“These lessons could not be taught while blame remained within your thought system. No victim is to blame for the violence done to them. No sick person is to blame for the illness within them. But you must be able to look at and see reality for what it is. Just as we are telling you that new beliefs and ideas will lead to a new reality, old beliefs and ideas led to the old reality, a reality that will still exist for some even after it changes completely for you.” (ACOL, T3.19.12)
This is the well-known section of A Course of Love that tells us not to blame the victim. Victims of suffering and pain deserve our compassion and our love, not our condemnation. Sincere followers of New Age thought have misunderstood this dictum, because they have believed that, because we create our own reality, we have brought emotional and physical problems on ourselves. This is why we have been prone, even within our own minds, to blame ourselves when we get sick, and to blame others when they do.
There is much here that is too deep to comprehend with our limited understanding. But it takes very little understanding to know that compassion is called for, and that blaming does no good. When confronted with pain and suffering, we only need to find a way out—for us or for other people. And there are hints in ACOL that suffering and pain will lessen, even to disappear, when we have walked farther along the pathway home to God.
Let us be accepting of our pain, but not of our suffering—for suffering is and will always remain a choice. Pain does not have to escalate into a “poor me” stance.
And pain will never escalate into a “poor me” when we realize that God is for health all the way. We just need to get out of our way to allow health to return. The pain may be teaching us something, and when we have learned that lesson, the path may very well leave of its own accord.
These reflections do not in any way diminish the real problems of real people. There is much that we do not know, but avoiding turning pain into suffering IS within our power, and we would do well to try to heed that.
I long for good health all the time. I don’t want the mildest headache. Of course, when I think this, I am thinking along with people everywhere. And many of those people have something that causes them pain. May Your goodness reach each of us in our Self so that we don’t create illness as a learning tool. I think that many of us are not at that point yet—but, with your help, we will become that.
I would learn through painless and benign ways, lessons that come my way through good times rather than bad. May I have compassion for those with a Self Who feels differently. After all, they may get to You before I do. The Self makes this decision of how to learn. I would hope for the Self that we all are would choose a happy way of learning.
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