Tag Archives: problems

Trust Fully in God’s Love

“Being alert in favor of love means trusting fully in love—God’s love.  This is no idle clarification about trusting in the active love of God. Trusting others to solve what you think of as your problems constantly leads to disillusionment.  Two similar beings cannot have in each other what the other lacks to solve their apparent problems.  If this were true, one would have to be incomplete and another not, which would annul the equality of the children of God.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:II

I don’t think this means that we can’t get advice from other people.  If neither one has a clue, though, this quotation does make sense.  We can’t trust other people to solve our problems, because the problems are our contract, and for help with problems, we need to get quiet and go within, to God.

We have all we need to solve problems, but this idea will remain elusive to us until we depend on our one Source, God Himself.  Often we muddle along with a problem for weeks, months, years, never asking for help.  This makes no sense whatsoever.  But there it is.  We need to go immediately to our Higher Power when something puzzles us.  Ask for clarification, ask to be shown the light.

And we will be.

Blessings

“The days go by and it may seem that the problem has not been resolved, but then you realize that what you saw as a problem was a blessing, a blessing that you did not understand at the beginning.  It may have bothered you just as it bothers a child when a loving mother gives medicine that may taste bitter but is good for health.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

Our problems are not always to be lamented.  They may be blessings.  If we remember that the problem and solution are always found together (a tenet of A Course in Miracles), we will ask that the solution be shown to us, and we will be encouraged to ask, time and again, in the future.  When problems come up, we need to realize that, blessing or not, God has allowed it, though He did not cause it.  This allowing is one of the hardest things we have to accept.  But it is the way out of every quandary.

God means us well, but our free will makes for difficulties in our world.  And free will is one of our greatest blessings!  But we don’t know how to use it now, and so we, and others, suffer.  God would not be doing us a favor if he revoked free will when things get tough.  And this is something He understands completely.  He will never revoke free will.

Like medicine that is bitter, our blessings are not always recognized.  Ask to see the better part of any lesson that seems difficult in our world.  Ask to be shown the blessing.

And it will be so.

Let Our Imaginations Out to Play

“We will talk much more of imagining now, and you may, at first, be resistant to this instruction. To imagine is too often associated with daydreaming, fiction, or make-believe, and these functions are all prescribed to be for certain parts of your life and for certain times that you deem appropriate. Please assure yourself, as I assure you, that now is an appropriate time, an essential time, for such activity. Your thoughts regarding imagining and imagination will change with your change in perspective on use. You will no longer be using your imagination but letting your imagination be of service to you.” (ACOL, C:22.1)

Letting our imagination be of service to us is another way of saying that we will turn to revelation to solve our problems. We do not have to wonder if we are engaging in fantasy. We are letting our hearts and minds work in tandem to fulfill all of the needs that we perceive. And our needs will be met, though our wants may not be. And our needs are met at the point of need. With every problem, the solution is right there alongside of it.

It is instructive to let the mind wander when faced with an intractable issue. We need to get in the alpha state of mind, a relaxed state of consciousness, that is mellow and calm enough to let solutions rise to the surface of the mind. This mellowness assures us that we are not in an angry or hostile state of mind; we are inviting guidance from the depths.

And that guidance will come. Sometimes it helps to present a problem to the subconscious mind, the Self within, and then go about our day. Often, and very often, the solution will appear in consciousness as soon as we let go the issue. We don’t struggle or put ourselves in a state of great effort; we just let go.

Let our imaginations serve us today. Imagination can create a dialogue with Jesus, an exercise, on paper, that can be most instructive. Of course, we are using our imaginations to wonder what he might say to us, but we use our imaginations willingly, knowing that while we might be wrong, we will still gain from the exercise.

Let the imagination serve us today. The results will be positive, rewarding, and conclusive.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding my mind to this technique of utilizing the imagination to solve problems. Often I imagine what Jesus might say to me, and this is calming in the extreme. I do not get lost in fantasies. Instead, I keep my feet on the ground, even as my head is in the clouds.

Be with me today. I long for Your solace throughout my day, and, thankfully, You grant this solace to me.

Thank You.
Amen.

Atonement Solves ALL Problems

“The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. (M-22.1)”

We know that Jesus in A Course in Miracles often talks of our function, and he uses different labels: forgiveness, salvation, happiness. Here he says that our function is accepting Atonement. Jesus is equating all these terms, and may he not do so with impunity? We know that we cannot do little for this world or for God when we are lost in mistakes, following an egoic pathway to nowhere. The only thing left for us to take our place among the saviors of the world is to accept correction, and this is what Atonement is all about.

Are all of us really “saviors”? We don’t think of ourselves this way, mainly because to do so sounds so very egotistical. Yet Jesus would say that we all have a place in salvation, that we all have something to do—once we have gotten on our own pathway and are trying to live a good life in religious terms.

I don’t see myself as a “savior,” because it does seem too egotistical. A word like savior is reserved for Jesus, to my mind. Yet he welcomes us to do what we can, and if we can save another, that too is very, very good.

