Tag Archives: life

God Has Not Erred in Calling Us to Life

“God has not erred in calling you to life.  He was not mistaken when from eternity He thought up the kind of life that you would have on the physical plane, the experience of human life.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 8:I)

God is here with us, living through us.  There is nothing we experience that He doesn’t experience right here with us.  We may find this hard to believe, but to believe otherwise is to doubt that we are a part of God.  He created us out of God-stuff, a form of energy and consciousness throughout the universes.

He did not make a mistake in giving us free will, though by invoking it wrongly, we have brought all manner of problems to ourselves.  He doesn’t interfere with our free will, and this is something that many of us don’t understand.  We blame God for not intervening when times are bleak.  But He realizes that free will is a greater gift that His interfering in what we have made in our world would be.

He did not err in creating us.  It was the way in which God could have companionship.  The way that He could experience the Whole whom He is.  We sometimes wonder if human life is really good for us.  What things have been better if we had never been born?

Most of us, though, don’t dwell on this nihilistic thought.  We like human life.  We are like very adventurous angels who have come here for a time, blessed by God, though we often don’t believe that what we are experiencing could, in any stretch of imagination, be considered a blessing.

Open up our minds and hearts to welcome God’s presence.  He wants our companionship, and, though we don’t always realize it, we want His.  It is in the companionship with God that we are the most blessed.  The things that we rue about life are fleeting, for God’s eternity is not our conception of time.  With every unfortunate thing, we can rightly say, “This too shall pass.”

There is always a higher reason, and it is never a punishment of us by God.  He doesn’t interfere with humankind’s free will, and therein is a great blessing, as well as, what we sometimes believe, a benign curse.  It is not a curse, even a benign one.  He has us in His hand, ready to rescue us from misery at any time.  The present is not the problem.  It is always an anticipation of the future, or a regret about the past, that tangles us up.

Go to God with our questions.  He will respond.

Choosing Life through Forgiveness

We can choose, metaphorically, whether we will experience life or death.  In every miracle is life, and in every impulse to hurt a brother is death.  Surely we choose the latter far more often then we think.  Even the tiny, “inconsequential” hurts are painful–to us if not to our brother.  And so they call for forgiveness.  The answer to any attack, in fact, is forgiveness.

            How may we right the wrong when we have chosen “death” over “life”?  There are no easy answers.  We can and should ask the Holy Spirit for His answer, and it will always mean that forgiveness is called for.  It is not just forgiveness of our brother, but also of ourselves for having made this mistake, having hurt one who is a Son or Daughter of God.  Sometimes forgiving ourselves is much harder than forgiving our brother, because we always attack ourselves first, and once we withdraw blame from others, we have a strong tendency to harbor it within ourselves.

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

Reverence for the Mystery that Is Life

“Now, does that mean that one should become cold-hearted, unconscious, and blind to . . . [others’] actions? Of course not, for part of awakening means to realize one’s interconnection with the web of all relationships. It means awakening a reverence for the mystery that is Life.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 107)

Many, many people haven’t awakened yet; in fact, most people have not. But some have seen glimpses of what lies ahead, and what lies ahead in an ineffable atmosphere of love in calmness. We may see clearly, but we do not denounce the actions of others, even the actions with which we disagree. We all need to be given slack.

We recognize that reverence is required of us as we walk in God’s way. This much we know. Life is a great mystery, and it behooves us to speak softly as we talk of this mystery.

We are connected to all people. When we give slack, we also give slack to ourselves—and this means forgiveness of others and ourselves as well. It is a web, an allusion that Jesus uses in A Course of Love also.

Ask today to have an awakening to the mystery that is Life.

And we will have a spectacular day.

