Tag Archives: grievances

Jesus: “This Work Is a Love Letter”

“The secret of this world lies not in what can be learned, but that love, and only love, is what it evokes.

“This work is a love letter.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 7:I

When we project love from within, then we see love without.  Our projections create our perceptions.  While we think negatively, this world does not seem to evoke love.  But Jesus, who channeled these words, sees with the eyes of love, and thus he sees in the world something infinitely better than we could ever imagine.

His words to us, this “work,” is thus a love letter to us.  How grand!  This message can and will evoke love in our heart, as surely as Jesus’ heart is filled with love.

May we lay aside all resentments, antagonisms, grievances today—right now.  These feelings are not worthy of God.  Ask Him to fill our mind and heart only with what is worthy of Him.

And what is worthy of Him is always and only seeking to live love.

Forgive by Overlooking “Faults” in Our Brothers & Sisters

            Our brother sees “sin” in himself.  If we see sin in him also, we but reinforce an untruth, not only in him but in ourselves.  Surely it is that we see in others what we have first seen in ourselves; that is the law of projection, and, if we can believe the A Course in Miracles, projection makes perception.

            Does that mean we must deny the evidence of our eyes, and proclaim good where there seems to be only wrong?  No!  That would be a further deception, and it is the truth that we seek. We must acknowledge the wrong that we see, but recognize that, like all sights our physical eyes show us, we are seeing something unreal–a dream, if you will.  However badly our brother seems to treat us, this still is true.  It is our dream, showing us something that we don’t want to see, but only so that we can learn from it.  We are bade not to dwell on this unreality, thereby making it seem real to us, and making it harder simply to overlook and thereby forgive. (T-9.IV.4:4-5)

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

What Is My Calling? Part 2, by Ivor Sowton

The powerful theme of following your calling is explored brilliantly by Jesus throughout the Treatise on the Nature of Unity and its Recognition in A Course of Love (ACOL).

In Chapter 5 of this Treatise Jesus outlines three types of calling from our true Self within. The first type of true calling is very broad–all-inclusive even. “This is an all-encompassing call and is not about specifics.” (5.3) “This type of calling comes as a light shone into the darkness and is revelatory in nature.” (5.1)

This first over-arching calling is our mission in life, I think. Many of you may have heard John Astin’s beautiful song “Love Serve and Remember” (Remembrance, Golden Dawn Productions, 1991). The song opens “Why Have We Come? Why Have We Come? –To Love, Serve and Remember.” That is, our main mission–one might even say our only real mission–is to love in a divine way, To serve the Divine in others, and through that service to remember our unity with all in God.

Here’s Jesus himself with one of the many places in both ACIM and ACOL where the mighty inspiration of the message is matched by the beauty of the language he uses:

“You who have been given the Peace of God, go in Peace. Spread peace throughout the land. Go out in peace and love and service to all. For in this going out you come home and bring with you all the brothers and sisters you have brought to peace. Go in peace to love and serve with all your heart. Thus we are one heart, one mind, one unity. Thus we are one in a relationship of love and peace that is our eternal home.” (1st Treatise, 10.15).

Now of course that sounds like a HUGE calling! It can bring up some trepidation!

I imagine a Saint Francis or a Mother Teresa being able to fulfill a mission like that, but for the rest of us this might be a very high bar! So I think the challenge implicit here is to start where we actually are (or believe ourselves to be!), and then try to be generally uplifted by this and the many other beautiful exhortations Jesus gives us in all of his authentic channelings, if I can use that term. This general sense of uplifting would tend to bless and sanctify every area of our lives: our relationships, our work, our hobbies, our health–everything.

As a therapist I was trained to look out for megalomania, delusions of grandeur, etc.–you know, that type of obviously insane self-assessment that has a grossly dysfunctional person believing that they are the actual historical Jesus Christ, for example. As a transpersonal therapist, (that branch that recognizes Divinity as a potential in humanity) I am trained to look for and foster ways in which ordinary humans like all of us are can develop more and more capacity to respond to big spiritual callings in healthy, sustainable ways.

And so Jesus also talks about two other, more specific types of calling that can act as interim steps in the application or manifestation of that big general calling he begins with.