We need to realize that sometimes what we think is egotism is actually the ego telling us that we are being egotistical, thinking that it [the ego] will reel us in.

We don’t want to be reeled in. We want to following the footsteps of Jesus, helping others to the best of our abilities. We want to live good lives, following the highest and best that we know.

Let us seek to understand what our function really is today. It may be forgiveness, salvation, happiness, accepting Atonement. All are one in Jesus’s eyes, for he melds all of our life here on earth into something that can save us. And we reach out to others, trying to encourage their good sense to rise up and follow the ways of Jesus as well.

The day holds promise, if we practice the functions that Jesus has given to us in these words of A Course in Miracles. Let us ask that this day will hold promise for us. Let us thrust aside tiredness and jadedness, and walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

Yes, There Is No Order of Difficulty in Solving Problems

1 – No Distinctions

“He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for He to Whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. (M41)”

2 – Child’s Play

How wonderful it is to know that, however difficult the problem might appear to us, it is child’s play to the Holy Spirit. He will find the answer for us, if we but listen. Elsewhere Jesus proclaims that one miracle is not more difficult than another, that there is not order of difficulty in miracles. But we usually don’t really believe this. More study and loving guidance will lead us to the truth of the statement.

3 – Holy Spirit

The “He” in this passage is, of course, the Holy Spirit. The language of the Course reflects the sixties, when the books were scribed, and follows as well the terminology of the Bible. We should not let our faith waiver because the language is not gender-inclusive. That would be asking too much of a document written before such sensitivities entered our culture.

4 – Ask

Since the Holy Spirit sees no order of difficulty in solving problems, He will solve them when we turn to Him. We have only to ask. And asking is not greedy. In supplication, we know that God is greater than are we, and if we turn as little children to Him, He answers us. We have to be willing, though, to relinquish our own propensities to do things our way. God’s Way may, and likely is, very different. And we will be led Home as we follow His Way.

5 – Safe

“He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times and different places, because they are all one to God. (M41)”

6 – Safety

All of us want safety. We don’t always get it. Bad things happen, even to good people. But this passage reflects a reassurance that we are as safe as we were before time began and illusions entered the mind of humankind. We are also told that safety is in every situation. We have God with us. Actually, what more could we ask?

7 – Safety of the Mind

The safety of one’s body is a concern for many, but it is actually safety of the mind that is most important. Many of us fill our minds with trivialities that reduce the power of mental acuity, that or we take pills or drink to excess, and the mental acuity that should be ours falls by the wayside. No one needs to reject Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in this day, any more than when he wrote it. Safety is absolutely essential before higher levels of needs are addressed.

8 – God

Be assured that God wishes us well. Know that our bodies are safe, even unto death. The body, being illusion, changes form in that illusion, but this is of essentially no consequence. We age, and we get sick from time to time, or even long-term, but the body is a projection of the mind, and it is the mind with which we ought to be most concerned. Watch your mind for the scraps of fear that arise. And know that this need not be. The capriciousness of the ego is ever-present, except in moments of grace, but we do not have to buy into its dismal view of living. We can and we must live on a higher plane.

9 – Time

“How simply and how easily does time slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe, and knows it to be so. He has a Guide Who will not fail. (M41)”

10 – Guidance

In order to get full benefit of this passage, we must trust the Holy Spirit to guide us. To do so effectively, we must be willing. Not only willing, but eager to turn on a dime when our guidance is to do something different from what we may be doing.

11 – Feeling

Guidance comes in many ways. All of us have experienced guidance, but we not always have even recognized what was happening. Most often guidance from the Holy Spirit comes in the form of a “feeling,” or intuition, that we ought to do or say a certain thing.

12 – Forms of Guidance

As time goes by, guidance may take other forms: a chance word overheard, an interior word from our inner Voice. The ways are numerous, but one thing that all have in common is that, if we follow, we will feel safe. One caution: If the internal guidance seems negative, we are not ready. Mentally unstable people need to be especially cautious, because there are voices that are not those of the Holy Spirit.

13 – Time

Time that slips by easily! What a welcome part of our lives this can become. We are not afraid any longer of what life may bring us, because we know that, with the Holy Spirit to guide us, we are equal to anything that comes our way. This is one of the greatest benefits that the Holy Spirit does bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May time slip by easily today. As I go about my day, may I turn to the Holy Spirit often for the next step, and then may I take it safely. I know that I am always safe.

May my brothers and sisters be blessed by our encounters. If I follow guidance before I speak, the words that come out of my mouth will be right. And then, too, my brothers and sisters will feel safe.

Amen.

Collapsing the Need for Time

degas - dancer2“There is not a period of waiting or a period of time between giving and receiving. There is not a time lapse between the recognition of needs and the meeting of needs. It is accepted that giving and receiving occur in unison, thus further collapsing the need for time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 7.20)”

Affirmation: “I will all day give and receive.”