Don’t Make Life More Complicated than It Is

“To live in relationship is to accept all that is happening in the present as your present reality, and as a call to be in relationship with it. It is the willingness to set aside judgment so that you are not contemplating what “should” be happening rather than what is happening. It looks past percep¬tion of “others” to relationship and wholeness. To live in relationship is to live in harmony even with conflict. It is an understanding that if conflict arises in your present there is something to be learned from your relation¬ship with conflict.” (ACOL, C:27.14)

This quotation enlarges on the concept of relationship, a concept that is given great play in A Course of Love. We are to be in relationship with what happens in our world as well as with the people in that world. And even if we encounter conflict, we are to know that there is something in conflict for us to learn from. Later on in ACOL, we are taught that our learning is to come from observation of the people and things in our outer world, no longer from books of the past, what people have told us about experience. We are to experience directly through this observation.

We don’t need to argue with our experiences. We don’t need to place “should’s” and “ought’s” on what is going on around us. If something that we don’t like is going on, there is still something for us to learn from this lamentable set of circumstances. And, likewise, if there is something that we like going on, we can relax in the joy and derive pleasure from our surroundings as well.

We don’t need to get in tangles with our world. We simply, directly, observe our surroundings, just as we simply and directly observe our reactions to our surroundings. Don’t make life more complicated than it truly is. Take life by the smooth handle. Relax and be happy, joyous. The way home is not a struggle, and if we insist on struggling, we will miss the mark. The only way home is through, not around, but that “through” is not meant to be a mire. We walk smoothly and easily, along a smooth pathway. And if we find briars where we thought that we would find smoothness, if we trip and fall, we just need to pick ourselves up and try again. The briars are of our own making.

Find wholeness today in our relationship with others and with God. We are a part of that wholeness, and the wholeness is all positive—if we don’t get lot in ruminations of making things different from what they are. We take life at face value, simply and peacefully.

Then we know that we have found the right route through and beyond our troubles.

Dear Father/Mother,

I find myself in conflict from time to time, and I wonder if this is a pattern, in memory, from egoic living. I know that we don’t have to remain in conflict, because turning to You will ease our way, and turning to You will ease our way immediately. Thank You for being there, deep within me, embodying the Self who is my inner Christ. This Self is my little part of You, and knowing that this little Self is part of the All is reassuring in the extreme.

Be with us today. Thank You for the good morning that I had, and may the rest of the day unfold in just such a good manner.

Amen.

Life Is a Matter of Relationship

“When you fully realize that the only way to know the Self is through relationship, your concerns about concentration on the self will end. Life is not a matter of self versus other. Life is a matter of relationship. Life is not a matter of human versus divine, but a matter of relationship between the human and the divine. Life is not a matter of one living thing versus another, but of the relationship between all living things.” (ACOL, C:27.7)

God cannot even know Himself if He is all that there is. This is the fundamental reason that He differentiates Himself into parts, parts that include all of us individually. We are in relationship, then, and so is He. This is not dualism as I understand the term. This is a metaphysical true reality that is indispensable to the working of all universes that exist.

We are in this together. We have each other, and this suggests that we are not meant to be obstinately independent from each other. We are meant to be One in that relationship, though, and this is the truth of all universes as well. We are all One, and in the oneness we find our small part of reaching God. A hologram is our best way of understanding. Each part is a part of the whole, contains the whole, though each part does not comprehend what—or Who—it has in its entirety. This is a human comprehension that is actually metaphor, but it will take us a long way toward a fuller understanding of Who God is, and who we are.

We are in relationship with each other (which includes relationship with God), and, concurrently, we are in relationship with both the human and the divine. As we progress along, we will eventually embody the elevated Self of form, and this is a full blending of the human and the divine. This is what true relationship of the human and the divine means.

Let us take the hand of each of our brothers and sisters, and the “hand” of God as well, and in this joining we will know full relationship. Our oneness is a oneness of relationship. We therefore know the “unity and relationship” that A Course of Love mentions so often. And we will walk in a merger that nevertheless retains understanding of the parts of the whole. Thus we can know both God and man/woman at once.

Dear Father/Mother,

Our minds strain to imagine You, and this may not be the best use of our time. Our minds cannot comprehend the Ultimate Who You are. We will never be smart enough.