The second type of calling would be like a specific recommendation for a needed change. For example, when we are praying for guidance around career direction and suddenly feel guided from deep within. Kind of a “do this!” announcement from a place within much deeper and much more trustworthy than our “normal” ego state. Jesus also likens this type of calling to a road sign directing us to a specific desired location, like “go this way toward that place!”

This is so important for us, isn’t it? I mean, each of us in our heart of hearts is yearning for divine love–at least that’s my opinion. We need to feel unconditionally loved just as we are, and we also feel so much better when we are extending that same unconditional love to others. But how to actually work with stuck places in our lives that seem so far away from that kind of ideal love at present! So we need specific, guided, directional steps we can take to bring more of that great love into our awareness as we grow.

That willingness to be guided seems so key here. Thus all the great spiritual teachings I am aware of counsel sincere prayer for guidance coupled with a teacher or a teaching tradition that can give us checks and balances on our progress, so to speak. So, for instance, if I pray desperately for guidance on some crisis in my life, I might never get mentally and emotionally quiet enough inside to hear “the still, small Voice within.” Instead I might go off half-cocked, as the saying goes, latching on to some hair-brained scheme straight from my ego, only to find myself worse off than ever! So here is where the true teachings could give us a reality check, buying us time to settle down more, to “offer it up” more, to empty out more of the attachment and aversion of specialness. Then comes that true calling, that signpost from the True Self within, which has finally been given a chance to “get through.”

Which leads us to the third calling that Jesus discusses in chapter five of the Second Treatise: “the demand.” This kind of calling is very specific, like “I really need to change my attitude toward this person!” Jesus says here that this type of calling is associated with the final breaking of old ego patterns so that our Tue Self can finally take charge.

This type of calling is like boot camp spirituality–where the rubber meets the road in our spiritual growth. In St. Theresa of Liseau’s “little way” of approaching God she talks about what we in ACIM lingo would call grievances; how overcoming our affinity for finding fault will bring us closer and closer to God. She writes of being stuck behind an elderly nun in daily chapel at her convent who was constantly shifting her chair, scape, squeak, scape, all service long, day after day, distracting Theresa to no end. Forgiving and ultimately blessing this grievance ended up bringing Theresa such a divine sense of peace and joy! So her initial awareness that she was being judgmental was her calling of demand to work on her attitude–the little way.

Now of course numerous commentators have noted that that “little way”of St. Theresa”s is actually not little at all! Instead it feels more like heavy-lifting–spiritual boot camp.

So as always Jesus is gentle and encouraging to us here in dealing with this type of calling also. He says we might be “called to account” by others for some attitude or behavior of ours, and also that we might also be directed to call others to account for theirs. In both cases the goal is that final unlearning of old ego patterns of special love and special hate so that they can fall away for good, leaving us in that glorious Christ consciousness that is our natural and eternal home. Looked at in that light, how can we call any such demand anything but a blessing–at least in the long run! And in the meantime, as that simultaneous unlearning of the old and holy learning of the New takes place, we are counseled to be as kind and loving toward ourselves and everyone else as possible.

In summary, here is Jesus speaking to us personally in the last chapter of the Second Treatise of ACOL, The Final Call:

Call upon your relationship with me to aid you, as I call upon you to assist me in calling all of our brothers and sisters to their return to Unity.

Listen for my voice as I guide you to your purpose here
and linger with you in this time to end all time.

When I Let All My Grievances Go I Will Know I Am Perfectly Safe

monet - water lily pond with bridge1 – Anxieties

I have long been prone to anxiety, really all of my life. Of course, not feeling “safe,” in that I am secure in my relationships with others, has followed. So I have long appreciated the following passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles:

“Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (W-68)”

2 – Safety

If I let all my grievances go, would I be safe, feel safe? This means resentments of all types, including a lack of forgiveness for apparent wrongs done to me by others in the past. If I let all this baggage go, would I be free of anxiety? I have found that there is some difference in my anxiety level when I am feeling perfectly safe. I do, in fact, feel anxiety-free at such times. I am calm and easy and happy to be a part of this world. I feel loving.

3 – Love

I think that the fact of feeling loving in the most salient point. One does not hold grievances or any resentment as such times. I remember particularly a Christmas Eve with my family. I was very, very peaceful. Yet what happened the next morning? I had an anxiety attack while trying to lie peacefully in bed before time to get up.

