Tag Archives: anger

Tenderness

“Tenderness counteracts anger.  No war can stand against it.  Purity appeases and banishes the evil intentions that sometimes creep into the heart of the child of God.”  COL bk.2, 15:III

If we ever face anger in our relationships, here is the antidote:  tenderness.  Here we read that no war, even, can stand against tenderness.  When we are tender, we are expressing a purity that is lost to us when we give in to anger.

A Course in Miracles says that anger is never justified.  But that does not mean that we will never experience anger.  We are still living in this world with feet of clay, and as long as we are finite creatures, I believe that there will be misunderstandings that cause hard feelings.  ACIM also says that forgiveness is the Answer.  And when we forgive, we must not leave ourselves out of the equation.

So here we have it, from two sources combined:  Tenderness and forgiveness will lead us aright.  Tenderness and forgiveness will right the negative pattern that might creep into our relationships.

Sometimes we will need this reminder, because we are still in need of God’s help as we walk this world.  Anger will come, but anger will also go.  And here we have the message from Choose Only Love that will heal our overwrought feelings.  Negativity cannot stand when we listen to God’s solution.

Crystallize Our Love in the World

“If what you think you perceive is uncontrolled anger, tell it also, just as you would with a very angry girl, ‘I love you, you are part of me, you are very beautiful.  I love you as you are, because you are a part of me.’ 

“This exercise is not a banal.  It is the exercise that will crystallize your ability to bring love to the world.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:III)

All of us have expressed anger and hostility on some occasions, often when we are feeling very hurt.  I read this quotation as the reaction of a girl in pain.  She is being told that she is actually a part of the one who speaks to her.  Yes, all of us are One.  We may also have counterparts in the world, soulmates who speak to us in ways that resonate through and through.

We write a contract before we enter this world, and we may write rejection and pain into it.  Why?  We won’t know the “why” of suffering while in this world.  These ultimate questions cannot have an Answer here that we would accept.  But it is in the overcoming of anger and hostility, even when we are in pain, that strengthens us in ways we cannot comprehend.  It is in the overcoming that we grow into our own.

When we overcome our anger, we are primed for the love that has actually enfolded us without our knowing, but only with our acquiescence. 

This love will save us now.  This love will save us each and every day.

We Are Doing This unto Ourselves

            As Jesus says, unfairness and attack are one mistake (T-26.X.3:1), just two aspects intertwined at every point.  We must beware of the temptation to see ourselves unfairly treated, for the secret is this:  We are doing this unto ourselves.  Nothing happens without our permission being granted at some level of our being.  Always we are trying to effect our salvation.  We may be misguided in the choices that we make, but remember that it is our dream we are dreaming.  When we perceive ourselves to be deprived, we are the culprit.  We need only turn to the Christ within, the presence of God within, to set aright again our little world, to give up our sick little games.  Of course, just to turn to the Christ within is the first step.  We must still retrace all our steps and have the ladder toward egoism withdrawn for us, and this the Holy Spirit does well, being the function for which He was created.

            The world’s purpose is not to play sick little games of blame and victimization.  As the Holy Spirit sees the world, its only purpose is to make known to us the presence of our Guests within–the Christ and God Himself, the Son (or Daughter) and the Father (or Mother).  Playing the “blame game” will obscure their presence, and the sparkle that the world could have will grow dim and even dark.  We must not seek to add our purpose to the world, thereby confusing the issue and taking away from its singleness of purpose as viewed by our Teacher, the Holy Spirit.  Instead, let us let Son and Father be shown to us, and know that in this revealing will the purpose of the world be completely fulfilled.

            We are not “special,” different, or unique in that what we are can in any way be better (or less) than our brother.  We will all walk Home together, or none of us, and Jesus assures that all of us will find our way back to God, though the time will be far distant unless we pull together.  Because each needs his brother, the way will be shorter (the time more compacted) if we hold our brother’s hand as we walk.  If we realize this shared destiny fully, we will never wish to be considered more “special” than another.  We will be friends one to another because we have a shared purpose. (T-24.I.6:4)  We will protect one another along the way, aware that our failure is his, and just as clearly, his failure is ours. 

There is a brighter side because the victories belong to both of us as well.  There can be no solitary purpose when we are all joined as One in the eyes of God. Look closely at whatever divides one from another.  Is it not that each of us harbors a secret belief that we are more special, better than the other to whom we have been in relationship?  This is what causes broken bonds, an egotistical desire to be separate in order to preserve one’s specialness.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Increase the Daily Calm

We must honor our brother, for in him God has given a part of Himself for us to love and cherish.  The Christ in us sees our brother truly, in the holiness that is his own; would we allow the egoistic false self to see otherwise?

            Remember that it is much easier to see one’s brother as holy than to see him (or one’s self) as special.  We taught ourselves specialness with much effort, because we wished it to be true. It takes much effort to assimilate a lie, and no effort at all to let the truth be shown to us.  And with this, effortless accomplishment comes to us and we are at rest.

The Attraction of “Sin”

            There is an attraction to “sin” that is not found in what is recognized as merely as a mistake.  The Course says that our way to sin is lit only by “fireflies” that would hurl us over precipices. (T-24.V.4:2)  The attraction to sin exists because in our debased self-image, we still long for specialness.  And specialness carries with it the seeds of destruction and decay.  Be glad that this is true, for the decay is the decay of the ego, and with the ego’s demise goes all our pain and suffering.  With Christ’s vision we know a perfect lack of specialness as we hold our brother’s hand and walk Home together.

