Tag Archives: distress

Trials

“Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.  In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, ‘My brother, choose again.’  (T666)”

 

Affirmation:  “Trials are but lessons, presented once again.”

Reflections:

1 – A Passage for Times of Pain

This passage, beginning “Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again,” is to be remembered in times of pain, times of suffering (if the pain lead to that).  All of us will know weaker times as well as stronger, and if we recognize that we are bearing a trial that is meant to allow us, this time, a better choice, we will realize that we are learning through our pathway in this world.

2 – All Have Trials

All of us have trials.  Nobody escapes.  And there is a reason for this.

3 – Choose Again

We need the opportunity to choose again.  Somewhere, somehow, we made a faulty decision, and it brought pain to us.  Now we choose again, much as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford walked another way when A Course in Miracles came to them.

4 – Class Reunions

I have often thought of the happy face that we put on at high school and college reunions.  And we know that it is a facade.  All of us have had pain, and most have had suffering.  We do not always have to hide these truths.  We are more human by having experienced the human condition, and we are more real when we, if the time is right, share this truth with our companions.

5 – Christ Is Present

And Christ is there to heal us.  We have the option to “choose again,” and we can seek the guidance that will allow us to know how to choose again.  We will come to know where we erred in the past, when a similar situation arose, and we will be led to make the better choice now.

6 – Walk in Greater Light

No greater blessing can we have than to go ahead in greater light along the pathway that this lifetime would lead us upon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am at this moment in a small “trial.”  Help me to relinquish the upset in the right way, and to go on to have a good day.  Previously I have held onto my upset for the major part of a day, but now, after an hour, I would drop the upset, assuring my inner Self that the personal self has learned the lesson, and that I am choosing again.

May today be bright and cheery.  May I walk ahead with patience and forebearance, sure that my trials will melt away in the sun.

Thank You.  I will choose again.  And now.

Amen.

Distress that Rests on Error

“If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack.  But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help.  Forgiveness is the only sane response.  It keeps your rights from being sacrificed. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “I forgive distress that rests on error.”

Reflections:

1 – Distress and Error

The most memorable part of this passage is the phrase, “distress that rests on error.”  If this phrase is remembered, we will have a ready remark to call to mind if arguments happen in our environment.  We will then be more willing to take a timeout, and to begin the process of forgiving the lamentable encounter.

2 – Memorize the Quotation

I have memorized this brief quotation, to remember when I am being tested by something in my current environment.  It gives so precisely the reason that forgiveness will come easily:  the distress [that I see in another] . . .rests on error.  Or it might even be my own distress (though I personally use it in contact with a significant other).  We know that forgiveness has a solid foundation when we know that our loved ones are just making mistakes.  And, of course, so are we.  We do not feel that they have “sinned,” and that this sin does not deserve forgiveness.  Actually, if we entertain such a thought we are also saying that we too are sinning, and that we too do not deserve forgiveness.  This flies in the face of A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and the Bible–not to mention virtually all spiritual literature from any religious tradition.

3 – Is Pardon Always Justified?

This passage notes that pardon is fully justified.  This, regardless of how many times we reread the Course, may still be a sticking point.  Yet the bottom line is the dream, the “maya.”  Our brother has merely made errors, mistakes, and he, like us, deserves forgiveness for the poorest choices.  He has not “sinned” in eternity, and there is no time (ACIM tenets).

4 – Forgiveness (Pardon)

“Forgiveness is the only sane response.”  Of course!  We need the sanity of the Course, because our brother’s poorest choices have come out of insanity.  No one will find insanity hard to forgive, though we might wish in vain that it had never harmed us.  And actually, we are not harmed, regardless of what has happened in our lives.  The real Self remains pristine (paraphrased from A Course of Love).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not take offense at anything today.  I would, in a secular way, “consider the source,” and understand that there is some reason for my friend’s objectionable behavior.  Then I would forgive–as You would have us do, knowing that actually all are innocent, all are doing the best that they can, and so there is nothing to forgive in reality.

I would remember that what I see is my dream, my illusion, my maya.  I would not attempt to be a part of someone’s else dream, for I know that this is faulty thinking.  Help me to turn to You today if something happens that I immediately resent.  Resentment only hurts myself, and perhaps the other, if I act out my frustration.  Be with all my loved ones, and be with those whom I reach in this blog.  All of us need to know that You are there for us, all the time.  Thank You for Your felt presence.

Amen.

