“The ego is afraid of the spirit’s joy, because once you have experienced this, you will withdraw all protection from your ego and become totally without investment in fear. Your investment is great now, because fear is a witness to the separation, and your ego rejoices when you witness to it. Leave it behind. Do not listen to it and do not preserve it. Listen only to God, Who is as incapable of deception as are the Sons He created. As a teacher or therapist, release yourself and release others. Do not preset a false and unworthy picture of yourself to others, nor accept such a picture of them yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.20:1-7)
We ought to think well of ourselves, not coming from the ego, but from the spirit. The ego has kept us in chains, and the flights of joy that we have known have been balanced by a fall into depression and despair. The dramatic highs and lows were very pronounced. This is the way of egotism. This is what we want to gently turn aside from now.
When we have tasted real joy of the spirit, we will know that this alone is real. This is God’s blessing upon us as we emerge from madness, the insanity of the ego. When we taste joy, we know that we are beloved. We also know that we are capable of loving not only ourselves, but also our brothers and sisters who travel this road with us.
This joy is well-grounded, not a euphoria that is unsettling and unsettled. This joy is what will accompany us on the journey home to God, the separation healed, the Awakening in sight.
We do need to think well of ourselves, for as God’s creatures we are born of the spirit. And this spirit will allow us to present a picture of ourselves to others that will do us credit. Unfortunately, we are so used to denying the ego in ourselves, that we may think that such creditable awareness of ourselves is a step backwards.
It isn’t. Let the inner spirit that is our Christ-Self emerge from the inside wrappings. Be assured that this is what God wants of us.
A good Self-image will speed us along our journey with alacrity. We will know that this is the way to live well.