Tag Archives: vulnerability

Banishing Vulnerabilities

            Jesus asserts repeatedly that our real will and God’s will are the same.  We are of the stuff of God; He shared His Self with us in our creation, and so how could Reality be otherwise? Reality must be in harmony, in Oneness, or we escape into dreams of chaos, for that is all that madness can make.  God does not will specialness for us; neither do we truly will it for ourselves, for always will it separate us from our brother.  A Course in Miracles proclaims that actually all of us has everything, nor could we wish for less.  The whole is therefore in each part, and each part (our very Self) is neither greater or lesser (more “special” or less) than any other.  Meditate upon this truth, and watch vain insecurities and vulnerabilities slink away.

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

Vulnerability Leads Us to Seek God

            Do you feel insecure in a world fraught with danger on every side?  Do you feel attacked by those with whom you live and work? It is not the real Self that is truly being attacked; it is simply our false concept of a little self that is more special than our brother.  Never will this little self not be made insecure or be attacked, for a Higher Plan is at work, one which would bring us Home by undoing the ego, which is the essence of this little self.

            On the surface of it, to feel vulnerable is a sad state, but if one’s vulnerabilities lead us to seek God, then all is well again.  It is the little self who is most puffed up with pride that will know ego-defeating humiliations all the more.  This is inevitable, not to be lamented, because we must be brought to the point, frequently through fear or pain, in order to be ready, finally, to discard the ego.  If we learn to associate pain with the ego, and joy with the Holy Spirit, we will be walking on the right pathway, and our insecurities will lessen, finally to be discarded forever.  Is not this a welcome boon?  Intuition will always work to lighten our burdens and to heal our sense of isolation in an unfriendly and frightening world.  Leave the ego behind, for “It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes, or creeps or crawls, or even lives at all.” (T-24.IV.4:4)

Seeking to Be Less Vulnerable

“The perceived attack will have entered at the place where you have placed your highest value and are thus most vulnerable. In the past your response would have been to protect and use that which you have most valued. Now your response will have been changing. You will not see so much to value in what has called your ego into action and will turn away from it.” (ACOL, T1:9.15)

I can identify with this passage. Years ago I received a very negative peer review after my first year in a new job, from someone whom I had considered a friend. Despite the fact that I had become a committed Course in Miracles student, the ego was still very strong in me. I had always wanted to think that I did good work, and so when this peer review challenged that self-image, I was devastated. The egoic persona had been bruised.

Years later, I can see what was going on. Now my ego has been loosened, and I cannot fully comprehend why one peer’s opinion became so important to me. I would like to think that I can’t comprehend because I am thinking differently. Egoic ideals don’t call to me as much.

Now, if something similar were to happen, I think that I would be more prone to realize that one person’s opinion is just that—opinion. And my own persona isn’t fully egoic any longer; I don’t have to succeed to be loved. In my egoic persona, being loved was attached, conditionally, to being declared a success in the eyes of other people.

This is not a good interpretation for any of us to make, however strong the ego, but I think that it is a common reaction. In describing what happened, I can see the highs and lows of drama, and I know now that the highs and lows of drama are ego. We do better when we keep steady and on an even keel. We are much more likely to actually be a success in more than just our eyes or the eyes of our peers. We are accessing the Self Who can create through us.

We don’t take credit for what the Self creates through us. This would be to invite an egoic interpretation again. But we can enjoy the newfound joys of truly working in a way that we never did when we believed in the worth of the ego’s evaluations. And we can objectively see that our work has wings that we did not mastermind; Something More is at work.

Prayer

I would not go back to egoic reactions. I would stay on the straight and narrow, respond with Zen-like calm to the events of my life. I would learn how to return love for attack, however subtle the attack. And to do so, I need to keep stress under control. I never get angry unless I am stressed.

You know all these things about me. And You support me in my goal to be on an even keel, 24/7. You would have me reject the urge to make drama out of the events of my life. And I would go along with this desire on Your part as my best new direction.

Be with me today as I seek to lower stress, to return even the mildest form of attack with love. I would approach life by the smooth handle.

Amen.

Those Who Accept the Atonement Know Invulnerability

“Those who accept the Atonement are invulnerable. (T-14.III.10)”

Often we think that vulnerability is to be desired, that it makes us more loving people, more willing to share. But is there not fear in this? We don’t have to feel vulnerability to be loving. This quotation actually indicates just the opposite. We will, of course, be more loving to ourselves and others when we have accepted the Atonement for ourselves, and in this, Jesus says, we will be invulnerable. What a promise!

What does it mean to be invulnerable? It know that nothing can harm us. In the cosmology of ACIM, it says that we are living in an insane and illusory world in which the attacks of others do not harm us because they are not true. This sense of invulnerability will protect us from the slings and arrows that only seem to hurt us. In actuality, these slings and arrows do nothing.

Adopt an Attitude of Invulnerability

“While you believe fate works against you, you are not in concert with the universe.  These attitudesmonet - field with trees confirm a continuing belief in your separated and vulnerable state.  During the time of tenderness, you will learn, through the practice of devotion, to identify and reject all such attitudes and to adopt an attitude of invulnerability.  (A Course of Love, 25.12)”

Affirmation:  “Fate works with me.”

Reflections:

1 – Time of Tenderness

If tenderness at first is our experience, with attendant vulnerability, we will move along in time to a new state of mind and heart, one of invulnerability.  This is a welcome change, and it is not a front, and it is not harsh.  Invulnerability of the right kind means that we are totally protected in our lives by God Himself.