4 – Ego-Mind

Why would anxiety have attacked me so viciously at such a time? I think that my mind, my ego-mind, was trying to tell me that I couldn’t be rid of the ego that easily—that it would reassert itself and that I would not be rid of it.

5 – Illusions

Of course, this is an illusion, but illusions seem a lot like the real world when in the grip of them. So I think that the ego is part of the anxiety problem. In my early-morning anxiety attack, I obsessed about a workshop that I was to direct a month after Christmas. I was on the job, fearful that I would not perform well enough. I would fail, even about some minor matter that I had in mind. So obviously the ego was at stake in this fantasy, this illusory future. It is important to note that the anxiety attack did not prompt me to do anything about the particular matter that I had fantasized about when I got back to work in early January. I knew, by then, that the anxiety had been a straw man, an illusion in my attempt to do everything in my job perfectly.

6 – Self

“You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. (W-68)”

Certainly! This passage is accurate. My Self, as described in both ACIM and A Course of Love, knows no grievances. This Self, the inner Christ, has long ago let all such negativity recede. And I must listen to this inner Christ. I must let go of the negativity of holding things against other people.

7 – Personal Experience

I do not think that I am particularly prone to grievances or resentments. I found out, long ago, that I lived better, I was happier, when I did not retain obsessions about the past, a past that had previously upset me. If others have treated me badly, that is their problem. For some reason, I needed to experience their bad actions, but that is over now. I don’t have to rehash it. I don’t have to re-hurt myself, like a phonograph record going around and around on the turntable.

8 – Grievances

“It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember. (W-68)”

We need to remember who we are, and the only way that we can remember the inner Self/Christ is to be sure that grievances do not find a place in our hearts. Of course, that is not the whole change that needs to occur. We need also to loosen the ego’s grip upon us, which means that we will not lapse into egotistical states of mind. In my case, that means that I need not to “plan the workshop” in an egoistic state of mind. As if my whole reputation depended upon it. Yes, all of us fall into such perplexities often, and we stay in those perplexities far longer than we ought.

9 – Guilt

I would not suffer guilt, because I have learned that this is what has made all of us insane. Guilt is insanity, as ACIM says. And the loosening of the bonds of guilt on our frantic minds will pave the road for the coming of Christ-consciousness, or Awakening. There are things that we can do to ready ourselves, though the timing is God’s own.

Affirmation: “I would be safe today, because I know that I walk free of grievances.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be perfectly safe today, and for this to be true, I need to let all regrets about the past fall away. Regrets, as such, are not grievances, but they are closely akin. And I would feel perfectly safe, perfectly.

Help me to sense Your presence throughout the day, as I am sensing right now. You are my lodestone, my center in a world that can be difficult—but does not have to be. This world can be Heaven on earth, and such I propose for it to be in my life.

Help this to come true.

Amen.

When I Have Let Grievances Go, I Will Know that I Am Perfectly Safe

camille-monet-and-her-son-jean-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-renoir-large“I am safe and nothing that I do or do not do will threaten my safety. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.8)”

Affirmation: “I cannot threaten my safety today.”

Reflections:

1 – Grievances and Safety

This passage for today is an echo of a significant passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. ACIM say that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. But here in A Course of Love, we are not even warned about grievances (but maybe because we are presumed already to have let grievances go). Nothing that we do or do not do can threaten our safety. We will in a safe universe.

2 – Peace and Quiet

Of course, that does not mean that the body will never feel pain. But our Self will never be hurt. Our core Self is always calm and at peace, quiet. The inner assurance that we can derive from believing this blessing is overwhelming. We can likewise allow pain, if it comes, but we ourselves have the wherewithal not to turn that pain into suffering. We are safe.

3 – Safety and Security

Safety and security are never unsought in this world. But when we are caught by the ego, we cannot know safety and security on a constant basis, because the ego is constantly being undone. Our flights of joy turn to chaos and tears.

4 – Our Only Security = God

In this world, we will live in a much more stable environment when we give up seeking security. Our only security is God, and He has always been there for us, though we have not always known this. If we seek to prepare for our material needs, we may find ourselves shaken, for sometimes we seem to have needs that go unmet. This is the illusory “reality” of this world. Yet God knows our needs, and our real needs are met. Our wants are not always met, and perhaps our Christ inner Self knows that it would not be good for us to have all of our wants met. We get in our heads some very strange wants.

