“While many of you who have read this far and learned this much may not be those whose bitterness is mighty and held tightly to themselves, bitterness must still be discussed. While bitterness remains, vengeance will remain. You have been shown that God is not a God of vengeance but that you are still in the process of learning that your Self is not vengeful.” (ACOL, T3:6.4)
We need to remove from our hearts the concept of a vengeful Self. The Self is our part of God, and as such, not vengeful at all. And bitterness, Jesus says elsewhere, is to the heart what the ego is to the mind. And certainly the ego is insanity to the mind. Perhaps we can extend this thought to recognize that bitterness is insanity to the heart, and, as such, will keep our instincts embroiled in fears and speculation about fairness in our world that can only debilitate.
Our bitterness often comes from the sense that we are “have not’s” in a world in which many others have much more. If we have read this far, we are not as concerned with material blessings as with emotional ones—the peace and calm that we long to have in a troubled world and, perhaps, in a troubled self. Jesus says elsewhere that we have come to enjoy much more peace in our inner world than ever before. But he wants us to go further and change, or better still, create a new world. This we won’t do if bitterness wraps its tentacles around our heart. This we can’t do under such circumstances.
Jesus recognizes that we likely have less bitterness, as readers of A Course of Love, then some others in this world. But we need to eliminate the vestiges of bitterness at their root, which is a sense that we still want rewards for being good, for doing God’s will, for following Jesus. The sense that we want reward must, Jesus tells us elsewhere, be “done without.” And we can easily do this when we work to remove bitterness from our hearts. God is not vengeful, and, as our role model, neither is Jesus. We need to realize that our Self has not been out to get us, that this Self—this Christ-Self—has never done anything that would harm us. We have made mistakes in our egoic self, but mistakes that can be rectified, and forgiven, and then we march on.
Our world will never be the same when we do decide to march on, feeling no need for particular rewards, feeling no need for being bitter.
I need to realize that the few things that go wrong in my world are not reason to color my day with regret and bitterness. Much more goes right, and this is true for everyone. If we focus on a lack of gratitude for what is before us, we will never be satisfied. And bitterness will have a toehold in our heart.
Let me be at peace today, in Your Arms. This will give me a good day, for nothing will go right if I am dissatisfied, and a ungratefulness makes for dissatisfaction. I would be eminently grateful today for the many blessings that surround me. May others who read these words feel the same way.