“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can limit the expression of his power as much as he wills. Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, and releasing the strength and beauty of God into everything you think and will and do. Do not settle for anything less than this, and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal. Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.11:1-5)
Certainly everybody has experienced times when, in retrospect, we might say that we have been our own worst enemy. This is, I believe, what is happening when we have refused opportunities to gladden ourselves. We seem to wallow in self-pity, never a very laudatory experience. When we are so absorbed by self-pity, it certainly makes it hard for anybody else to sympathize and to emphasize with us. Our own self-centeredness at such times makes inevitable the truth that the ego will be in the ascendancy.
Jesus will join his mind to ours, and the two of each of us can shine the ego away. His offer is a free offer, with no strings attached. And should not we make the tiny effort to accept his free offer? Only a “little willingness” is necessary, as Jesus says elsewhere in A Course in Miracles. The Holy Spirit will take our little willingness, and make it into something mighty. Jesus will cooperate with us as we seek to leave the remnants of the ego in the dust under our feet.
We need God’s strength to finally take tentative and hesitant steps toward accepting His great blessings for us, His blessings in a world that is slowly giving up the ego as a very bad idea.
When tempted to indulge in the misery of self-pity, let us lift our thoughts with an effort of the will, and let God’s grace show us a world that will gladden us.