But we can know love. And in this love we catch a glimpse of Who You are all about. When we love, we are touching the Divine. And when we touch the Divine, we are at Home in You.

Thank You for being here always for us as we wander through this sometimes difficult world. With the Self, we will know more peace. May we know this Self today.

Amen.

When Life Becomes Too Much

“The embrace can now be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people. It is a language of images and concepts that touch the one heart and serve the one mind.” (ACOL, C:21.6)

The “embrace” is introduced in A Course of Love by Jesus, who encourages us to imagine that we are enfolded in his arms. Then his embrace of us becomes mutual, and we also enfold him.

The imagination does not play on the sexual at all. It is meant to be a reassurance that someone out there knows what we are going through, is with us through it, and will see us through it. We are tired, very tired from our long journeys in separation from God. We sometimes feel sorry for ourselves, feel lacking all hope, and need to know that this feeling of ennui is not unusual: It is a universal experience.

But not many people own up to this feeling. We hide our disappointments in life, we don’t share our worries and concerns, and we lament the bad turns that life seems to have given us.

There is a way out. We can contemplate the truth of this embrace, that we are one with All, everywhere. We can consider that maybe Jesus really is with us, and that he brings angels with him. Help from the Other Side is forthcoming.

Knowing that we are not alone in our weariness in this world goes a long way toward alleviating that weariness. Knowing that we are not unique in feeling this lassitude helps also. The embrace encompasses all of us, every last one of us.

Ask for help in our weariness today. Expect help to arrive, and very often that help does in fact arrive. Prayer works.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the better feeling that I feel today. My anxieties have diminished, because I have listened to the words of the embrace. May I reach out to others, who may be helped by my words as well.

May we help one another, even as You help us. We are all in this together.

Amen.

Enjoy Life in All Its Abundance

“You only need be open to the place that no specialness can enter, and bid your brother choose for you. For in his choice you join with him and with your Father. In this choice lies one united will for glory that knows neither specialness nor separation. In this choice lies life eternal.” (ACOL, C:15.12)

The idea of allowing our brother to choose for us is new. This brother is Jesus, who is in charge of the Atonement, at least in Christian circles. Here we do not find specialness, but a choice that is borne of equality of all brothers and sisters. Even when we think that we know and understand more than another, we are still equal. Only in time are talents unevenly given; in eternity they are the same.

We do not rightly know either specialness nor separation. We are one united will, when we are joined with the Self who is deep within us. This Self leads to an equanimity that is unlike anything we have experienced before. We will have patience that has previously eluded us. We will exhibit love that has never been part of our experience in sharing. We will know a new life, a life eternal, that enfolds us with its grace and gives us all that our heart desires.

If the day goes gray, remember these truths. Nobody will have all charmed days; there are always things that could be better. But there comes a point at which we need to express gratitude for all that we do have, and gratitude spawns happiness. The way that we walk on any given day will affect all the future. Learn what works by consulting the inner Self. Even dialogue, in writing, with this inner Self. The truths that we will experience will indeed transform our lives.

Gratitude grows great within us when we know that we are living life eternal right now. We don’t wait for an afterlife; we are here and now in eternity. When we truly know this, we will walk a green earth.

Life Is a Channel

1 – Day 21

“The first transition. . .is about a letting go of any of the ideas that you may still have that an outside source exists. There is no such thing as an outside source. There are no outside sources of wisdom, guidance, or even information.

2 – There Is No World

We cannot reach outside ourselves for wisdom; we can only incorporate what resonates with the inner Self. If we try to reach outside ourselves, we are really just experiencing the larger Self, for we are all One. Jerry is a part of You; you are a part of Beverly. All is One. And All is God. So reaching outside is absolutely not possible. Why, then, do we not take the next right and realize that it is only wisdom from within, that we have assimilated unto ourselves, that will save us?

3 – Learning

We are still trying, albeit less often, to listen to the teachings of others and thus to “learn.” But Jesus has said that the time of this type of learning is over. We can still receive inspiration from others, but to take another’s word for something that you haven’t experienced is the most tremendous folly. We can be inspired by this person’s story, but it is our own experience that saves us.

