Tag Archives: sane response

Love Others and Thereby See the Self

“Re-establishing your relationship with your brother is what will show your Self to you.  You have one brother who wears but many faces in your perception of who he is and, while you know him not, you cannot know yourself.  (A Course of Love, 12.9)”

van-gogh-finalAffirmation:  “I love my brother.”  

Reflections:

1 – Forgiveness of Our Brother/Sister

This passage from A Course of Love highlights the way of salvation from A Course in Miracles:  forgiveness of our brother (or sister).  Forgiveness is not mentioned in this brief passage, though, but we can know that in order to re-establish our relationship to our brother, we must forgive him for the various transgressions that we think he has committed against us.  Forgiveness is the only sane response, because these transgression are not real in actuality (being illusion in an illusory world), but, more important, these transgressions are a call for help and love.

2 – Adverse Happenings

If we reframe all the things that happen to us in this world that are adverse, we can recognize that those from our brothers and sisters that hurt us were actually their own calls of love.  We would rush to their side with aid (if they are open to our aid).

3 – See Our Self

When we re-establish our appropriate relationship to our brother, A Course of Love goes a step farther in recognizing the blessings that will come to us:  We will see our Self, perhaps (probably) for the first time.  This Self is the Christ within, and in this world the combination of divine and human that is within becomes established in the physical world as the elevated Self of form.  There is no higher goal for us in this world, but, of course, we must wish for this blessing for all others as well, and we must do our part to make that goal a reality for them as well.

4 – Perception

We see many sides of our brothers and sisters in our perception of them.  That is because perception is so variable, being projected from within our own self.  And our brother does seem to have a multifaceted personality, some parts of which we like and some parts of which we don’t like.  We too are variable to him/her.  Part of this variability is just the reflection of different moods in ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  Bad moods do not mean that the person is bad, only feeling down or depressed, or acting out attack or anger because the inside of the person is hurting so much.

5 – Insane Behavior

The good news is that we don’t have to figure out what makes another act as he/she does.  We just recognize the attitude or behavior as insane, when it is anything but loving, and then we forgive.  We do not forgive reality, for we are not seeing reality.  We forgive illusion, and we forgive for ourselves as well as for the other.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Naturally we are going to get upset with our brothers and sisters as we walk through this world.  They will sometimes make mistakes that involve us or our loved ones.  Help me to handle such times in an appropriate manner.  I realize that this may mean speaking up, but help me to know that anger does not have to rise to the surface.  But, if it does, You will see that my attitude is adjusted.  I would only love my brothers and sisters who make mistakes, even serious ones.

Be with me today as I settle down from a difficult yesterday.  We are very human, and our Christ/Self as the divine does not always appear obvious to us.  As time goes by, may more and more of our time be spent in glimpses of Christ-consciousness.  May we live the life that You would have us lead.

I know that You have already forgiven me for any misdeeds that I made yesterday.  I will always fall short if You do not pick me up.  Do pick me up and allow me to try again.

Amen.

Stab of Anger

ACIM Workbook Lesson 192 – for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Affirmation:  “I have a function God would have me fill.”

 

“Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.  (WB366)”

Reflections:

1 – See the Sword Averted

A very important passage, this lesson for today is telling us what we must do when we feel a stab of anger.  And who among us does not still feel anger, even if one believes himself/herself to be enlightened?

2 – Stress and the “Pain Body”

We are likely to be stressed at the time that we seem most out of control.  As Eckhart Tolle would say, our “pain body” is in the ascendancy, and we want pain at any and all costs.  We are not in our right mind; we are even more insane than the usual.

3 – The Ego = Strong in Conflict

If we can realize that averting the sword above one’s head actually makes us free, we might be more inclined to follow this passage when the daily pathway turns grim.  We want to be free, but we cannot be free if we are caught by anger and attack, for the ego is strong in conflict (paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Temptations to Anger

Our brothers and sisters who tempt us to anger are actually doing us a favor, for without their input, we would not be inclined to choose the good more often than the bad.  They, in turn, are merely asking for help at such times.  A brother or sister who attacks is calling for help, and the only sane response is to rush to his/her side with that help.  We must be reasonable, and ACIM does not counsel doing anything that will escalate the conflict.  If we are in danger, bodily or mentally, it would be wise to act later on, when the heat is out of the moment.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

5 – Venting and Our Anger

Do we really owe our brother or sister thanks for the stab of anger that his/her venting has elicited?  According to ACIM, we do.  We can recognize that we will not likely ever be free of moments of being tempted into anger, but we can fly into a great calm rather than into a great fury.

