“Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. It offers you nothing. When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. This need not be. (T63)”
Affirmation: “My mind can rise above fatigue and heal.”
1 – Voluntary!
“Voluntary dis-spiriting.” Of course! This is what Jesus has been trying to tell us in these several passages with a similar theme. Elsewhere he indicates that the disspirited are not helpful to him, and we need to give up this emotion. Now we learn that it is voluntary. We can choose to leave this depressed spirit behind.
2 – Blame the Ego
Jesus places the blame for our depression solely on the temptations of the ego. Elsewhere he believes that we are strong enough to leave these temptations behind. Of course, we do not do it alone ever, and we do not have to feel that we are alone in this trial. The Holy Spirit will guide us if we let Him into our lives, if we turn to him often.
3 – Don’t Withdraw
Elsewhere Jesus also counsels in the Course that we not withdraw from the world in our low moments. We will make more progress if we stay engaged. The only exception might be the need to take control of ourselves in a weak moment, but even this is a momentary withdrawal. And even the thought of taking control of ourselves is a little misleading. We are never alone. This cannot be said often enough. We need only ask for help, and it is there for us. Life then gets a whole lot better.
4 – Remedies
If going through the trial of depressed spirits, there are helpful changes that can be made, small helpful changes that make a big difference. (These are personal suggestions, not from ACIM.) Getting out and about among people, early in the day, is a great way to start the morning. We do know, from experiencing low spirits, that the morning hours are the most problematic. Just putting one’s self in a position of having to talk to people will turn aside the dark inner thoughts that lower one’s affect. A journal is a helpful concept, and some people have found writing early in the morning to be helpful. I personally don’t follow this advice, as writing early tends to raise my anxiety level, something that I don’t welcome when facing a long day. So some experimentation with any advice is always a welcome choice.
5 – We Are Never Alone
We can overcome depression, whether with the help of pills or without. There are ways that we can drop the offending thoughts from our minds. Ask for guidance in this matter, knowing that we are never alone. This fact of knowing that we are never alone is one of the greatest unsung blessings of A Course in Miracles.
May I just give up feeling low, feeling disspirited. There is no need to feel this emotion when the Course tells us that we can feel pure joy and limitless release.
Be with me as I resolve to drop disspirited feeling from my range of emotions. I know that You will help me, because you have promised this to me.