4 – Don’t Always Listen

Don’t listen to any exterior words unless they form a resonating cord in your own heart. Don’t take unto yourself anything that another says that sounds foreign to you, to Your Self. For you will try to absorb amiss. It is only your own Self Who can make decisions about your future course of action. Only your Self knows what is right for you.

5 – Pattern of Learning

“This was true even within the pattern of learning you have been familiar with, for in order to learn, the source of wisdom, even though you may have seen it as existing outside of yourself, had to function as what it was—a channel through which the wisdom, guidance or information moved. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

6 – Time of Learning

This quotation says that even in the time of learning, when we listened intently to what others said to us, we still did function only to absorb that which was meaningful within our own experience. Unless we were coerced, and this rarely happened except in childhood, we were bent on adapting our way to others’ ways that seems close to what we were coming to believe. If the words made no sense to us, we dismissed them out of hand. We did not waste our time trying to absorb the message if it seemed foreign to our experience.

7 – Wisdom / Guidance / Information

We were letting wisdom, guidance, and information flow into ourselves, though we did not yet know that there was an inner Self Who sought to guide us. If we were following A Course in Miracles, we were listening solely to the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration. And we were well led.

8 – Holy Spirit

But still we listened to God, for the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. And this similitude was not lost on us. We longed to have a Hearer in God, in the Holy Spirit, and Jesus himself had promised us that he would hold our hand as we walked along. So Christ was present, too, even before we knew that we partake of the Christ.

9 – A Channel

“You realize now that life itself is a channel and that you are constantly receiving. You still perhaps think in terms of receiving meaning that there is something given from a source beyond the self, but this is the ‘thought’ that has to change. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

10 – Nothing Outside You

There is nothing outside you (from A Course in Miracles). This is why we don’t receive anything that is outside, for there is nothing outside.

11 – Theology

This is theology, and it may be hard to accept. But lean a while into the concept, and see if it doesn’t make sense in view of the fact that we see God as One, as the Whole, as the All. We are part of that All. We are a hologram that contains the whole in each part. And each part can receive meaning from the Whole at any time.

12 – Union

“No intermediary is needed when you exist in union. It is recognized that the knowledge, wisdom, guidance, or information that is needed each moment is available within each moment and that the interaction, rather than being one of taking something from an outside source into the self where it is learned and then regurgitated or even applied, has given way to an interaction that begins within and extends outward. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 186)”

13 – External Sources

Day Twenty One elaborates upon the previous day’s commentary. We are led to understand more completely that we cannot rely upon external sources for the truth. We are led to realize that we cannot even rely upon Jesus to impart the truth to us. We must reach inward, and in dialogue with the Self that is the All of us, we will come to know. This will not be an external seeking, but an internal transition to relying on the Self.

14 – Jesus

Jesus is preparing us to cease thinking of him as our teacher. He has said in these commentaries that he is our companion, but he is resigning as our teacher. We are not to look outside ourselves for the answers, but to turn inward. Ideas such as these are reiterated throughout the Forty Days and Forty Nights.

15 – Giving and Receiving

Life itself is a channel, and we are constantly both receiving and giving. There is nothing channeled to one that is not always available to all others. Teacher and learner are equal, an idea that was presented in A Course in Miracles; in ACIM, though, it was said that only time separated the teacher from the learner, because the teacher temporarily knew more, and was therefore in a position to help. In these concluding chapters to A Course of Love, we are led to realize that time no longer separates the teacher from the learner. We have walked farther along the pathway. We are assuming Christ-consciousness for ourselves.

16 – Mountain Top

“You began your mountain top experience with a companion who had offered himself as a teacher in order to bring you to the place of being willing to accept that a teacher was not needed. He joined you on the mountain top in order to prepare you for his departure, a departure from reliance upon him that would allow you to arrive at reliance upon yourself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 21)”

17 – Bottom Line

This is the bottom line of what Jesus has been trying to tell us in the Dialogues. He is not the teacher anymore; he is an equal who seeks to be received as a companion. We don’t look to him in the same way that traditional Christianity looked to Jesus, because we have moved beyond this understanding. Jesus is still very much a part of our faith, and he is still our leader, but his responses to us are not predicated on his knowing a great deal more than we can come to know ourselves.

