A Course of Love · ACOL

Seeking to Be Less Vulnerable

“The perceived attack will have entered at the place where you have placed your highest value and are thus most vulnerable. In the past your response would have been to protect and use that which you have most valued. Now your response will have been changing. You will not see so much to value in what has called your ego into action and will turn away from it.” (ACOL, T1:9.15)

I can identify with this passage. Years ago I received a very negative peer review after my first year in a new job, from someone whom I had considered a friend. Despite the fact that I had become a committed Course in Miracles student, the ego was still very strong in me. I had always wanted to think that I did good work, and so when this peer review challenged that self-image, I was devastated. The egoic persona had been bruised.

Years later, I can see what was going on. Now my ego has been loosened, and I cannot fully comprehend why one peer’s opinion became so important to me. I would like to think that I can’t comprehend because I am thinking differently. Egoic ideals don’t call to me as much.

Now, if something similar were to happen, I think that I would be more prone to realize that one person’s opinion is just that—opinion. And my own persona isn’t fully egoic any longer; I don’t have to succeed to be loved. In my egoic persona, being loved was attached, conditionally, to being declared a success in the eyes of other people.

This is not a good interpretation for any of us to make, however strong the ego, but I think that it is a common reaction. In describing what happened, I can see the highs and lows of drama, and I know now that the highs and lows of drama are ego. We do better when we keep steady and on an even keel. We are much more likely to actually be a success in more than just our eyes or the eyes of our peers. We are accessing the Self Who can create through us.

We don’t take credit for what the Self creates through us. This would be to invite an egoic interpretation again. But we can enjoy the newfound joys of truly working in a way that we never did when we believed in the worth of the ego’s evaluations. And we can objectively see that our work has wings that we did not mastermind; Something More is at work.

Prayer

I would not go back to egoic reactions. I would stay on the straight and narrow, respond with Zen-like calm to the events of my life. I would learn how to return love for attack, however subtle the attack. And to do so, I need to keep stress under control. I never get angry unless I am stressed.

You know all these things about me. And You support me in my goal to be on an even keel, 24/7. You would have me reject the urge to make drama out of the events of my life. And I would go along with this desire on Your part as my best new direction.

Be with me today as I seek to lower stress, to return even the mildest form of attack with love. I would approach life by the smooth handle.

Amen.

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5 thoughts on “Seeking to Be Less Vulnerable

  1. another important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what others think if you know the truth and also who sees above all knows, unfortunately human attention and praise is so important to us that we lose ourself in doubt when we don’t get it!

  2. This quote and whole article resonated with me in a bunch of different ways today. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 What I saw in myself in that quote at the beginning is how after the attack entered and I was hurt, I tried to keep protecting and using the thing I valued most (let’s say it’s my heart.) But then, after so much time and hurt-ness (through my actions or others’), it’s been easier for me to unguardedly share myself with others and say: ‘I won’t protect my heart because there’s no point and it’ll get hurt anyway’ or isolate completely and say: ‘No one will enter this space because I will hurt them, causing them to leave and me to be hurt in the end.’ I know after reading your article that this is, in essence, my ego speaking. (It’s really fragile and bruised haha; it is quite silly how I try to protect it so much.) Yet on the other hand, what do you suggest I do to be an open and vulnerable person who meets their needs yet doesn’t ‘cling’ or ‘attach’ so much to their frantic grip on self, ego or image that they miss out on the joy and important things in life?

    Thank you for all you do!

    Peace 🙂

    1. We do get hurt sometimes, even when we have let lose the ego to some extent. But we are less vulnerable, though still loving, when we let the ego slide away from us. Christ-consciousness, which is where we are all heading, is a state of non-vulnerability in which we truly don’t care so much what others think. We just go on loving. Does this help? It is a misconception, I think, that to be loving we have to be vulnerable.

      Most fondly, Celia

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