5 – Needs and Wants

Be willing to wait on God’s timing for the satisfaction of wants. First may be a desire for safety, and this is a need that is met, even when we don’t see it that way. The needs are often inscrutable, for we so often confuse needs and wants. What God gives to us may be superior to what we earlier wanted. Let us trust Him enough to know what is best for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have clung to Your promise that when I let all grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe. I feel the truth of that promise just this moment. Thank You.

You know that we need safety and security in this world, and the only real security is found in You. Even when bad things happen (and they do in this world), I can know that my Self is not hurt. The inner Christ Self is never harmed, and that is truly the only self that we are. Our egoic personal self often knows flights of joy followed by the depths of despair, because the ego is a false part of belief about ourselves that is constantly being undone. I would let the ego go today. I would make that a priority, though I realize that I may pray this prayer tomorrow also. The ego dies hard. But it does die, and my glimpses of Awakening have shown me that.

Thank You.

Amen.

Blame

Towpath_Bridge - hass“All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself, ‘I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.’ You need not spend any more time with blame than this and I offer you no word of sentiment to replace it. I ask you simply to take the thought of it from your mind as quickly as it enters. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid blame today.”

Reflections:

1 – Blame and Guilt

It is easy for the ego to get one tripped up by encouraging the placing of blame on others and on ourselves. We need to do neither. We are all innocent, as A Course in Miracles so eloquently states. Blame is to my mind a first cousin to guilt, and it is guilt that has driven us mad (from ACIM). We need to keep our relationships with others as cordial as possible, and holding grievances would mean that this is impossible. We are not safe when we hold grievances, because we point a finger at another, but three fingers are pointing back at us. And grievances and blame are akin.

2 – Benign Emotions

Why would we harbor ill will if we could harbor more benign emotions? And we can harbor more benign emotions. We get ourselves all tangled up, criticizing (even in our minds) the words or actions of another. We don’t make friends that way; we alienate people. There is no way that we can blame without suffering repercussions that are bad.

3 – Blaming Ourselves

We often blame ourselves when we think that we have fallen short of our ideal behavior. And this is just as bad as blaming others for their shortcomings. We are innocent! And that is enough to know. We don’t have to chastise ourselves that we are falling short. We are enough.

4 – Let Grievances Go and Be Safe

The ego trap of blame need trouble us no further when we remember from the Workbook of ACIM that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. Without that knowledge, we invite anxiety, and blaming ourselves and others is a prime way that anxiety (and fear) can enter our lives.

5 – Being Good

We are good people, even when we don’t act in a good way. Our inner Christ Self knows no sin, and even our personal self knows only mistakes—not sins. And we would correct mistakes as soon as possible. Then there is no reason to blame ourselves for falling short of what we want to be. We can pick ourselves up and simply try again—no harm done, for we live in an illusory world in which God knows that his children are innocent. If the blame seems to invite it, we can ask for forgiveness of others and ourselves. God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (from ACIM). God just loves, and it would behoove us to follow the Almighty in this laudable task for loving only.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will not allow myself to fall into the temptation of blaming either myself or another for perceived shortcomings. I know that this is an egoic trap, and that blaming will only bring on the more sinister guilt.

Help me to keep to this vow. Help me to avoid blaming if things don’t go to suit me. The day is long and there is time for much to go wrong. But I can start the day over again at any time, and I would do so if I step amiss.

Be with me for a good day. Always be with me.

Amen.

Grievances

“A grievance is something you have chosen for yourself, a piece of a relationship separated off and held in contempt and righteousness.  You are unaware that you choose this form of withholding, sometimes dozens or even hundreds of times a day.  (A Course of Love, 7.11)”

Affirmation:  “May my grievances disappear in the light today.”


Reflections:

1 – We Are Guilty of Grievances

We do still hold grievances against our brothers and sisters.  And we do not always recognize this.

2 – When Not Angry

Surely we do recognize our grievances when we are angry, and when anger leads to attack.  But this outcome is not always present, and with milder reactions, we may not even recognize that at the heart of our discontent is a persistent grievance.  We hold things against others, and they against us, and, all in all, this makes for a mess.