            If we can see our brother as holy, we will have come a long way toward seeing ourselves in the same light.  “In him is your assurance God is here, and with you now.” (T-24.VI.1:4) If we see our brother as sinful, it is sure that we perceive ourselves the same.  Do not be variable in private assessments of our brother, for such variability will permeate the whole of the world as we see it.

            I have frequently recognized that I never get angry unless I am stressed, and this is possibly true for most of us.  It is thus very likely that the variability we have been discussing arises out of stress, which is really fear causing us to feel threatened.  If we can so clear our minds that we are calm and at peace, we will not be tempted to think ill of our brother.  It behooves us so to organize our daily lives to maximize the calm and minimize the myriad frustrations.  This we owe to ourselves and to our brother. 

Quiet Answer

Note that while a request to remove anger may be granted immediately, it is more likely to be a slow process. Giving up all our angers requires a complete relinquishment of self-will (in the egoistic sense) to the better way of the Spirit within. And it requires attunement to the Divine at the moment in the heat of anger. Do not fight the sin (error)! That will only make it stronger. Instead, withdraw into one’s heart and mind and seek the solace of God’s solution to the situation that so troubles. Avoid the quick retort; know that this impulse is fueled by fear (stress) and is unworthy of a child of God. If we fall down on the pathway, know that God is ever ready to pick us up and set us aright again. Forgive self for the lapse! It does no good and much harm to chastise one’s self harshly and in the throes of guilt. Ask for divine assistance and it will be forthcoming. Above all, be grateful for the surfacing of anger. It is the only way for the boil to be lanced, the false self to be undone, and the better way available to all of us once again.

If problems assail us one by one, two by two, or more, please know that we are living in error. This is the human condition. Jesus says, though, that we will have freedom when we give over all problems to the one solution—the Holy Spirit. He will impress upon our minds the solution in a quiet answer without fanfare, a quiet answer that leaves no one the loser. Until every problem is given over in this way to a Higher Power, the essentially same “problem” will arise repeatedly in different forms. To keep a problem, moreover, is to make it great, past the hope of accomplishing a solution. God would not have this so for His children. In the Holy Spirit’s sight, though, problems are little and “. . .worth no more than just a tiny sigh before they disappear. . . .” (T-26.II.7:4)

If God’s Son in truth is innocent, then God’s justice would hold nothing against him. When we fail to offer the same justice to our brother by seeing instead that he is not due true justice, that he has done something not worthy of forgiveness, we judge against ourselves as well. Madness, as Jesus says, only seems terrible; in truth it has no power to make anything. (M-17.9:1-2) Justice would say to our brothers, “Choose again. This thing you decry is false and not reality at all.” Then our brother is granted complete justice as an innocent, though mistaken, son or daughter of God. We forgive, though we, strictly speaking, do not need to do so at all because there is nothing to forgive. Illusions need to be simply dispelled, and all will be as if they had never been.

Anger

When we recognize that our minds are one, that the mind that is in one’s brother connects to our own, it is a very short step to eliminate attack, because we recognize that the attack is upon ourselves as well. And eliminating attack will eliminate guilt, the reason that we have been driven mad and into this world of illusion.

This new way of approaching life may not come readily. We first may find our anger rising more easily from the depths because we have been sensitized to the fact that it is there. How can we eliminate it unless we are first made aware of it? As one comes closer to living in the fully spiritual life, the tiny inconveniences of living, the nagging doubts and negative thoughts, the scraps of anger, will seem more burdensome to us than before. That is why saints have historically viewed themselves as the blackest of sinners: They are more conscious of the tiniest of errors. So too will this dynamic occur as we make our way along the spiritual pathway. Do not, therefore, lament the awareness of anger within; open up to feel it and then bid it leave forever. Think you that the Holy Spirit would not grant this request, so in line with God’s will for us?

Giving Up Attack Thoughts

For many years, the most important passages for me to read in all of A Course in Miracles have been the ones that discuss attack and the reasons why this choice is never justified. It is a hard lesson for me to learn, as I have been mired deep into egotistical thinking and also have made simultaneously an attempt to be “good.” Ultimately, though, the lessons that Jesus teaches in the Course prick the conscience and allow all of us to realize when we are being too egotistical and perhaps not as spiritual as we might want to consider ourselves. Only within the last half dozen years of my almost 20 years of studying the Course [Note: This reflection was written in 2002] have I found the truth of the words of Jesus self-evident. My perceptions have changed, and my world as I have perceived it has altered to a happier place. How did this miracle happen? Let’s follow the development of the passages that decry attack and false innocence to see what I have been led to find out.

One of the most obvious statements about the dynamic of attack vs. innocence in all of the Course is the reassurance, “Being wholly without attack, it [love] could not be afraid.” (T-19.IV.A.10:7; the antecedent, “love,” is added) I started using this sentence as a refrain when I realized that my anxiety was not necessary and could be erased with the right frame of mind. Indeed, eventually, many of my anxieties smoothed out as increasingly I attempted to put the words of the Course into practice; I stopped attacking in my mind and in my actions. The results have been, to me, is the clearest possible personal evidence that attacking others (or the wish to do so) is the real cause of fear in any form. The Course also states this idea specifically, “When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe.” (W-p1.68.6:9)

“Safe” suggests a peaceful sense of well-being, and what are grievances but attack?