18 – Self

We need to rely on Self, but in that Self is the Whole. So there is no need to stop praying; we need prayer to God, even though we know that we are God, as blasphemous as that may sound on first reading. We don’t have the union with all that God has, but we do have a relationship with those outside of our bodies. Their minds are, though, joined with ours, and together we walk to home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassurance that I have come farther along on the pathway, and that union with the Self that I am will answer my questions. I want to be in union with You. I do not want separation any longer. Help me to know union with You.

I do what I can. I don’t always do the right things, but I do try. All of us do try. Help my brothers and sisters to walk aright this day, and please help me. May this day go well in all particulars. Be with me as I walk through this day. Help me to make the right decisions, the ones that are in Your Will. Don’t let me go off on tangents, making decisions that aren’t appropriate to the situation. May I read Your desires accurately today, for I know that Your Will and my real will are identical.

Thank You for the spectacular promise of this day. I do not have to rely on external sources, but I only need to turn inward to You and the Self that I am.

Amen.

Love Will Transform Normal, Ordinary, Life into Extraordinary Life

1 – Transformation

“Love will transform normal, ordinary, life into extraordinary life. Loving exactly who you are and where you are in every moment is what will cause the transformation that will end your desire to remove yourself from life. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

2 – Jesus

Jesus had earlier, in these 40 days and 40 nights, talked of the need that some of us feel to remove ourselves from life while we metaphorically travel to the mountain top with him. He says that such removal is absolutely unnecessary, and is actually undesired (by him) and undesirable. If we love right where we are, we will have no need to feel that we want to separate from normal, ordinary life. We will be more than satisfied in the present, with Jesus leading the way to the mountain top.

3 – Love

How do we know when we have transformed life by love? We do not really need to ask this question, for when we have actually made the transformation viable, we will be happier than we have ever been before. We will know that this was where we were heading. We will know ecstasy, at least sometimes (though prolonged ecstasy would be debilitating to our bodies).

4 – Love Deeply

How do we love that deeply? We pray to love more deeply; it is just that simple. The prayer to love more deeply is in the Will of God, and He will provide. When we are consumed by our love, we will feel a warmth and a gentle ease that will assure us of God’s Presence, here, now, right in ordinary life.

5 – Rushing About

What a blessing this is! We get in such a rush sometimes, barreling over ourselves to reach God—when He is within us, just waiting quietly for us to realize His Presence. When we rush through life, we miss so very much—and, most of all, we miss God. He can still reach us from within, but it is harder for us to feel Him.

6 – Hard?

We don’t need to make things hard for ourselves. We need only get quiet, calm down, relax, take the easy course—and life with God as a present Reality takes form. This is the Will of God, as well as His pleasure with us. This will bring us the love that we have heretofore felt only in fleeting moments that fell away all too soon.

7 – Acceptance Clarified

“But here is the point that needs clearing up. This is not about acceptance of what you do not like. Do you really think you are being called to accept ‘normal life?’ Called to accept those conditions that have made you feel unhappy? No! You are being called to an acceptance of new conditions! (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

8 – “Don’t Like”

We do not have to accept what we don’t like. This would be acquiescence in the face of negatives that we don’t want to accept. And we wouldn’t get the boon that we hoped to have by acceptance. We realize that we don’t like certain conditions; we just accept that we don’t like them. This “don’t like’ is in itself a form of acceptance. And it will take us farther along the pathway. Much farther than reluctant acceptance of that which we don’t like, simply because we think that this uneasy acceptance is required of us.

