Tag Archives: inner peace

Inner Peace

“Once the thought pattern of concern arises, you make that concern real, which then encompasses the entire space of your mind and heart, and thereby you lose peace.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

When we dwell on a feeling, we make it real to us.  If we dwell on antagonism to our brother or sister, we make it real, and thus harder to overlook.  This is an idea from A Course in Miracles.  Likewise, with concerns or worries.  When we focus upon them, they grow in our mind and even our heart.  The concern overturns more positive thoughts, and then we really are in trouble.

When the bad feeling mushrooms, it encompasses, as this quotation says, the “entire space of. . .mind and heart.”  This takes away our peace, and inner peace is one of the greatest attributes we might aspire to have.  Inner peace goes hand-in-hand with a loving heart.  Inner peace gives us a world that is all-encompassing in its goodness.

We see what we want to see, because we invent our world (as ACIM says).  If we want trouble, we will see it, though we may not be aware that we “want” it.  Focus is everything, for the law of attraction is in operation.  What we focus upon becomes true for us, even if it is not objectively “true.”

Let the mind and heart swell with inner peace today. 

Do not dwell on worries or concerns, making them an obsession.  If we give up worries/concerns, we will walk throughout this world with a serenity that has eluded us until now.

Mental Health Is Inner Peace

“You are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be either from yourself and others, or from yourself to others, or from others to you. Peace is an attribute in you. You cannot find it outside. All mental illness is some form of external searching. Mental health is inner peace. It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without, and capable, through your own miracles, of correcting the external conditions which proceed from lack of love in others.” (ACIM, COA ed.,T-2.I.26:1-7)

This person that Jesus is talking about in this quotation is the “real” “you,” the Self, the Christ-Self. Our personality, while it is egoic, does react to lacks of love, but all of this is not truly real. Our mental health for the Self gives us only peace. And it is this we can experience when we don’t get stuck in the egoic self, for this self is actually mentally ill (to use Jesus’ terms in this quotation).

Jesus refers to the insanity of the ego in other places in A Course in Miracles. We can never, never, expect to be mentally healthy until we have dislodged the ego, and dislodging the ego is a major goal of ACIM. When the egoic self is gone, we are free to let the Christ-Self emerge from the depths. Once this Self has learned how to proceed in the external world, we are set for life. This change is detailed in the continuation of ACIM, A Course of Love.

Anger and attack are evidence of madness, and it is this that the egoic self is familiar with. Forgiveness sets us on a higher road, with love a part of that road. Then the stress, fear, that led to anger and attack largely dissipate.

Inner peace is our elixir, the road to eternity in a time-bound world.

Offer Love / Live in Inner Peace

“This is the most difficult belief of all to integrate into the living of your life. Each time another thwarts you, you will be tempted to believe that giving and receiving as one is not taking place. Your previous pattern of behavior will be quick to assert itself and you will feel resentment and claim that the situation is unfair. You will be tempted to withhold as others withhold from you.

“Is it not clear how important it is to living in peace that this pattern be broken? Will you live in peace only until some “other” breaks your peace? Only until some circumstance beyond your control brings an unexpected conflict your way?” (ACOL, T2:7.7 – 7.8)

The “most difficult belief” to integrate is the belief that giving and receiving are one. When other people ruin our day (or so we think), how are we to reconcile giving love to them? How can we believe that giving and receiving are the same thing, especially when we have sought to give love?

We need to find peace in a difficult world. Not everyone will give us their best on every day, and we ourselves will fall short also. But we need to realize that our peace, our inner peace, is pivotal to a change in the world. As we project, we see. As we give, we do ultimately receive in kind, maybe not immediately, but eventually. We need to reconsider our hurt feelings when they lead to resentment and even hostility toward a brother or sister. All of us, we must remember, are doing the best we can, giving our current understanding. And nobody blames himself/herself for falling short unless the conscience is especially sensitive. Many people think that there are always mitigating circumstances that let them off the hook, regardless of how retaliatory they might be.

We do need inner peace above all things except love itself. And love will always lead, eventually, to this desired peace. We need to drop resentments as just a bad idea left over from our days of living with the ego. We need not to be retaliatory when another doesn’t treat us as we think we deserve. If we retaliate, we surely won’t find peace; we won’t give peace, and we won’t receive it. We will, instead, foster hostility and anger, two emotions that rue our days.