Reflections:

1 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today emphasizes a kindred idea in A Course in Miracles: recognizing needs and the meeting of needs (A Course of Love), and the solution is with the problem (ACIM). This idea is particularly encouraging to me, for when I ask, internally, for guidance on anything, most of the time I get an answer within a short time, even immediately upon occasion. The idea comes to me from my own mind and heart, but I would like to think that the personal or “little” self is informed by the larger Self.

2 – Time

It is auspicious to note that time is actually collapsed when we see a need and ask for a solution. Jesus has more to say about time in other parts of the texts. He indicates that he will arrange time to allow us to perform miracles. Nobody here understands how this is possible, but we can listen with the heart and not seek for intellectual confirmation. The heart knows when the mind balks. The malleability of time is a law of physics. And religion and physics seem to be coming close together in recent years.

3 – Needs Met

If we have a need, and we ask for the meeting of that need, we will normally be reassured. The answer may not come in the form that we expect (or even that we want), but it will come, and the answer will be even better than what we thought we wanted. I know this from personal experience. The ways of God do not have to stay mysterious. We can know much of the mind of God from internal searching of our own heart and Self.

4 – Giving and Receiving

If we give, we will receive in kind. This means often that the Golden Rule to do unto others what you would have them do unto you is a very good response. In addition, the laws of karma are triggered here. Cause and effect still reigns. But grace can mitigate the worst results of wrong thoughts and actions.

5 – Grace

We do not hear much about grace in ACIM and ACOL. The word itself is not important, but the idea is. We are saved from ourselves by God Himself (a personal interpretation), and we can then reach out to aid others. We do not have to wait to do a good deed or to spread kindness. Our days will blossom into truly desirable hours if we follow the recommendation from Jesus that we give and receive, allowing time to collapse. It is important to let time collapse, because our brothers and sisters, along with ourselves, are caught in this world now. And the world winds on wearily, and suffering continues. Jesus would change all of this, and we are his hands and feet to do so.

6 – Reach Out

Reach out to just one other person today, and test the truth of giving and receiving as one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the fact that time will collapse if I recognize a need and find the need met. This is such good news in this weary world. It helps us to live in a world of dreams–still–but happy dreams. I long, though, for reality to filter through. And I ask for more glimpses of the real world today. May I do nothing to hinder the real world’s emergence.

I ask for Your presence in my life. May I feel You with me. And thank You that I sense You right now.

Amen

Indescribably Happy

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-kenneth-nunamaker-over-looking-the-delaware-from-center-bridge-1928-original-size-22-x-24“If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. (W-12)”

Affirmation: “I would be indescribably happy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Preconceptions

How do we let go of our preconceptions about this world? We have written our own meaning upon it. That is all. We need to accept that the world itself is meaningless, and then let the truth be written upon it for us.

2 – Passive

This attitude is essentially passive. But we do contemplate, read, study, and pray. And in these actions we come to understand more fully what this world really means. We do not add our own meaning to it; we accept what comes to us in such moments of reflection, essentially waiting for God to speak to us.

3 – God

And He will. We all too often think that God is remote from us, but instead He is the deepest part of our being. When we turn within, we will find Him. And we will also find the answers to our questions.

4 – Solution Is with the Problem

Remember that the solution to the problem is always with the problem–at the very moment. And frequently we get an answer immediately. Unfortunately, when our emotions are turbulent, we cannot always hear the answers. We don’t get the solution, and so we need to calm down, relax, commune with our deepest nature, and then take the steps that come to us, intuitively.

5 – Problems

When we contemplate in the most serene way, our answers come to what is troubling us. And if the answers don’t come, perhaps this is a problem that God is holding out to us as a learning exercise. Ask, instead, what this problem is meant to teach us? And the answer will dawn, sooner rather than later.

6 – The World

We do not stay with the idea that the world is meaningless, for to believe this would be demoralizing. We let God write its meaning upon our hearts, and then we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is with the problem. Thank You for that knowledge–a great blessing! When problems come up, if I remember to listen to guidance, the answer does come. Invariably. But my emotions must be calm for the guidance to come through. Help my emotions to be calm today.

I would be indescribably happy today. There is no better way to follow You, and no better way to live in this world. Happiness is a worthy goal, for we are of much better use to others when we are happy. And happiness is a witness to what salvation offers. May I never forget this.

Be with me today as I seek to pray for others whom I know are in crisis. Praying to You works, a very practical technique for healing.

May this day, as all days, be good.

Amen.

Eliminating Perplexities

“While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received paintings-by-camille-pissarro-6is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment.  You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have ‘turned the question or concern over’ and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  “When I have a perplexity, I turn it over to God.”

Reflections:

1 – Perplexities

Perplexities do not have to remain perplexities.  There is a quick solution, as I said yesterday in this blog:  The solution is with the problem (an ACIM tenet).  We are learning better what that means as we read A Course of Love.  We are learning to turn inward, where all is quiet, to our heart, and thereby to receive an answer.  This is an elaboration of what A Course in Miracles teaches, which seems to be another indication that what we have here in ACOL is actually a sequel from Jesus.

