On Free Will and Willingness, by Ivor Sowton

On Free Will and Willingness. ..This Chapter 11 is going deep for me. I am getting into a practice of applying the latest chapter Mari reads for us (endless gratitude, Mari!) DIRECTLY TO MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.

I’ve had a lot of issues in my life with “I’ll be good if I can just do this and that and thus, and by the way so many other people already do these things far better than I can, so I’ve got to try much harder and maybe in some far distant future time I will have improved enough to make the grade.”

Can you relate to this? But if I try to drop all that and just be more present with the current Course of Love chapter and apply it to my actual present experience, then that’s really helpful. So, here goes! The theme of the chapter that I’m feeling now is about how I almost desperately hang on to MY will, in spite of the fact that it’s clearly not bringing me the Peace of God. The old ego pattern is to maintain a safe distance from direct experience of others in relationship and sharing. So mistrustful. So used to feeling less than. So not trusting that benign lessons could be being freely offered me by others who are actually trying to help me in a true spirit of friendship rather than put me down.

So in this chapter Jesus is so personally encouraging to me to offer that “temporary willingness” He recommends. So masterful He is here! For if He demanded total willingness I would be pushing myself to come up to too high a bar, trying to grit my teeth and demand that of myself immediately– and I would get discouraged. Instead He is helping me grow in trust, in baby steps if need be, gradually coming to trust God more and more. I feel very very lucky in that I have developed more trust in Jesus over the last few years. That is a wonderful relationship we can all form, I really feel. Or maybe for some it is another great Master; but chances are that if you have taken the trouble to join this Group and are sincerely trying to open up to A Course of Love then your relationship with Jesus is pretty deep also, right?

We are SO blessed in this. For me even in the dark times, which remain frequent for me, I am praying to Jesus, on a spectrum of entreating Him for help right down to complaining to Him or even being mad at Him for not lifting me out of whatever mire I’m sunk in–but in a way I know He doesn’t mind….And now to conclude with the last paragraph in this great Chapter 11: “…Love is the unity you seek. In having chosen separation over unity you but chose fear over love. When you let go of fear and invite unity to return, you but send out an invitation to love and say you are welcome here.” I am right now willing to try that out, in small doses if need be, pacing myself to the trust level I can handle now. Thank-you all!!!

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