3 – When Mood Drops

We would not live such constricted lives today.  We need to ask for help all through the day, anytime that our mood drops.  It is very likely that the depressed feeling is because we are holding something against somebody, even against ourselves.  Our guilt has taken over in this cases.  And even when the guilt is not evident, it is there.

4 – Ask for Help

We would not live this way.  Ask God for help, ask your Self for help, for the Christ within can solve all such interpersonal problems.  We do not ever need to hold tightly to grievances.  To do so is to invite the strength of the disreputable ego to return.

And we would not have that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes feel down when it is not apparent to me why this is so.  Maybe it is, as today’s passage indicates, because I am unconsciously holding a grievance against someone.  Even when I am not angry.  This unconscious “down” feeling is evidence that I am withholding love from someone, perhaps even myself, and perhaps my significant others.  May I turn aside from this poor behavior.  May I love with a depth that I have never experienced before.

I would invite loving feelings only today.  I would pray for help to You in solving any problems that arise, wait in patience for Your answer (which will not be long in coming), and then walk a green earth again.

I long for the depth of loving feeling that only You give me.  Be with me today as I sense Your felt Presence.

Amen.

Enjoying Comfort in Living

ACIM Workbook Lesson 90 – for Saturday, March 31, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

Selected Passage:

“The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle.  And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance, and my welcome of the miracle that takes its place.  (WB155)”

Reflections:

This lesson builds on the one for yesterday.  Yes, all problems are forms of grievances, or we would not perceive them as problems at all.  Our problems can be solved, and solved this very day.  Sometimes the best solution is internal, and no external matter has to change at all for the blessing to come down upon us.

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

Selected Passage:

“I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence.  That is because I do not yet realize that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time.  The Holy Spirit will teach me this, if I will let Him.  And I will understand it is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already.  (WB155)”

Reflections:

This passage may sound utopian, too unrealistic to be believed.  But there are many things in ACIM that sound too good to be true.  Be patient a bit, and study, and see how the Holy Spirit brings the happy dreams (an ACIM tenet).  We think our problems are real, but we live in illusion, and therefore no problem at all is truly “real.”  A careful study of the passage selected for today will prove to be comforting in the extreme.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a comforting day today, and to have this comforting day, all that is needed is to turn to You.  You will replace my grievances with the forgiveness that I need to give all, and then this becomes the miracle that I need.  I need Your miracles, and I thank You for so generously offering them to me.

Be with us today as we go about our world.  I know that the real world is something different from the illusions that I look upon.  I would clear my mind and spirit of illusions, and let my heart take over to provide solutions to all that I view as problems.  Be with me today, in Your comfort.

Amen.

Ask for a Miracle Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson 89 – for Friday, March 30, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am entitled to miracles.”

Selected Passage:

“I am entitled to miracles because I am under no laws but God’s.  His laws release me from grievances, and replace them with miracles.

    “. . .Let me not hold a grievance against you, [name], but offer
    you the miracles that belongs to you instead.
    See truly, this offers me a miracle.  (WB154)”

Reflections:

Ask for a miracle today.  This is not presumptuous.  Jesus knows when we are ready, because miracles comes through him to us.  We must not, though, try to make a given miracle happen on our own.  Consciously selected miracles can be misguided (a Text tenet).  But ask a Higher Power for what we need, and all is well.  And well this very day.  If a given situation does not change in the physical world, perhaps the real miracle is internal, in the mind and spirit.

Affirmation:  “Let miracles replace all grievances.”

Selected Passage:

“I want all of Heaven and only Heaven, as God wills me to have.

    “. . .Beyond this is the miracle by which my grievances are
    replaced.  (WB154)”

Reflections:

We learn today that we do not have to struggle to give up grievances.  A miracle will do the task for us!  What a blessing!  And what joy awaits on the other side of the miracle.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Sometimes we may feel that the only thing that will help us is a miracle.  This feeling is likely to come over us at times of great stress.

Help me to be reassured that You are always there.  I know that Your felt presence dispels anxiety immediately.  May I know this today.  May the memory of Your many blessings give me the reassurance that more blessings will follow.  And that includes anything and everything that, just now, is raising my anxiety level.

