once recognized, will be corrected, because we will desire to correct them. We will dream of happiness rather than sadness.
5 – Dreams of Happiness
And when we dream of happiness, in the dreams brought to us by the Holy Spirit, we are happy. And is this not a powerful motivator?
I would think of my beloved ones only in a good light. I would not dwell on the times that I have been disappointed in the way that they treated me. I would dwell on kindnesses only.
Help me to think of this passage when the day seems long, I am stressed, and my significant others say things that upset me, leading me to feel angry. Anger is not justified, as I know. We live in an insane world, and we are part of that insanity until we change our minds. Help me to change my mind today, and help the others in my intimate circle change their minds when they are prepared to do so by You.
I would think only of kindnesses today. I would not fly off the handle at a perceived slight. There is always a reason for a perceived slight, and it is always forgivable. I would forgive today, as You have indicated I ought to do. Help me to lead a calm and tranquil life today, and then I know that all will be well.
Thank You for always being there for me.