Trials

“Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.  In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, ‘My brother, choose again.’  (T666)”

Affirmation:  “Choose again.”

Reflections:

1 – Remember when in Pain

This passage, beginning “Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again,” is to be remembered in times of pain, times of suffering (if the pain lead to that).  All of us will know weaker times as well as stronger, and if we recognize that we are bearing a trial that is meant to allow us, this time, a better choice, we will realize that we are learning through our pathway in this world.

2 – Choose Again

And Christ is there to heal us.  We have the option to “choose again,” and we can seek the guidance that will allow us to know how to choose again.  We will come to know where we erred in the past, when a similar situation arose, and we will be led to make the better choice now.

3 – Trials May Last for Awhile

Of course, in this world the trials may seem to last for a very long time, years even–though we are praying diligently and seeking to learn the lesson that we believe is being presented.  Remember that God’s time is not ours.  The idea that time does not exist is an ACIM tenet.  But in this world, time does exist, and our timetables and our expectations for them sometimes collide.  We do well to become accepting of the trials in which we find ourselves.  Of course, this is easier said than done, but God (and His Guide, the Holy Spirit) will help us to rise above the troubles, the trials, that afflict us.

4 – Things Denied Us = for Our Own Good

Look back now on a trial that presented itself earlier in your life.  Cannot we often see that the things denied us were for our own good?  We would do well to welcome trials as another chance to choose (as the Text says).  We do not have to lie down in the dust and resign ourselves to misery.  That is not what is meant.  We are meant to be happy, even in the face of temptations and trials.  Happiness is a worthy goal, and one of the easiest ways to reach God.  If we are miserable, we will frequently try to blame God for our plight.  And this, we know inwardly, is not accurate.  We make our own decisions on some level (though maybe not the personal self, but the Self).

5 – In Greater Light after Trial Is Over

No greater blessing can we have than to go ahead in greater light along the pathway that this lifetime would lead us upon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not rebel against the trials that come my way, neither the ones that have passed, the ones I am experiencing now, or the ones that will come in the future.  Jesus says that in this world we will not be without limitations, but that he has overcome the world–and we can also.  May You guide me today to get the lesson of any current trial past me.  May I choose again, a better choice this time, knowing that somewhere in the past I did not make the best choice.  I now have, from You, another chance.

Be with me in serenity today.  I would not entertain thoughts of bad things, things that I fear.  To fear that which I do not want is to give it power over me.  I would follow Your will today, as I experience it through the guidance of Your Guide, the Holy Spirit.  May I not let conflict come into a day that I am reserving for You.  May I stay true to this promise, made now to You.

Amen.

Distress Rests on Error

“If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack.  But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help.  Forgiveness is the only sane response.  It keeps your rights from being sacrificed. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “Distress rests on error.”

Reflections:

1 – Distress Rests on Error

The most memorable part of this passage is the phrase, “distress that rests on error.”  If this phrase is remembered, we will have a ready remark to call to mind if arguments happen in our environment.  We will then be more willing to take a timeout, and to begin the process of forgiving the lamentable encounter.

2 – Pardon Is Fully Justified

This passage notes that pardon is fully justified.  This, regardless of how many times we reread the Course, may still be a sticking point.  Yet the bottom line is the dream, the “maya.”  Our brother has merely made errors, mistakes, and he, like us, deserves forgiveness for the poorest choices.  We are said to have “sinned” in time, but we live in eternity, where we are innocent (ACIM tenets).  If this is not fully comprehended, it is our failure yet to adopt for ourselves the most basic of the tenets of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Forgive Insanity

“Forgiveness is the only sane response.”  Of course!  We need the sanity of the Course, because our brother’s poorest choices have come out of insanity.  No one will find insanity hard to forgive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest in the thought that much that I observe that is negative is because my brother and sister are in distress.  And not only in distress, but actually living in an illusory world that is lost in insanity.  We who desire to share salvation need only to recognize that we and they are in pain.  A person who is insane is said to have diminished responsibility, and this characterization is true for the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in this world.  Nobody has to be locked up to be insane, in the interpretation of ACIM.

Be with me when I see insanity and fail to recognize the distress that prompted the poor behavior.  And may I forgive myself for my poor behavior over my lifetime.  May we all forgive not only our brothers and sisters, but also ourselves.

You have not condemned me when in eternity I have made mistakes.  Help me not to condemn myself.  May I just pick myself up and try to be a little kinder the next day.

Amen.