2 – “Basket Case”

I read recently from an inspirational writer of one of his family members who came up against severe problems at various junctures in her life.  She would, in his words, be a “basket case.”  But this did not last long.  When he would visit shortly thereafter, she would be calm, though the difficulty was still there.  She would reply, in response to his comment that all seemed well, that she had “turned that over to God.”  The emotional reaction was much more muted.

3 – Turn It Over to God

If we can learn to do this on a constant basis, we will live a much calmer and saner life.  We will not be lost in insanity, the state that all of us exist in until we come to know better.  We leave behind anger and attack, we turn our lives over to God, and we are rewarded by a peaceful life, with the “peace that passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

4 – Heart and Mind = Wholeheartedness

A Course of Love constantly appeals to the heart, and only toward the end do we see that a blend of mind and heart is actually the way for us.  We have to let go of egoic notions of the mind, though.  And the emphasis upon the heart, in the opening pages of ACOL, is exactly what we need to hear in the beginning.  We will come to know better when we give up asking for tangible proof.  The heart already knows.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I quickly turn any perplexity over to You.  You want to help me.  It is a free offer.  Surrender works.  Thank You.

May I be good company today with my brothers and sisters, and especially with those who are my significant others.  May this be a good day.  Help us to know how to turn perplexities into solutions.  This is something that we all need frequently.

Be with us today and always.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

monet - iris3“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.  You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity.  Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  ‘I will spend some time in quietness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Need for Stillness

We need to be still.  We need to practice stillness.  Reading this passage prompted me to stop typing and to be still.  I turned to some inspirational reading, and now I am back.  Perhaps the stillness will impact this blog posting.

2 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today is another way of stating a truth from A Course in Miracles:  that the solution is with the problem.  We have only to state the problem, to ask for the solution, and to receive that solution immediately (normally).  When we expect quick answer, we normally get them.  This is, of course, not always true, but this does hold true more often than not.  Sometimes our emotions are so warm (even hot) that we need to cool down before the answer will come, the solution will come.  This is what the stillness of this passage is trying to say.

3 – Healing

We must realize that there is a solution to every problem.  If we are in need of healing, we may know that the healing may be emotional rather than physical–but emotional healing is often far more important, even, than physical.  We will be given the will to walk on.  We will know that God cares.

4 – Practice the Presence of God

We need to practice the presence of God in as many ways as we can.  Praying silently, and aloud as well, are two good ways to invite God’s presence to impress Itself upon us.  It is often thought that meditation does the same, though Jesus in ACIM does not counsel much time spent in contemplation.  He says that our way, with ACIM, is in our relationship to our brother (or sister).  And we who practice ACIM have long recognized the truth of this statement.

5 – Meditation

The final pages of the Workbook of ACIM do seem meditative, though.  And perhaps it is.  (There is a difference of opiiion among students/teachers of ACIM about this.)  We can let guidance lead the way–guidance of the Holy Spirit, in ACIM; and guidance of Christ-consciousness, in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes need just to be still, to bask in Your warmth, to know that peace of that passeth understanding.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will ultimately choose to calm and quiet all the time.  This is a statement of the meek, who do not seek to self-aggrandize themselves.  May the moments of stillness and quiet that I have known today carry on throughout the day and evening.

Help us to understand that being perfectly calm and quiet is a desirable thing.  We are so used to drama, and that may be why our ego is not yet dead in us.  We crave drama, and with that often comes attack and anger.  I would not have it so in my life.  Help me to live Your way.

A moment spend reading is a moment well-spent.  Thank You for leading me to that conclusion.  I have read Jesus’s words in the New Testament today, and I thank You that we have that record.  Also I thank You for the blessings of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Amen.

Needs Are Met at the Point of Need

iris-monet“In creation, all needs are fulfilled the instant they become needs, which is why there are no needs.  If everything you need has been provided, having needs makes no sense.  (A Course of Love, 19.14)”

Affirmation:  “I find answers as soon as I have needs.”

Reflections:

1 – Needs vs. Wants

All needs are met.  All wants are not.  Why?  What we need is accurate, but what we want may actually hurt us.  God protects His children, and He does not give what will ha (from A Course in Miracles).  How do we explain the pain of this world?  We have free will (not a tenet of either ACIM or ACOL).

2 – Adolescents?

The pain can also be explained by an A Course of Love passage that notes that we have been like adolescents in rebellion, and so God “let go,” much as parents let go their teenage children who are trying to assert their own identity.

3 – Point of Need

It is important to note that needs are met at the point of need–immediately.  Of course, we can note in everyday life that we don’t always recognize that our needs have immediately been met.  We are slow to see.  But see we will, sooner or later, and we can pray that our seeing may be sooner.

4 – No Problems

This passage is akin to the ACIM passage that indicates that we have no problems, though we think that we have.  The solution is always placed with the problem–immediately.  And so, when we are tuned in, we get our solution as soon as we articulate the problem.  And articulating the problem is important, for otherwise we exist in a kind of mind fog.