6 – This Lesson for Today

Making that choice is what today’s Workbook lesson is all about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to be free of stabs of anger.  If my brother or sister tempts me to anger, help me to turn aside from attacking verbally.  Help me to realize that in all likelihood, this brother or sister is stressed, and I have been there, throughout my lifetime, many times.  I would want someone to forgive me when I am letting Eckhart’s “pain body” rise to ascendancy.  May we all pray today that our pain bodies will be released, and that we will enjoy the peace and harmony that You want for us above all else.

Be with me as I walk the pathway to You today.

May I take a timeout, leaving the room temporarily, if my temper is threatening to get the best of me.  It is actually the “worst” of me.  And I would not indulge my ego today by venting when I am stressed.  And I don’t get angry unless I am stressed.

May my brothers and sisters adopt what coping mechanisms they find most useful in avoiding anger and attack.

Thank You.

Amen.

Distress Rests on Error

“If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack.  But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help.  Forgiveness is the only sane response.  It keeps your rights from being sacrificed. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “Distress rests on error.”

Reflections:

1 – Distress Rests on Error

The most memorable part of this passage is the phrase, “distress that rests on error.”  If this phrase is remembered, we will have a ready remark to call to mind if arguments happen in our environment.  We will then be more willing to take a timeout, and to begin the process of forgiving the lamentable encounter.

2 – Pardon Is Fully Justified

This passage notes that pardon is fully justified.  This, regardless of how many times we reread the Course, may still be a sticking point.  Yet the bottom line is the dream, the “maya.”  Our brother has merely made errors, mistakes, and he, like us, deserves forgiveness for the poorest choices.  We are said to have “sinned” in time, but we live in eternity, where we are innocent (ACIM tenets).  If this is not fully comprehended, it is our failure yet to adopt for ourselves the most basic of the tenets of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Forgive Insanity

“Forgiveness is the only sane response.”  Of course!  We need the sanity of the Course, because our brother’s poorest choices have come out of insanity.  No one will find insanity hard to forgive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest in the thought that much that I observe that is negative is because my brother and sister are in distress.  And not only in distress, but actually living in an illusory world that is lost in insanity.  We who desire to share salvation need only to recognize that we and they are in pain.  A person who is insane is said to have diminished responsibility, and this characterization is true for the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in this world.  Nobody has to be locked up to be insane, in the interpretation of ACIM.

Be with me when I see insanity and fail to recognize the distress that prompted the poor behavior.  And may I forgive myself for my poor behavior over my lifetime.  May we all forgive not only our brothers and sisters, but also ourselves.

You have not condemned me when in eternity I have made mistakes.  Help me not to condemn myself.  May I just pick myself up and try to be a little kinder the next day.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Afraid

“Love is attracted only to love.  Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear.  Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid.  (T410)”

Affirmation:  “I walk to love.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Anxiety Behind

To walk away from anxiety (a form of fear), turn to love.  This solution, though not always easy, does always work.  When we are stressed, we are more likely to get angry, and with anger, attack is frequently not far behind.  And anger and attack are forbidden by A Course in Miracles.  Of course, we cannot always live up to the ideals that we read.  We are human.  So, when we stumble, we get up and try again.  As time wears on, and we study ACIM, the way does become easier.

2 – Attack Is a Call for Help

When we are beginning to get angry, we sooner rather than later recognize that there is no reason for our anger.  If a brother or sister is present and a part of that anger, we try immediately to click into ACIM‘s tenet that attack is a call for help.  And so our only sane response is to give that help.  We may not be able to give help overtly, if feelings are running high.  We may have to withdraw, temporarily, from the situation to give other people time to regain control.  We may need to reread passages from ACIM to calm us down.  We need never deny the emotions that we are feeling, but we do not have to drown in those emotions either.

3 – The Link between Anger and Stress

It is a hopeful sign to recognize that, for many of us, we never get angry unless we are stressed.  “Being wholly without attack” does mean that we must learn to recognize and abort this behavioral tendency as it arises in ourselves.  Take a time out, and contemplate the love that you really have for your brother.  Think of his good deeds, and choose not to focus on any deeds that disturb.  Not only will this move you from stress to love, but this type of reaction will also eliminate the guilt that always arises when we either mentally or verbally attack our brother.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk in love today.  I welcome the thought that fear is left behind when I love.  And I know that attack is a call for help.  And that stress and anger, at least in me, is linked.  May I walk through this day in peace, having understood these truths, at least as I live them.

Be with me today as I seek to find You in tranquility.  May I enjoy a happy day.  May my patience grow today, for You have been perfect patience with me.  Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  May I live out its truths today.

Amen.