I would not hold grievances of any kind.  I would know that under Your laws, miracles are natural.  And I would ask for a miracle today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Salvation = A Decision Made Already

ACIM Workbook Lesson 88 – for Thursday, March 29, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “The light has come.”

Selected Passage:

“Salvation is a decision made already.  Attack and grievances are not there to choose.  That is why I choose between truth and illusion; between what is there and what is not.  (WB153)”

Reflections:

This is the underpinning of ACIM.  We know that we always choose between illusions and the truth.  Not sometimes–but always.  We are living an illusory world, not knowing that salvation is ours already.  When the real world has dawned on our sight, we will not be able to believe how wrong we were for so long, why we chose such insanity.  Let us drop the insanity today.  We can.

Affirmation:  “I am under no laws but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“Here is the perfect statement of my freedom.  I am under no laws but God’s.  I am constantly tempted to make up other laws and give them power over me.  I suffer only because of my belief in them.  They have no real effect on me at all.  I am perfectly free of the effects of all laws save God’s.  And His are the laws of freedom.  (WB153)”

Reflections:

God’s laws are freedom.  And so often in the past we have not believed this.  We have chosen a way of looking at God that made us think that He would not accept us because of our manifold “sins.”  Now we learn in ACIM that we are innocent in our Self, and that we have only made correctable mistakes.  ACIM says that God does not forgive because He has never condemned.   Now it is up to us to accept this truth,  and to forgive ourselves.  Only then will be ready to reach out to others with pardon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind attack and grievances.  I know that in order to do this, I must be at peace in my daily life.  May I be at peace today.

Your salvation for me is all that I really need.  I do know this.  I will listen to my heart today, thank You for my many blessings, and see no more illusions or fantasies.  Your Way is what I choose.

Be with me through the day as I seek not to sabotage myself.  I truly am my own worst enemy.  Help me to do the things that I know will help my brothers and sisters, and myself, and to leave behind the attack and grievances that are so detrimental to everyone.

Thank You for guiding me to feel Your presence.  That is surely my greatest blessing.

Amen.

How to Avoid Being Vulnerable

ACIM Workbook Lesson 86 – for Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Affirmation:  “Only God’s plan for salvation will work.  (WB151)”

Selected Passage:

 

“It is senseless for me to search wildly about for salvation.  I have seen it in many people and in many things, but when I reached for it, it was not there.  I was mistaken about where it is.  Only God’s plan for salvation will work.  (WB151)”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles says that there are many other curricula, and that they only save time.  This is the main function of any curriculum leading toward salvation.  But Jesus stresses that our way is ACIM, and it would be foolish for us to try a different way when this one is intended for us.  By “us,” Jesus is talking about students/teachers of ACIM.

Affirmation:  “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.  (WB151)”

Selected Passage:

“Holding grievances is an attempt top prove that God’s plan for salvation will not work.  Yet only His plan will work.  By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness.  I would not longer defeat my own best interests in this insane way.  I would accept God’s plan for salvation, and be happy.  (WB151)”

Reflections:

We know that we need to give up grievances.  But we fail, time and time again, because the ego has not died in us.  The ego can be very wily when its foundations have been disturbed, and this is what A Course in Miracles, particularly the Workbook, has been doing.  We may no longer make gross mistakes, but the more subtle mistakes, ones that seem so “sensible,” may still pull us back.  We must learn that  forgiveness is our way always, in every situation.  Once this lesson has been learned, we will be well on the way to Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would drop any and all grievances that I have held or do hold.  I would follow the plan for salvation that You point out.  I would not listen to my ego-mind any longer.

Help me to know that I will understand full safety when I have given up grievances,  resentment, and the like.  It is only my own fear that keeps me from You.  I would go to You today, the You that is inside of me and all else.

Amen.

Overcoming Grievances, Hate, and Resentment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 85 – for Monday, March 26, 2012

Affirmation:  “My grievances hide the light of the world in me.”

 

Selected Passage:

“To see, I must lay grievances aside.  I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

To see is to have vision, the understanding that is afforded us by the Holy Spirit.  And to see aright, we must leave our grievances behind.  Other words (not stated in ACIM, but suggested by a close reading) that would be akin to “grievances” would be resentment and hate.  These dark emotions will preclude our seeing aright.  And we must see aright if we are to bring salvation to our brothers and sisters in this world.