5 – We Are Protected

May we pray today that our needs, being met, will trouble us no longer.  We are prepared for, we are protected, and we have safety.  There is a loving God Who does all of this for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reminding me today that my needs are always met, and not just met sometime, but at the point of need.  This is akin to knowing the solution is always with the problem, and that actually we have no problems (though we think we have).  Our “wants” are not always met, and perhaps that is a good thing.  We often ask amiss.

I would have no part of an adolescent rebellion today.  That is to stay in the past.  I would welcome Your guidance on a constant basis.  That is really the only way to live smoothly.  Thank You for given me a right spirit within when I ask for it.  

Be wtih me today, aso that I have patience.  I need patience, as do all of us, with our loved ones.  I am perhaps more impatient than I would like to think.  I thought that my life situation gave me a lot of patience, but perhaps that is a fallacy.  Be with me today as I see my patience tested.  And may I know that true needs will be answered immediately.

Amen.

Jesus Holding Our Hand

“Now you seek to know how to escape what you have made.  To do so you must withdraw all faith from it.  This you are not ready yet to do, but this is what your heart will now prepare you for.  As you are prepared, you walk alongside he who has waited for you with a single purpose instead of alongside the conflicting desires you chose to let lead you to this strange world.  You travel lightly now where before you walked in chains.  You travel now with a companion who knows you as you are and would show your Self to you.  (A Course of Love, 9.9)”

Affirmation:  “I walk with Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Jesus is talking about his presence with us in this remarkable passage.  I have earlier speculated about the “how” that Jesus could be everywhere at once.  But there are natural laws in the metaphysical realm that our science know not of.  And this is one of them.

2 – Escape

We would escape from what we have made, and we would withdraw our faith from it.  We need to realize the world that we made has been deeply flawed from the beginning.  We sought to learn apart from God, and we immersed ourselves in mire.  But we are returning.  And in A Course of Love, we look to our heart to guide us, our heart that is within, where Christ/Self is, and where God is.  And we have mighty companions with us as we follow this pathway (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Jesus = Our Companion

Jesus is the companion who knows us as we are, and we travel lightly with him.  This statement is akin to the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament, in which he is quoted as saying that his burden is “light.”  We indeed no longer have to even think in terms of “burdens” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).  Previously we traveled in chains, with a bundle of troubles that we might periodically release to God, but which we would always retrieve, for we felt bereft without our bundle of problems.

4 – We Have No Problems

Let this thinking fall by the wayside!  A Course in Miracles said that we would come to see that we had no problems.  Our primary problem–separation, or our perceived separation–has been solved, and we have no other problem that God will not address, removing it from our sight.

5 – Healing Is Certain

Healing is certain, and the continuance of physical symptoms is not evidence that healing has not occurred (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  The passage for today is talking about healing in the greatest sense possible (though the word is not used).  May we accept Jesus’s hand as we walk through this illusory world.  And then we will be home in God, and ready to reach out to all that might receive our words and actions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize anew that today I have a companion beside me.  I have nothing to fear.  There is nothing in this world to fear, though difficulties abound.  There are no real problems when faith is strong.  May my faith be strong today.

May we know that healing is certain, once we listen to the guidance that we receive.  The healing may come through doctors, through medication, through natural means, and even through prayer–a miracle happening.  May any and all “cures” be appropriate and not a misguided effort to bypass that which You would have us experience.

Amen.

Avoid Assuming Guilt and Misery

“Now you look for one upon whom you can unload your burdens, hoping you can pass your grievances en mass to someone else.  If you succeed through anger, spite, or meanness, you simply take on guilt and withdraw still further into your own misery.  (A Course of Love, 7.12)”

Affirmation:  “May I avoid misery today.”

Reflections:

1 – Unloading Burdens

Sometimes others unload their burdens on us.  This is what happened to me two days ago.  And I could not take it.  I became even more stressed than I already was, from a stressful day.

2 – A Recollection

May I not make this mistake.  I know that for years I did unload my burdens over breakfast, which we enjoyed at a diner.  But that was a mistake, and I know better now.  A Course of Love tells me so.

3 – Turn Inward

So how do we handle burdens?  We turn inward, to the Christ within.  We know that God is within as well, the All, the One of which we are a part.

4 – Sometimes Share Your Problems

This does not mean that we can never share our problems with other people.  This would be taking the passage for today out of context from A Course of Love.  We are in relationship to all others, and it is good that we share.  But not to blame, and not through ill will.  We need to recognize that these negative emotions are not worthy of a child of God.  And such we are.

5 – Alternatives to Dumping on Another

So, share if we must–but not in misery and not in ill will.  If we feel badly, it would be wiser to settle down and read inspirational literature, meditate, or pray.  These are not new ideas, and we know that these ideas work.  All of us know this, for we have followed religious ideas for a long time now.  May we turn aside from the ego.  May we just turn aside from stresses.  We live in a sometimes difficult world, but this world does not have to be difficult when we attract the best to ourselves, and our gratitude for a good life is paramount.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As my life lengthens, I become ever more conscious of the need to surrender anew to You each day.  When I do this, my day goes smoothly.  And that is because I feel Your partnership.  It is not because the day is any less stressful.  The things that troubled me before just do not have the power to touch me now.