9 – New Conditions

The new conditions come as we ascend the mountain top with Jesus. These new conditions include a greater desire to be quiet and calm—not to make drama in our everyday lives. These new conditions are the joy of living, the day-to-day happiness, the relaxation and easy work that we do now. No work needs to be hard, when we are in the pattern of acceptance. We will enjoy what we do, however busy that might be. We are not meant to remove ourselves from life in some superficial desire to be lazy.

10 – Power

“All power to effect change comes from acceptance—not acceptance of the way things are, but acceptance of who you are in the present. Not through acceptance of the way you want to be but of the way you are now. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

11 – Accept Self

We need to accept ourselves, flaws and all. We have a certain perfection of being that is independent of the perfection that we are eventually called to. If we don’t like a certain trait, we just turn away from it, giving it no power because of resistance. What we resist, on the other hand, becomes stronger in the resistance.

12 – Perfect?

I believe that we are intended to become perfect in all respects, but we don’t have to be perfect to realize Awakening, or Christ-consciousness. Anger is such an example. Remember that Jesus showed anger with the activities of the moneychangers in the temple during his last week on earth. Would we believe that he didn’t have Christ-consciousness? Of course not. This is a very real example that allows us to accept ourselves as we are, even though we learned in A Course in Miracles that anger has no justification.

13 – Who We Are

We need, therefore, to accept who we are in the present. We need to cease our relentless seeking, always wanting something more by way of salvation. That something more will come to us when God is ready for us to have—and not a moment sooner. We cannot “achieve” enlightenment, or Awakening, though we can move in that direction by the early seeking that we do. At this point in A Course of Love, though, we need to do less seeking and more accepting. Jesus makes this point over and over. We can do something more, but will that really help us at this point?

14 – Intolerant of Illusions

“Remember that you have been told that your real Self will be intolerant only of illusions and that this intolerance will take the form of seeing only the truth rather than attempting to combat illusion. Thus when you see others gossiping, you are called to see only the truth of who they are—to see beyond the illusion, what would seem to be the ‘fact’ of their gossip—to the fear that feeds it, and beyond the fear to the love that will dispel it. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

15 – Gossip

Jesus uses gossip as an example in Day Eight. He says that we don’t like it, sometimes because we have been the brunt of gossip. We aren’t, however, to denounce the purveyor of gossip as a bad person; it is just a mistake, we feel, and then we turn aside from it without giving it power by resistance. These individuals who gossip are fearful in their lives, fearful because their ego has sway at that point. We can love in spite of the gossip, for we will nearly always find that the person who is conveying gossip about us has done something nice for us at some time. Jealousy, or a wish for the type of life that we have, is often a factor in gossip. And have not all of us been guilty of jealousy at some point, some time wanting what another has in life?

16 – Charmed Life

We particularly need to be aware that others will sometimes see us as “living a charmed life,” because our understanding has allowed our projection to make perceptions that are very good indeed. The world itself is an illusion, and our lives become better once we realize such things as this. We have had a guide in the Holy Spirit as we have created our lives, and thus we have made lives that work better than someone who has never learned these things. So live and let live, knowing that others are looking to us, also, for guidance. They, too, would like to live charmed lives.

17 – Anger

“If anger arises in you now, it does not mean that you will react in whatever way anger once called you to react and it does not mean that something is wrong with you or that you are not spiritual enough! It simply means that you are involved in a situation or relationship that has called forth that feeling. It is in the expression of that feeling that who you are is revealed, not in the feeling itself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

18 – ACIM

Here we are talking of anger again; Jesus uses this example repeatedly in A Course of Love. It must be that anger is a hot spot for many of us, and perhaps Jesus knows how we have struggled with his words in A Course in Miracles. In ACIM he declares that anger and attack have no foundation in truth and are not justified. But Jesus would know that premature suppression of anger does what it would remove. We find ourselves engaging in behavior that is worse than it was before we had this instruction!

19 – Jesus’s Attitude toward Anger in ACOL

So Jesus takes, in A Course of Love, a more tolerant attitude toward anger. He does not, note, say that it is a good thing. He recommends that we be accepting of our anger as we are of everything else in our lives. We have that certain perfection even now.

