“It is because you have made him a stranger that you are afraid of him. (T41)”
Affirmation: “made him a stranger”
1 – Sense Fear
When you sense fear of your brother, you have made of him (or her) a stranger. You do not really know the Self that is loving.
2 – Precautions
Do we ever need to protect ourselves against a brother or sister who would harm us? Yes! Of course, there are times in our world when we need to take precautions against harm from another. A Course in Miracles is always practical, and it does not sanction sacrifice of any kind. No sacrifice is ever asked of a child of God. We are talking here of normal times, but we know abnormal ones. In many cases, a soft word will turn aside anger. We have to be careful that we don’t exacerbate bad times in which we find ourselves embroiled. We can escalate a fight, as well as defuse one. And it is in the defusing that we see the other as the Self/Christ which he/she really is. This way of interpreting events does not in any way mean that we put ourselves in jeopardy. If the situation is dangerous, absent yourself from it. This would then be the loving gesture. Sacrifice of one’s best interest (in the interest of the Self, not the egoic self) is never recommended, nor is it called for by ACIM.
3 – Everyday Events
In everyday events, though, we usually feel afraid of our brother when we have reacted in anger or verbal attack. Then we may even wonder if our holy relationship is irreparable. Certainly these thoughts make of our brother a stranger, and make us afraid of what he (or she) may do, even if he may sever the relationship. In extreme cases, this may happen. We must realize another ACIM tenet, though, that no relationship is ever lost to us. Those who have once formed a relationship will meet again, to make of what may have been only a special relationship into a holy one. ACIM does not specify when this meeting will happen, but seems to imply that it may be beyond the veil of death. Eternity is stressed repeatedly in the A Course in Miracles. If we have not righted things with a brother/sister, we are bade to do so at the earliest opportunity. If this “righting” would be unwelcome, we are best to stay out of the picture. We need to refrain from entering the lives of those who do not want us. And this is a strong lesson to learn. We don’t have to be present with another to offer him/her forgiveness of the wrongs that existed in the past. We can offer that forgiveness silently, and it is quite likely that the other will sense what we are doing–that we are offering forgiveness for the wrongs that, in actuality, have not even occurred (for we live in illusions).
4 – Be at Peace
When we are at peace, we do not often get into altercations with others. This is something to remember in times of turmoil. We may be overwrought, and this may be a problem. The brother or sister may be overwrought, and this may be the problem. Ask for calmness to come over the situation, and know that our lives will smooth out. This is a certainty. Our lives smooth out when we listen to the Holy Spirit for advice, for the guidance (without judgment) that we sorely need.
5 – No One a Stranger
Make no brother a stranger, then, if we would know peace.
My I retain my holy relationships, and let not even one fall into a “special” relationship. In so doing, I will make no brother or sister a stranger to myself. And I will not be afraid of any person.
May I know that all who meet are destined to meet again, to make their relationship a holy one. Thank you for this reassurance.
May I have a good day today. Be with me as I seek to remain in peace with my brothers and sisters. Help me to answer their needs, if such I can do. Let me take no situation upon myself to resolve if it is not mine to resolve. Help me not to meddle. But also help me not to judge a brother or sister as a stranger.