Be with me on this day.  May I reach out to others to lessen their burdens.  May we join together in trusting the universe to care for us.  You are with us constantly; You are in us.  May this knowledge keep us in the faith today.

Amen.

The Solution Is with the Problem

“Ask all things of His [God’s] Teacher [Holy Spirit], and all things are given you.  Not in the future but immediately; now.  God does not wait, for waiting implies time and He is timeless.  (M-29.7)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Solution Is with the Problem

This is an example of the ideal in A Course in Miracles.  From my own experience, the closest example that I know, which I have found to be true, is that the solution is with the problem; that is to say, if we ask for help with a problem, I have found it very, very likely that the solution will come to me as guidance in a very, very short time.

2 – The Now

Time is an illusion, according to A Course in Miracles.  So eternity is the Now of which this passage speaks.  Certainly, in a limited way, we do not see answers to our prayers come, in the affirmative and quickly, all the time.  ACIM would not have us deny the sight of our physical eyes in this illusions in which we are caught (also called the “dream” of this world).

3 – Eternity

But in the Now, meaning eternity, we know that we are heading in the right direction.  There is, in this ideal, no past nor future, only the Now.  And God’s way is what gives us direction as we live from moment to moment.

4 – Ask

We are bade to ask for what we want and need, and our needs are always met (though some of our wants would not be in our best interests).  But ask we must.  We can seek to have our thoughts guided to the right circumstances that will show us the next step.

5 – Always Ask

But never be afraid to ask.  It is what we, as children of God, are meant to do.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am always amazed how quickly an answer comes when I have gotten clear on the question, and have asked for an answer.  Yes, the solution is with the problem.  Thank You for that.  You are always near.

I would not ask for frivolous things, but I would use my best thinking, my concentration, on that which I truly would like to have.  And my concentration will bring it to me.  I ask that I be kept from asking amiss.  You know the best pathway back to You, and that pathway is the one that I would stay upon.

Amen.

Overcoming Depression

“You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt, give up these foolish thoughts!  They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer.  (M-15.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would know that my best efforts are appreciated–by Someone.”

Reflections:

1 – Discouragement

This passage gives comfort in times of discouragement.  It would be good to return to it from time to time for its clear-eyed assessment of what we sometimes view as taking place in our world.  We are Sons and Daughters of the Most High!  Ought we to remember that when the world intrudes too much on our peace of mind?  God is with us through his Communicator, the Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  And the Holy Spirit will calm us when our feelings are ruffled.  But words like this, from Jesus in A Course in Miracles, can be a tangible reminder when we are temporarily more insane than usual.

2 – Struggle

And we are insane when we think of ourselves as broken down by the world’s burdens.  We will know struggle so long as we listen to the dictates of the ego, and so long as we seek for egoistic attractions in this world.  Jesus would not have us to live this way.  And here, in one place in ACIM, is a measure of just how he would advise us when things do not seems to be going our way.

3 – Our Holy Mind

Jesus calls our mind “holy.”  Can we believe him?  I think that those of us who have read through A Course in Miracles are eager to give him the credit for our greater peace of mind.  Jesus, in my interpretation, is saying here that we are as God created us (a quotation from ACIM), that we have not changed from that ideal.  But we have believed ourselves to be separated from God, and we have believed that this was what we wanted.  Most of us who study ACIM passionately know with great intent that we do not want to perpetuate the idea of separation (wrong though it always was).  We have not separated from God, an illusion that would be impossible because we are part of Him, but we have believed, also in illusion, that we have fallen from grace.  God would not have us to live a small life, devoid of good things.  And it is up to ourselves to make the tiny movement toward the Holy Spirit that will turn our world around.  We can and will live better, when we let God have His Way with us.  The world will stop being such a fearsome place, and we will stop attracting its misery to ourselves.  Our minds will be so filled with the good things of God that we will no longer find ourselves in extremis any longer.  Our attracting power (not stated in ACIM, but an interpretation) will shift to the intangibles of God, which I have often discussed in this blog–the peace, joy, harmony, kindness, and, of course, love, that we all desire.  And we will live much better as a result.

4 – Attracting Negativity

What of our brothers and sisters who have not reached this understanding, and who still find themselves attracting negativity?  Many will not be ready for A Course in Miracles, but there is a course of some nature out there waiting for them.  We are not bidden to overtly proselytize, but we can treat our unhappy friends with more compassion.  And we can be there for them when they reach out for our help.  In the meantime, our prayers for our brothers and sisters will make a difference.  It cannot be otherwise, though this is not specifically stated in ACIM.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not let any depressed mood waylay me today.  I would follow Your Way, and I ask You to point this Way out to me.  May I always seek to walk the pathway back to You.  I know that I am a part of You, though I seem to forget this when I get upset or agitated about something.  You will always rescue me, and Jesus will help, when I make one unequivocal call to You.