Affirmation:  “My salvation comes from me.”

Selected Passage:

“Today I will recognize where my salvation is.  It is in me because its Source is there.  It has not left its Source, and so it cannot have left my mind.  I will not look for it outside myself.  It is not found outside and then brought in.  But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

The passage quoted above is a theoretical look at one of the more practical aspects of A Course in Miracles.  For those of us who are drawn to the theoretical, we will find much to ponder in this passage.  God is within.  There is nothing outside ourselves (a Text tenet).  We project, and then we perceive the external to ourselves.  But when we recognize that God speaks to us from within, we can know what is meant by the lesson for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave all my grievances, even the tiny ones, behind me today.  When I don’t collect grievances, I am not prone to attack verbally.  Thank You for this insight.  It is akin to the insight, also given by you, that I am not prone to attack unless I am stressed.  I would live in Your peace today, and I would not collect grievances nor invite stress.

Help me today when the stress seems to be too much.  All manner of problems will develop unless I take a time-out and pray.  Help me to remember You when it counts most.  I would live in Your peace.  That is all that I really need to think about as the day unfolds.

Thank You for being there for me.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without–that I am projecting the world, just as are my brothers and sisters in this world.  May we find each other a help in our journey back to You, never a hindrance.  If anybody attempts to bait me today, let me know that I am seeing amiss, and a few moments of quiet, solitary time will set my perceptions aright again.

Amen.

The Nature of Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 84 – for Sunday, March 25, 2012

Affirmation:  “Love created me like Itself.”

Selected Passage:

“I am in the likeness of my Creator.  Love created me like Itself.  (WB149)”

Reflections:

We are meant to be creatures of Love.  This lesson echoes biblical teaching:   made in the image and likeness of the Creator.  And we were taught, long before ACIM was given, that God is Love.  May we assume the mantle of Love today.  This does not make us equal to God, though ultimately we are meant to be co-creators with Him.  He created us; we did not create ourselves (an ACIM tenet).  We are told in ACIM that we are particularly apt to forget this distinction when we are being egotistical.

Affirmation:  “Love holds no grievances.”

Selected Passage:

“Grievances are completely alien to love.  Grievances attack love and keep its light obscure.  If I hold grievances I am attacking love, and therefore attacking my Self.  My Self thus becomes alien to me.  I am determined not to attack my Self today, so that I can remember Who I am.  (WB149)”

Reflections:

This passage is a strong motivator, almost in selfish terms (though not intended to make us selfish).  We would give up grievances so that we do not attack our Self.  We can have no peace, of course, when we are unloving to our Self.  This is reminiscent of the biblical teaching to love thy neighbor as thyself.  If one does not love one’s self, then it is impossible to love our brothers and sisters.  But this directive is in direct contradiction to the kind of love of self that the ego encourages.  We would do well to remember this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand this lesson.  What is Love?  Are You the Love Whom I am like?

I would believe so.  And help me to absorb this great blessing.

I would not hold grievances today.  I would know that I am perfectly safe.  Thank You for this reassurance.

Amen.

Perfectly Safe

“Love holds no grievances.  When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (WB116)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly safe”

Reflections:

1 – A Comforting Passage

This passage is very comforting.  Safety is a great need in our world, and we find herein that letting grievances go means that we will know safety.

2 – Safety Wanted Always

This is one of my favorite passages from the Workbook, and, indeed, from the entire ACIM.  Like many of us, I have always wanted to feel safe.  And this passage promises how to do that.  Is it any wonder that we might turn to the passage often?

3 – Let Grievances Go

It is hard, sometimes, to let grievances go.  So many lamentable aspects of our lives would have us blame others for the bad times.  But should we really?  The Course teaches otherwise.  We are responsible for what we see.  We choose.    But we do not have to “blame the victim” when someone’s life seems.  Our personal (‘little”) self does not do the choosing, unless we are consciously creating a self-fulfilling prophecy (a current psychological theroy).  Our Self does the choosing, and we do not always know what it is up to.

4 – Ask God’s Help

But we can let grievances go, with God’s help, and as an act of will.  The Answer always comes in communion with God.

5 – An Illusory World

If we remember that we live in an illusory world, and that we have always actually been safe from harm to our real Self, then we may feel more secure in this world.