Giving and receiving in this world involves physical form, and so we see them as separate actions: one of us to give, one of us to receive. Within our Self, giving and receiving is simultaneous with living, because there is one entity involved. We are thus better able to live peaceably all the time when we are secure within our Self. Our brothers and sisters need us, though, and perhaps they need us especially when they do not return any love, once we have proffered it.

Forgive, and then we will come to understand. To forgive all is to understand all. These truisms merit review now. Our understanding will only come when we have offered love to our struggling brothers and sisters. And then, in this offer, our own peace will be assured.

Prayer

I need to be especially solicitous of my brothers and sisters who want something from me. I can always give what is wanted, but I can give where I am led to give. If attack finds a home in my psyche, I won’t be peaceful. I will give rancor, and then I will receive rancor in return; this is giving and receiving as one. So, if I am to have inner peace, I need to proffer peace to another. This is the way the world works. This is the way of true reality.

I thank You for the guidance that I have received today about intuitive hints that are meant to influence my day. I realize that the inner Self is the author of such guidance, and this is my part of You, Yourself. I thank You for guiding my understanding, to let me feel that I am not being coerced by an outside force when I sense nudges. Thank You for the insight that You give to me today. Thank You for the insight that You give to my brothers and sisters, who are One with me.

Amen.

Awakening from the Illusion that Is This World

“Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the Hands of his Father.  By doing this the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator.  (T39)”

Affirmation:  “the mind awakens from its sleep.”

Reflections:

1 – Our “Dream”

This statement by Jesus is a paraphrase of one of the cries made from the cross.  Here we are asked to also commend our spirit into the Hands of the Father.  What happens is the greatest miracles the Course holds out to us:  Awakening.  “. . .[T]he mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator.”

2 – Catherine of Siena

The medieval saint, Catherine of Siena, said a paraphrase of this passage as she died, in her early thirties, while cuddled on her mother’s lap.  She had believed herself to be the bride of Christ, and many others clustered about her in her few years.  An order of sisters was established, and she did much to try to bring the Pope back to Rome.

3 – Commend Thy Spirit unto the Father

But anyone, anywhere, can say and mean these words, commending one’s spirit into the hands of the Father, and by so doing know solace.  Indeed, this is a way to know the greatest solace.

4 – To Awaken from Sleep and to Remember

We will awaken from sleep and remember our Creator.  What a glorious promise!  Here the way is pointed out to us in a very few words:  commend our spirit to God and all will be well.  We will be at home with God, even while in this world.  We will inhabit the real world, where projections are cleansed, and thus perceptions are seen afresh.  We may know pain still, but we will not know suffering.

5 – Do Not Fret or Worry

“Nothing can prevail against. . .” is a powerful introduction to this idea.  We do not have to fret that the world of special relationships, not yet holy, will impede our progress.  “Nothing” can prevail against us once we have made the decision to surrender completely to God and to His guidance through the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know what it is to commend my spirit into Your hands.  By so doing may I awaken from my sleep in this world.

May I be my real Self today; may I not fulfill a persona anymore than is necessary to live in this world.  As I see friends, may I just know that they will accept me, just as I am.  You accepts me just as I am and love me for it.  May all people that I encounter today do not less.  That does not mean that we are equal to You, but simply that we try.  And we try not to fret when we fall short.

I would be grateful for this day, this day of promise.  May my significant others get from me all that I can give by way of the right kind of love and no attack.  Be with me as I seek to fulfill the promises that You hope for me, in being the kind of person that You have already accepted.

May I draw inspiration from the example of St. Catherine of Siena.  She knew a great deal in her short life.  May my longer life serve Your Spirit, and may my life also serve the others in my world, the ones entrusted to me.

All will be well with me when I do commend my spirit into Your hands.  Thank you for this great promise.

Amen.

Retain the Love = Lose the Fear

“When everything you retain is lovable, there is no reason for fear to remain with you.  This is your part in the Atonement.  (T35)”

Affirmation:  “retain the lovable”

Reflections:

1 – Love without Fear

Here is the idea that we keep finding again and again in the Course.  When love is complete, fear is abandoned.  We ourselves do this abandoning when we realize that the only reality is that of love.