I would not get discouraged today.  I know that life is not always smooth.  Just this morning, I was confronted with three minor problems and one major.  Just this morning.  And there was no warning that any of this was coming down the pike.  But You knew.  And You have calmed me and relaxed me, and helped me to see that life is not an emergency.  There is time for all that is needful.

I have dealt in some way with each of the four new problems.  As the Bible says, “Having done all, stand.”  And I will stand in Your Sight today.  Thank You.

Amen.

Let Jesus Take Your Hand

“I do not attack your ego.  I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home.  (T65)”

Affirmation:  “Work with my higher mind.”

Reflections:

1 – Elder Brother

This is Jesus speaking.  He is our elder brother (a Course concept), willing to help at any and all times.  It is important that Jesus does not attack our egos.  Elsewhere he tells us that attack is never justified, and he himself exemplifies this assertion.

2 – How to Solve Problems

As time goes by, and we have spent more of that time studying A Course in Miracles, we may find that our mind delivers to us, perhaps psychically, the answers to our questions and the answers to our problems.  It is normally better to pray (or “commune”), ask our question, express thanks with the assurance that the answer will come, and then get busy with something else.  Then and only then does it help to get quiet and to ask again.  It is very, very likely that the answer that has been eluding us will pop into our minds, seemingly unbidden and with great ease and comfort, with a sense of clarity that we have heretofore lacked.  This is the miracle, visiting us in a very practical way.  This is the Holy Spirit’s attending to our needs.  And we would not forget to say “thank you” for this blessing.

3 – At One with the Holy Spirit

It is reassuring to know that we have help in trying to change our minds to be at one with the Holy Spirit.  We surely do not understand what all of this change entails, and we need counsel that is sure and lovely.  Jesus provides this, but silently, nearly always without our being aware of his presence.

4 – No Idle Fantasy

There is a passage elsewhere in the Course that invites us to imagine our holding Jesus’s hand as we go about the world.  He asserts that this is no idle fancy.  We cannot understand how this is possible, but Jesus is one who has made it Home, and we dare not doubt his word.  We never need to feel alone or lonely again.  Not only do we have Jesus, but also other companions of whom we are not usually aware.  Surely there is no reason to be afraid, though, as very human people, we will probably still succumb to this temptation to fear for ourselves.  In our better moments, passages such as the one above from the Course can be our reassurance that all is truly well.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

I need help, now and always.  Help me to keep my mind in close cooperation with the Holy Spirit, and not dip into ego-oriented desires.

May Jesus help me, as he has promised.  Then I can rest assured that all will go well for me in this world.

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.

I Will Receive Whatever I Request

ACIM Workbook Lesson 339 – for Monday, December 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will receive whatever I request.”

“Father, this is Your day. It is a day in which I would do nothing by myself, but hear Your Voice in everything I do; requesting only what You offer me, accepting only Thoughts You share with me.  (WB472)”

Reflections:

1 – Struggle No More

This is another logical progression in the Workbook from day to day, building on yesterday’s lesson.  If we trust enough to offer our problems to the One Solution, we will not only find the solutions to those things that perplex us, but we will find perfect solutions.  We need struggle no more.  If times seem hard, let us remember that there are always those who have it worse than we do, and some of these individuals have found a way to praise God in the midst of their troubles.  Trouble is not a respecter of persons.  It comes to the good and the “evil” alike.  But those who turn to the Holy Spirit for their solutions are not often kept defeated.  Their deliverance is sooner rather than later.

2 – The Holy Spirit = Voice

The Holy Spirit is the “Voice” meant in this prayer.  We deliver the day unto the Holy Inspiration, and then we thank God that His Answer is there for us.  Our gratitude is not demanded (an interpretation of ACIM, not stated therein), but we will out of the fullness of our heart want to offer that gratitude.  Gratitude thus becomes a means to express forgiveness of our previous misconceptions about this world and the people in it, especially our significant others, our “brother” (ACIM terminology).

3 – Solve Problems Quickly

Problems are meant to be solved, and solved quickly.  We do not need to cling to our fears about our daily sustenance in this world.  Certainly we remain concerned when we see ourselves and others hurting, and we would do what we can to heal the brokenness of which we all partake at various times in our lives.  But we who follow A Course in Miracles know some secrets that we need only share to those who are ready to listen.  Then the miracle becomes real in our own experience.  And God’s Voice has shown us the Way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I declare in my words and actions the emphasis that the Holy Spirit would bring to my day.  I would not make these decisions by myself, but I would commune with You and Your Voice, and I would offer the certainty that, when I hear aright, I will remain on the pathway that You smooth for me.  Today is no different from any other day.  I need You today just the same as always.  But I would make a special appeal to remain flexible as I walk throughout this day, struggling no more, knowing that You do not want me to struggle.  All too often, I know, struggle is of the ego and leads us away from the goal that You hold out to us–a home with You, reveling in Your felt presence.