6 – Perfectly Safe

“. ..[P]erfectly safe” is a great consoler in times of stress and anxiety.  Let us never forget that God is always there for us, regardless of the outer and inner experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel perfectly safe today, knowing at the same time that I am perfectly safe–because my Self is never harmed.  I would let all my grievances go.  If I hold onto them, my ego is in the ascendancy.  I would not have my ego in ascendancy.

Be with me throughout the day.  Help me to live right, to live abundantly, as You will.  May I follow my Guide without fail today.  May I turn on a dime, when I sense that I am going astray.

To be perfectly safe is one of the great needs of vulnerable individuals in this world.  May all who read and pray this prayer today know that all of us are perfectly safe.  And may we know this when we have let our grievances go.

Amen.

Perfectly Safe

“Love holds no grievances.  When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (WB116)”

Affirmation:  “When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Safety

This passage is very comforting.  Safety is a great need in our world, and we find herein that letting grievances go means that we will know safety.

2 – Hard to Let Grievances Go

It is hard, sometimes, to let grievances go.  So many lamentable aspects of our lives would have us blame others for the bad times.  But should we really?  A Course in Miracles teaches otherwise.  We are responsible for what we see.  We choose.  All the choices may not be made by the little self, the personal self.  We are sometimes attune to our larger self, the Self that will ultimately be joined as one with the Christ (from A Course of Love).

3 – God is Always There for Us

“. ..[P]erfectly safe” is a great consoler in times of stress and anxiety.  Let us never forget that God is always there for us, regardless of the outer and inner experience.

4 – A Confused and Disturbed Mind

Perhaps we long for safety too much.  We are certainly in a dangerous world, but the danger in it is sometimes seen by a confused and disturbed mind.  We would have none of this insanity, but all of us here are insane to one degree or another (an ACIM tenet).  We should not underestimate the madness of this world (also an ACIM tenet).  And it would be good for us to ask the Holy Spirit, speaking for God, to “get the madness out.”

5 – Our Circumstances May Improve

We may be surprised by the improvement in our circumstances.  Perhaps all that has been missing was our oneness with God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would lose my grievances today, if only for today, and I know that life is lived one day at a time.  I know that when I am thinking peacefully about others, I am much happier.  And I also know that I feel safe.  The truth of this statement comes home to me.

May I know safety in this difficult world.  May I let my grievances go, not just for a day or so, but day-by-day far into the future.  For all time.  This is as You would have it for me, and I choose what You will.

Thank You for helping me in this resolution.

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

 

Affirmation:  “I choose neither anger nor attack.”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – See the Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

3 – Anger and Attack = Grievances

Anger and attack are usually present because we hold grievances.  And it is only when our grievances have been left behind that we know safety (from the Workbook).  It is said in ACIM that it is as though we held a dagger above our heads, and it will fall or be averted as we choose to forgive or to attack.  Our brother or sister attacks us because each is calling for help.  And it is our duty to rush to his/her side with assistance.  Doing so keeps our rights from being removed.  We recognize the truth of the situation, and we will find that we ourselves also get help when we need it.  As we give, we do receive (from the Treatises of A Course of Love).

4 – Our Innocent Brother

The underlying idea here is that our brother and sister are actually, in essence, innocent.  They have, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Only Love Is Real

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that when I feel anger what I am involved in an interpretation which is not true.  If I am outraged, it is even more certain that I am misperceiving.  In this world, of course, we are very human, and, for most of us, our fallibility includes being embroiled from time to time in arguments.  I would not let this state of affairs continue in my life, in the life that You have given to me.  Help me to recognize when I am misperceiving, and help me to forgive–regardless of how great the error of my significant others actually is.

I would accept that I am seeing a bad scene because I do not want to see it.  Help me to understand this paradox from A Course in Miracles.  I would choose to see only those scenes that will honor You, and that will give me the peace that only You can offer to me.  Be with me today if attack and anger become temptations.  I would turn to my Guide at such times.  I would ask to see the real truth, which is that I live in an illusion, and only the real things of peace, joy, serenity, and the like, are true.  I would find truth today.

 Thank You for leading me in recent time to a more peaceful pace of living.  May stress not overwhelm me, because I never get angry unless I am stressed.

Amen.