Working Harder at the Wrong Thing Won’t Avail

“While you claim you need proof before you can believe or accept some¬thing as a fact or as the truth, and certainly before you can act upon it, you live as if you believe that what has never worked before will somehow miraculously work in the future. You have nothing but evidence of a life of unhappiness and despair, where occasional moments of joy or the few people that you love out of the many that you do not are all that make your life worth living. You think that to be asked to give up the caution, protec¬tion, and vigilance that protects these moments of joy and people you love as well as your own self is to be asked to live a life of even greater risk than that which you live now.” (ACOL, C:16.15)

When we live with the ego, we have moments of joy alternating with moments of despair, or, in other words, a life filled with drama. Do we really want to have these moments of despair? Of course not, and what do we do about it?

We must stop living as if what hasn’t worked in the past will work in the future—if we just work harder. Working harder at a failing proposition doesn’t accomplish anything but more despair.

So what do we do? We change directions. And how do we do that? We follow guidance. Of course, there are ways that guidance works better than others. When we are primed to make better decisions, we will turn to A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love to get our direction. And we will be well-advised in those books.

We don’t want just to love those close to us, ignoring the many out there who need our goodwill. Loving just those close to us is the way of special relationships, a way that we are learning is flawed. We can love all others, if we set our minds and hearts to it. That doesn’t mean that we put ourselves in danger, of course, if these others don’t mean us well. But it does mean that everybody is pretty much the same, wanting to be loved, wanting to love. Not everybody understands how to go about that loving business.

Would we be risking anything? Would we be living a life of greater risk? If we think so, it will be so. That is projection making perception, and creating the reality in which we live. Jesus implies at the end of today’s quotation that the risk is overblown, that the risk is not nearly as great as we think it is. And I am inclined to agree with him.

What can we do to minimize risk in an unsafe world? This is a hard question, for the world that we inhabit, the illusory world, is an unsafe place for sure. We don’t have deliberately to put ourselves in harm’s way, but we do need to give others the benefit of the doubt. We need to try for reconciliation when there has been a break in communication. We need to realize that our own perceptions will influence mightily the world that we occupy. And when our perceptions are cleansed, our personal world will undergo a sea change for the better.

Don’t look for the highs and lows of drama-filled relationships, special relationships. Be satisfied that serenity is the better course to follow. We may even think ourselves depressed, as our drama smooths out. We are addicted to the adrenaline rush, as Marianne Williamson (lecturer on A Course in Miracles) has said.

Choose to make a decision to live in peace. Today and always.

The future looks far brighter when we give up looking for something bad under every leaf. Expect the best, and we will often be surprised by good fortune.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

We are bombarded by evidence of bad things happening in our world. What are we to do in this situation?

Please be with us as we consider our best options. We know that You love us, that You mean all of your creations well. The fact that some are confused about how to live well in this world is not news. But the bad sometimes seems to overtake the good, to leave us in a risky life situation that scares us.

Comfort us; save us from ourselves. We know that we create our reality. And we know that the illusory world is just that–illusion. Help us to do what we can in an unsafe world. And this starts by cleansing our perceptions so that we are not unduly frightened of what may happen in the future.

Be with us today. Help us to know that Your true reality is safety personified.

Amen.

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