Help me to realize that the struggle that seems so laudatory is anything but.  We are meant to commune with You, and then we are meant to accept Your Words, and then proceed peacefully and easily with our lives.  Anything else is an egoic dream, and I would not dream those dreams any longer.

Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  For others, there are other pathways; but for some of us, ACIM is the answer to so many of the questions that our minds have tried to solve.  May my mind be one with You today.

Amen.

I Am Affected Only by My Thoughts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 338 – for Sunday, December 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am affected only by my thoughts.”

 

“His thoughts can frighten him, but since these thoughts belong to him alone, he has the power to change them and exchange each fear thought for a happy thought of love.  He crucified himself.  Yet God has planned that His beloved Son will be redeemed.  (WB471)”

 

Reflections:

1 – God Within

This passage builds on the message from yesterday, spelling out what yesterday’s passage implicated.  Our frightened thoughts come from a mind not united with the God within, but they are unique to ourselves and can be changed.  When we let our minds merge with the God Who resides within, then do we truly know peace of mind for the first time.

2 – No More Fear Thoughts

We exchange our fear thoughts for thoughts of love.  Let us always remember that we are doing this unto ourselves; we are not plagued by other people, and we are especially not plagued by an angry God.  God is as we have always been taught by the New Testament, and now by A Course in Miracles, as a God who loves us unconditionally.  We have crucified ourselves by our imagined imprisonment by a will not our own.  We have endured this imprisoned will because we made the ego, the symbol of our separation from God–a separation that could not happen in fact, but which could seem to be real, causing what seem to be real effects.

3 – The Resurrection

But God had a plan to redeem us.  It is not the focus on the crucifixion that much of modern Christianity believes, but a focus on the resurrection–that we too can rise above the suffering of this mad world and know God’s greatest blessings.  The plan, we are told in the Text, was placed in the mind of God’s son/daughter as soon as the mad idea took hold, and seemed to cause real effects.

4 – The Solution Is with the Problem

The solution is always with the problem.  If we keep this in mind, we will not often find ourselves in troubled conflict.  We will reach a higher level of mind where the problem has already been solved.  Ask with the assurance that your prayer will be heard, and that the Answer to Your conflict has been given in the Person of the Holy Spirit.  Ask for guidance to solve life’s varied problems, and then rest in surety for the Answer to come.  We will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You most importantly today for the fact that the solution is always with the problem.  I can give any problem over to the Holy Spirit and then know that the answer will pop into my mind at the right time, almost always sooner rather than later.  We do not have to suffer in silence.  And we do not have to run ahead of the Holy Spirit, making problems after He has already given us the solution to the one problem that we are facing at the moment.

Increase my trust, My Father.  It is enough for me to know that answer will come quickly.  I do not have to make things tough on myself.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Happy Outcome to All Things Is Sure

ACIM Workbook Lesson 292 – for Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “A happy outcome to all things is sure.”

“We thank You, Father, for Your guarantee of only happy outcomes in the end.  Help us not interfere, and so delay the happy endings You have promised us for every problem that we can perceive; for every trial we think we still must meet.  (WB444)”

Reflections:

1 – The Solution Is Always with the Problem

One reassurance from A Course in Miracles that I return to when comforted with a problem is the statement that the solution is always with the problem.  And solutions do not wait; there is an answer coming, and it is quick to arrive.  When we find ourselves cornered, supposedly, by insoluble problems, we need only relax and ask what we need to do.  An answer will come into our minds shortly.  If not, then we are too emotional to hear the answer.  We need to relax, take our minds off the problem, and get involved in some kind of distraction.  Sometimes prayer helps, but if we are too worried, I have found that my mind will lose the prayer, and I will returning to worrying.  But after a very short while, a next step will appear apparent.  And then the next and the next steps.  We are only shown one step at a time.

2 – We Will Not Have to Wait Long for the Solution

The solution always comes.  Sometimes I find that over a day or two, one thought will occupy my mind in regard to the problem.  If it is a solution, I have come to believe that this is the action that I should next take.  Of course, I can misinterpret, and if the answer is not loving, I am listening to the fears of the ego.  We need to test out our interpretations, lest we mislead ourselves.

3 – Trials

We sometimes think that we have trials ahead, when in actuality we are making the difficulty by our own reactions.  This is especially true if one magically thinks that worry will protect against the thing about which one is worrying.  Forget not that this is magic, and ACIM warns repeatedly against magical thinking.  If we just keep in mind that no problem comes without a solution, right with it, then we will be alright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize that when I am healed, when there are no trials in place, it is my mind that has been healed.  Suffering and pain are never truly of the body; they are of the mind and the choice of the mind.  We would not live this way.  Let us turn to You with our pain and suffering, and wait, only a brief time, to see our attitude change.  The attitude toward pain and suffering is what is amiss.

What of the pain that may be physical?  It is still the mind that must be healed.  We must open ourselves to You and Your healing, and accept that it is ourselves that have chosen the pain–for whatever insane reason.  May we adopt the love in our attitude that will assuage any and all suffering.  Thank You for helping me to do this, and to do this today.

Amen.