2 – Our Devotion

To whom is our devotion directed?  To none other than God Himself.  When we practice visualization and affirmations, along with our prayers (communion with God), then we are indeed in a favored position.  The problems and difficulties of our lives will fall away.  We may not forever be free of struggles, but the very struggles that might previously have floored us, will seem much lighter and will affect us adversely in a much lessened way.  We will know, in our bones, that God is there for us.  As a part of God, we will come to recognize that our communion is with our innermost Self/Christ.  And we will act out of that Self/Christ, not from the personal self.  The personal self is always a limited version of the much larger Self that we really are.  And the personal self is too informed by that part of the ego that has not withered away.

3 – Invulnerability

So:  Let us welcome invulnerability, knowing that there is nothing artificial about it.  It is not a defense that will crumble.  It is God Himself, holding us to His bosom.  We are blessed indeed, and our lives will smooth out in ways that now we can only contemplate dimly.  Our contemplation will become more vivid as we walk along.  As our attitudes change, and we attract that which we wish to have–blessings–we will indeed seem to the unknowing to be leading charmed lives.  But our lives will be no more charmed for ourselves than for anyone else who is ready to give up the ego and walk into God’s outstretched arms.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I move from the time of tenderness, with its increased sense of vulnerability, may I adopt the attitude of invulnerability.  That is where You are pointing, and I would do well to recognize it.  Fate does not work against me, and You protect me when my mind miscreates.  May my attention go to that which I truly want, thereby working in concert
with the law of attraction.

I cannot look to You to save me from my own mental processes all the time.  You are a loving Father/Mother, and You do not wish harm to come to me.  Jesus waffles a bit about how protective You will be if my mind drops into dissatisfaction and negativity.  I am responsible for what I think, for all thinking creates form on some level.  May this remain a dream state that does not impede the dream reality in which I live.

Help me to have a good day.  I know what to do, and it is up to me to do it.  You have taught me well.  Help me to be a good student.  Thank You for Your many blessings in this sometimes difficult world in which we find ourselves.

Amen.

Tenderness

camille-pissarro-harvest“And each learning experience will be a learning experience because it will touch your heart. . . .You may feel as if everything makes you want to cry because everything will touch you, each lesson will feel tender.  Unlearning has no harshness about it.  If you simply allow it to come, it will reward you constantly with what can best be described as tenderness.  (A Course of Love, 24.1)”

Affirmation:  “I invite tender thoughts to my day.”

Reflections:

1 – Being Vulnerable

The tenderness that Jesus speaks of in the passage for today is not, perhaps, a wholly welcome feeling.  We feel too vulnerable when we are feeling tenderness.  But our heart is softening, and we are sometimes close to tears as we contemplate the gentleness with which God treats us.

2 – More Desired Emotion

Yet tenderness is a much more desired emotion than is harshness.  Tenderness is of love, and harshness is of fear.  And love will crowd out fear.  The more tender we are, the more open our hearts are to the blessings of God.  And we ourselves help in the process of gaining a better life, for like attracts like, and we find ourselves without the will to condemn, a will that ruined things for us as well as the others whom we sometimes condemned.

3 – Allow Tenderness to Envelop

We need to allow this tenderness to envelop us.  We need to welcome the vulnerable part of our hearts, the part that makes us want to cry–for it is indeed a tragedy that we have walked this earth for so long in such a bad fix.  We felt separated from God, and we blamed ourselves for this sense of separation.  But what is part of God (we ourselves) can never actually have been separate.  God has been waiting patiently, while we had our adolescent rebellion against him.  As His communication channels with us open once again, after eons of being asleep to the knowledge of Him, we are welcomed back with just this tenderness that we are experiencing.

4 – A Softened Heart

There is no mystery here.  We know, if we think about it, that we like a softened heart.  We feel love that way.  And it feels good to feel love.  May our days go better as we let this knowledge–for it is knowledge, not perception–become an intimate part of our assessment of our lives.  When we are happier, we will be in a better position to reach out to others in our lives, to make their lives go better as well.  We do not reach out, if our advances are unwelcome.  But we stand ready to help when others express an interest in our lives and in what we believe.

5 – Charmed Lives

It may seem sometimes, in this process, that we ourselves are living charmed lives.  But those who do not know why will wonder what gives us the joy.  If they ask, we can respond, in as kindly a way as possible.  Our lives are no more charmed than the lives of others who have seen the same light that we have.  And that light is within us all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I live more mindfully, I will react from a tender spot in my heart.  This is You softening my harshness, and I do only welcome this change.  If I cry, You will cry with me.  You will soften my heart to gentleness and lovingness, and all will be well.  I will live a charmed life, as will all who listen carefully to You.  Thank You.

I welcome this time of tenderness.  Having met Mari, who scribed A Course of Love, I know that she lives tenderness, and she is a good role model for what Jesus was trying to tell us in this remarkable trilogy.  Be with us as we would all seek to be more like Mari, who heard the words first.  She lives a quiet life, and it is in quietness that You are heard most consistently.

Be with me today as I seek to be attentive, ever more attentive, to the significant others in my circle.  Thank You for the camaraderie that I know in everyday life.  The camaraderie and the love.  You are blessing me tremendously, and for that I thank You.  I ask You to bless, in a similar way, all of my brothers and sisters in this world.  May what I say in this blog touch their hearts, and it will be You touching their hearts.

Amen.

How to Avoid Being Vulnerable

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

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

Selected Passage:

 

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

Reflections:

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

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

Selected Passage:

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

Reflections:

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.