20 – Don’t Suppress Anger

He would have us refuse to express anger, which we can do without suppressing it. We can refuse to express anger to our brother/sister, for how could expressing anger help him/her? He/she will feel betrayed, perhaps, for each is doing the best he/she can, given his/her understanding at the time.

21 – Acceptance

“Now, however, it is crucial that you come to acceptance of yourself–in the present, as you are–for only by doing so will you come to full acceptance of who you are and be able to allow the Self of unity to merge with the self of form, thus elevating the self of form. You will also, only in this way come to true expression of the elevated Self of Form. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 136)”

22 – Accept the Present

The title for Day Eight, “Accept the Present,” is particularly apt. Virtually everything in the chapter explains this assertion in some way. We need to accept the present of being in normal life as we spend this time on the metaphorical mountain top. We do not need to separate ourselves from our brothers and sisters, for they are the only way to the love that will give us unity with them. We also do not need to separate ourselves from our normal living routines.

23 – Passivity?

We are not called, however, to accept what we do not like. We are not called to any passivity. We are called to total acceptance of our Self. Once we have accepted the Self, sometimes it will take some time for conditions to change, and sometimes conditions change immediately. This is one of our blessings. Change will not come without first having acceptance of our Self.

24 – Feelings

We should accept our own feelings. Distancing ourselves from our feelings is not only dishonest; it will prevent us from further movement forward. We are called to unity with our brothers and sisters through love. We cannot err when we follow our feelings–for these feelings have now been cleansed. If, however, we have not accepted all that Jesus holds out to us, we must be wary of feelings that take us away from the Self that we want to be, the Self of Christ-consciousness. Then and only then do we need to be wary of following our feelings. (This latter point is an interpretation, not a tenet of ACOL.)

25 – Thinking and Feeling

“Remove all thinking that says that you can err in following your feelings. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Eight)”

26 – Harbinger

This statement is a harbinger of greater things to come in the 40 days and 40 nights. It is also a statement that intuition works best for us, even when we are tempted to ignore that intuition. We can have better lives when we follow our guidance, and that guidance frequently comes by way of feelings.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to accept myself as I am, knowing that You do. I chastise myself so often, and I think so often that I am not worthy. Jesus would have me to drop these thoughts and the actions that result from them. I am not perfect, but I must accept that You accept me as I am.

If there are things about myself that need to be changed, please give me the grace to change easily. I understand that I have made real progress, and that the elevated Self of form is something that I can attain. I am apt to forget this. Help me to remember this. And thank You for the blessing of the Christ-consciousness that You hold out to me.

Thank You for this good day. May the days ahead string, like pearls on a string, into a beautiful necklace of good feelings brought about by love of others as well as a settled good love for myself. Until I can love myself, I am hindered in loving others. I have not always recognized this truth, but thank You for showing it to me now. Be with me as I walk into the evening of this good day.

Amen.

To Live the Life Dreamed Of

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“The only difference between the life you are living and the life you want lies in your willingness to express who you are. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.1)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to know who I really am today.”

Reflections:

1 – Self-Expressive

We need a certain freedom to be self-expressive in this world. We will live the life that we have dreamed of when we let ourselves go and not try so hard to conform to dictates from others that find no place in our heart.

2 – Our Childhood

Many of us grew up trying to conform to the wishes of our elders, usually our parents. Others rebelled against their intentions, but still this was a reaction of “no,” and doing the exact opposite was still an influence from elders.

3 – Guidance

How exactly do we live the life that we want? We follow guidance from God. The inner Self/Christ will know, just know, what to say and do. Our will and that of our God are identical. He speaks for us (a tenet of A Course in Miracles, speaking of the Holy Spirit). God would have us express who we really are, but we are such confused beings on this issue. We wonder, “Who am I?” And we ask this question in a thousand ways and more. Yet inside we know the answer. Only the ego prevents our emergence into the Self/Christ that will blossom one day.

