Living with Nudges of What to Do

“These last two calls, the call that appears in the form of a sign and the call that comes in the form of a demand, are about specifics in a way that the call that comes as an announcement is not. They represent the remnants of learning from the past, the final breaking of old patterns. They may seem to signal difficult times, but they are times that must be gotten through and lessons that need to be allowed to pass through you.” (ACOL, T2:5.6)

Here Jesus acknowledges to us that we may have some pain in our present and future; he says “difficult times” that “must be gotten through” and “lessons that need to be allowed to pass through you.” But he doesn’t say “suffering”!! This is important. And the acknowledgment here on Jesus’s part is somewhat at odds with the encouragement we got from A Course in Miracles when he said, “You do not have to learn through pain!” In this earlier writing, Jesus is saying that learning through rewards is more lasting than learning through pain. And, of course, he is right. But that doesn’t mean that there will never be any more pain. We are human, after all, and the directions that life takes us can seem at times to be very convoluted.

Calls will take us over the hurdle of the past, the past with all its imaginary egoic challenges. How are we ever to get through life creditably without guidance? How will we really do that? The answer, of course, is that we won’t get through life very well if we don’t listen to guidance. And Jesus is here outlining for us the way in which guidance will come to us, through calls. These calls can be very subtle. And it takes our keenest eye and ear to see and hear them. We are, also, still able to tangle ourselves up—seeing everything as a sign, for example. We can come to some very false conclusions. How do we protect ourselves?

My answer is prayer, a prayer that is the art of thought to which Jesus devotes an entire treatise. In miracle-mindedness, we live in grace always. We walk surely. We know, even when we can’t prove that we know. How many of us have believed something that nobody else thought was true? And were we right? Of course, we may not know for sure, even after years. But if the belief lingers, perhaps we are onto something after all. Revelation is intensely personal, and it cannot be meaningfully shared with anybody else. Nobody else could get inside our brains and see what we saw. And it is the same with all types of calls, and calls, we are seeing, is how guidance comes to us.

Be attuned to your calls today. They may come, at first, as simple nudges to do or say something. Test it out. Don’t put yourself or others in danger, of course, for this would be a false reading of what is coming to us. Genuine calls don’t hurt anybody. And genuine calls ask for the discernment of our heart.

Try it today. What have we got to lose?

Prayer

I do listen to my guidance, especially in the forms of nudges or nightmares. I may not consciously feel that someone or something needs to be avoided, but if my subconscious, which is the Self in me, thinks there is a problem, there is. So I listen, even though I may seem inscrutable to my friends and family.

Thank You for these ways of knowing. Thank You that I have the foresight to heed warnings. There is always more than I consciously know, but the Self has access to things that my personal self does not.

Be with me today as I settle down and heed nudges.

Amen.

Recognizing a Calling

“Why would we begin “A Treatise on Unity” by talking of treasure? To pave the way for talking of calling. What is it in you that recognizes talents that lie fully realized within? The practical mind is not the source of such imagination. The practical mind makes of imagination a fantasy. It is the heart that sees with true imagination and the heart that speaks to you in terms that are consistent with the idea you currently hold of hearing a call or having a calling.” (ACOL, T2:2.1)

Most of us thinking of this passage will have had times in our lives when we felt a calling. The calling may have played itself out with or without our cooperation. And then another calling very likely took its place. Often a calling can seem like Jonah and the whale, and we go along reluctantly. But often we do go along, for our anxieties peak and we feel vulnerable emotionally if we don’t answer the call that has become imbedded in our heart.

This scenario becomes all the more real when we realize that here in A Course of Love we are encouraged to listen to our heart, to let our heart inform our mind, and with heart and mind in union, we are ready to allow the inner Christ Self to take over our personalities. This is where we are heading, and when we have reached this place of serene contentment, we will have Awakened. And a calling can play a big part in the decisions that we make that will hurry the process of Awakening along.

Think over our lives, when we felt callings that we answered, and, maybe, just maybe, when we turned aside from callings to our own will, the will of the separated self who knew no better than to turn away. It is for us to hope that the callings that come to us are greatly supported by our environment, that we don’t engage in endless battles with our egoic self about whether or not to answer. The best answer is always to go forward with great hope and no little encouragement from the God Who watches over us all. And this God is not an external Force, but the real part of ourselves that has been covered over for eons. Now this God will take us by the hand and lead us through the labyrinth of best action to a culmination that shows us—and others—that we have answered the call. And we will have an innocent satisfaction is having answered each and every call. Our heart will have guided us, even when our personal will was weak.

Callings are treasures indeed, as this Treatise tells us. We are blessed to have a mission in life, maybe several missions over the years of our lives. There is perhaps no greater joy in life than to walk a pathway that has been laid out before us through the promptings of a call. And we will know when we have fulfilled that inner mission. And we will thank our God for taking us this far, for keeping us true to the promises that He led us to make in the fulfillment of a call.

If we turn aside from a call, we will regret it deeply. It is for this reason that great discernment is needed. Is the call a fantasy only? Could God possibly be asking this of us? Are we simply deluding ourselves? Asked over time, the Answer to such questions will become evident. We are not given callings that are not within our power to effect. God’s plans for us are uniquely suited for our deeper psyche. For the Self Who is One with the All. And when we have answered “yes,” if will do what He asks, we will feel a gentle reassurance, a reassurance that dismisses the anxiety of refusal immediately. Then we will have our reassurance that the mission we are on is God-directed.

Prayer

I ask You for Your direction today. I ask for particular guidance this day to know the right turn to make. I don’t want to imagine what I want, and then decide that it is a God-given Answer. I want to be sure that I am discerning the will of the Christ-Self correctly.

I am mystified today in knowing where to go and what to do. Of course, I have my own leanings, but if these are just pipe dreams, please set me straight. Help me to following callings that come from the heart only. When the heart is the center of my Self, I know that following calls from the heart will work out well.

Thank You.

Amen.