2 – Eliminate the Wrong

We must discern what is wrong in our lives and seek to eliminate it.  This does not mean that we leave relationships that are difficult, unless our guidance recommends doing so.  But there are numerous bad habits that we would do well to eliminate, and these can be eliminated without reference at all to any other individual.  This does not mean that we embark on a “self-improvement” campaign, for such attempts would almost surely be of the ego.  But it does mean that we prune our waking thoughts, eliminating much of the anxiety by praying it away–or distracting ourselves, or loving another more deeply.   (These suggestions are personal and do not come from ACIM.)  We can become better people, and in no way is this more possible than by following guidance on a moment-by-moment foundation.

3 – Love Leads to Atonement

Love then becomes our way into the Atonement.  Atonement is the shifting of our perception to that of a love-centered world.  The Awakening then follows.

4 – Seek the Guidance of the Holy Spirit

We must ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to retain only what is lovable in our world.  We cannot do this by an ego-centered self, and only the real Self, informed by guidance, can effect this change.  Help me to just allow the ego to wither away.  I do not need it, and nobody in my circle needs it.  May all of us look to You for the fulfillment in living that only You can give.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to retain only what is lovable in this world and worlds beyond.  When I retain only what is lovable, I leave fear behind.  Surely this is motivation.

Help me not to become depressed when my best efforts to follow Your way don’t seem to be enough to rid me of fear.  At these times, help me to turn to You in prayer.  You always calm me right down.  May I realize, anew, that Your eternity and my time are not identical.  And it is only Your eternity that is real.  So there may seem to be a delay in time before love is in the ascendancy, and all is well with my little world.  Help me to be patient, but not to give up hope that love will prevail.  I do know, from my heart, that Your Love will prevail.

May we accept the Atonement for ourselves.  Jesus has said that this is our only real purpose in this world.  So much follows from this acceptance, and we welcome our brothers and sisters with a new, abiding love.

Amen.

Health = Inner Peace

 

“Illness is some form of external searching.  Health is inner peace.  It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without and capable, through your acceptance of miracles, of correcting the conditions proceeding from lack of love in others.  (T18)”

Affirmation:  “Health is inner peace.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Health Is Peace

Perhaps this passage will remain unclear for some time as we study A Course in Miracles.  We may not fully understand for what we are searching when we become ill.  But surely we have recognized, over our lifetimes, that we are peaceful when we are in good health.  Good health can be either emotional or physical; it makes no difference.

2 – Need a Break from the Daily Routine?

Some writers believe that we become ill when we need a break from our daily responsibilities.  Sometimes, in this work-a-day world, we don’t think we can have a moment, or a day, to ourselves unless we get sick, forcing us to slow down.  It may be helpful to realize that we may need to slow down, overall, if sickness dogs our steps.  We are trying to do too much.

3 – There Is Always Time for What Is Needful

Perhaps, you may say, I have very real responsibilities and obligations that I cannot shirk.  To this I would say that there is always time for what is needful.  This idea came to me just before I started a graduate program, one which promised to be filled with unknowns and, I did not know, perhaps much hard work.  But remember the Sabbath.  The Bible is often very practical in what it recommends, and a day of rest is as practical as the ideas of A Course in Miracles.  We will treat others better if we are not frazzled.   If this seems too much to ask, perhaps we need to take a look at our priorities.  We will be of no use to others if we are not taking care of ourselves.  We will become inwardly focused, in a harmful way, a way in which we do not properly appreciate the significant others in our lives.  And life will go by so fast, with our missing some of the important things.

4 – Refrain from Attack

Our emotional health can be seen in that many of us have no problem with the Course concept of refraining from attack when we are at peace.  When stress happens, though, we may find it all too easy to succumb to attack and also the accompanying anger.  This is not good emotional health.

5 – Physical Illness

Physical health is frequently a challenge that either brings us closer to God or seems to drive Him away.  We can respond either way, but the obviously better way is to seek God in our suffering.  He will be there.  And we will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Surely you are with us in good health and bad.  When we are in good health, may we experience gratefulness.  When we are ill, may we experience the grace to be accepting of that which we do not understand.

May we move closer to You in health and in illness.  May our emotional and physical condition make no difference in the zeal with which we seek You.

Amen.