4 – The Past

We need to stop living the constricted life that is based on the past. We need to start afresh each day, turning to God each morning for the marching orders for the day. He will not be harsh or stern with us; He will love us. And we will benefit greatly from our times of communion with Him. Living the life that expresses who we are is not hard at all. It is going against the truth of who we are that is contrary to God’s will and our own will.

5 – Starting Over?

Now, many of us can get some rather crazy notions in our heads, in an impulsive way, about throwing over the life that we have so carefully built and starting all over. Lest this direction be your bent, think again. Impulsively throwing overboard our loved ones for a life of “freedom” is not what being who we are is really about. We need each other, and God has given each of us significant others for whom we are chosen people. Impulsivity is not living who you are. Insufficient thought before change is made is a detriment to the right change. So think carefully, with the heart, before chucking it all to be “free.” There is not greater freedom than the joy that we get from attending to the needs of our loved ones.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your guidance today. It is easy to want to be independent and free, freed of ties. But I would not live thus. My significant others are given to me for a purpose. And I am given to them. The blessings that we enjoy together come from You. I know that independence is best lived when it is actually interdependence.

May we leave behind the chains from our past, our childhood. We need to forgive our families, for they did the best that they could. Even if it was imperfect.
I too am imperfect. And I thank You that Jesus can heal those imperfections of mine if I will give him half a chance.

I would give him a chance today.

Amen.

Life Experiences

pissarro003“You might ask, how do you learn what you have failed to learn previously? . . .Your life must become your teacher, and you its devoted pupil.  Here is a curriculum designed specifically for you, a curriculum only you can master.  Only your own life experiences have led to the learning you have accumulated and translated into beliefs.  Only your own life experiences will reverse the process.  (A Course of Love, 23.29)”

Affirmation:  “My life experiences will now reverse the failed lessons of the past.”

Reflections:

1 – Reverse the Learning of the Past

How do we reverse the learning of the past, the egoic learning that so misled us and made us miserable?  We must simply take the next step that seems right to us, as we listen to our hearts.  We can reverse any and all egoic tendencies, and in so doing we will learn anew and, this time, learn aright.

2 – Are We Learning Aright Now?

How can we know that what our life experiences are teaching us, now, is correct?  We can answer one simple question:  How do we feel?  Are we finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences, however painful they may be?  Are we happy, in spite of these inevitable difficulties?  And do the difficulties seem to be a breeze for us, where earlier they might have derailed us entirely?

3 – Follow the Heart

If we are following our hearts, there will be a noticeable decline in painful experiences.  What we need to learn will still be presented to us, and sometimes struggle will be involved, but when we turn to God in communion, our burdens will lighten immediately.  Not hours later, bur, if we believe strongly enough that God is helping us, the burdens will lift immediately.  We will know that this blessing has occurred when the day seems somewhat lighter to us, and we ourselves feel lighter.  We are, finally, listening to God, as well as our brothers and sisters.  There is no end to the ways in which guidance can come to us.  But come it will, when we turn gently aside from the egotistical ways that previously directed our path in this world.

4 – Reverse the Separated State

Our life experiences will then be in a position to reverse the isolated and separated state in which we have believed ourselves to be.  We will learn joyful lessons, so different from the misery that we brought upon ourselves by keeping God out of our lives.  We will attract the good by our attitudes.  Our calm and peace will envelop us, and we will turn to God instinctively, as the day progresses.  And as each day passes into a new one, we will find ourselves ever more ready to affirm God’s blessings.  We will know that we are on the right pathway, finally.  And if we are honest, we will recognize that we did it all to ourselves!  God is ever more eager for our healing than we ourselves are, as Norman Vincent Peale, an inspirational author/pastor of the last century, said.  In our own experiences, we can know that Dr. Peale was right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen to my heart today.  If another intervenes between my heart and myself, may I know how to respond, because we are influences by others’ agendas.  May all work out for the best, as You have taught.

Be with me as I seek to learn from my life.  May my life experiences not be a drag upon me, but a joy.  May I regret nothing from the past, knowing that all that I have lived through has prepared me for each next step.

Amen.