Tag Archives: Worry

Jesus: “I Want You to Be Happy”

“I want you to be happy, just as you want happiness.  Let go of your worries.  Give them to me.  I love.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 4:III

What a heartwarming message given by Jesus!  He is standing right beside all of us, embracing all of us with love.  He invites us to eliminate worry.  If we truly believed that he stands beside each of us, which one of us would still cling to worry?

None!  None of us would cling to worry.  Believe these words.  Jesus loves.  We learned this in Sunday school many years ago.  Now we can understand it on a more mature basis.  He can love more greatly than we can, for nothing in our experience has taught us as keenly as what Jesus knows about love.  Let him give to us the knowledge that is his.  Ask for this today.

We all want happiness, and while there is much that we can do to improve our attitudes, happiness does ask for divine bestowal.  We can believe, rightly, that happiness is God’s will for us, for all His children.  We get ourselves tangled up when we think we need to “deserve” love.  We are worthy children of God, and nothing that we do or say gives us worth in His eyes (from A Course in Miracles).  We are worthy as we are, without exception.  We need to ask forgiveness for our mistakes, for they are not dark sins. 

When we have done that, our function of salvation, forgiveness, happiness (as said in A Course in Miracles) becomes real to us.

Release

“Concerns are a thought program.  I ask you now to observe that mechanism, recognized it for what it is, and accept the fact that it comes from fear.  It is fear of uncertainty, of not knowing what the future will bring.  This fear of uncertainty generates a state of anguish that must first be accepted, and then released.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

Jesus would have us take a look at our fears, and then, after looking at them, release them.  He would not have us just try to dismiss thoughts of uncertainty.  This dismissing never works very well, and the subconscious is less likely to be healed if we eject bad thoughts without considering them.  Of course, we don’t want to make them “real” to us (something A Course in Miracles warns against), and so it seems to be me that the moments of considering need to remain brief, not an obsession.

Acceptance is written all over what Jesus counsels in his channeled works.  If we cower, we will not accept, and then we will remain in anguish.  Just know that there is an Answer, that Jesus is right here with us, when we ask, helping us to move beyond fear.

If we have lived well in the past, our future will be certain to go smoothly.  Some fear death as the greatest uncertainty, but death is like walking through an open door, nothing to fear at all.  If we have not lived well in the past, we can nevertheless entertain a course correction.  We always get a second chance with Jesus.

Pray for the release of concerns and worries, the release of our own hesitancy in the face of a future that will always remain uncertain.  We cannot see the future, and I think this a great blessing. 

But it also means that the future may be brighter than we anticipate, and when we focus on those bright things, they tend to happen.

Inner Peace

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

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

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

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

Let the mind and heart swell with inner peace today. 

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

Open the Way to Peace

“Observe how the thought pattern of worry blocks access to peace, and therefore to your true self.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

Our “true self” does not worry.  This is the Christ-Self described so well in A Course of Love.  If we are prone to worry, let’s decide today to give up negative obsessions.  Our lives will be so much better.  We do have the power to effect this.

All of us long for peace in this world, even when we are not aware of what we are longing for.  A Course in Miracles says that our future is to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  This may seem a bit extreme, but it is a good metaphor for the meek who will inherit the earth.  Meekness is not passivity, though, something we would all be wise to come to understand.

If we want peace, we are learning that we must drop worry from our habitual frame of mind.  Let the heart speak to us, for the heart knows how to love, and when we love rightly, we depend on our faith in God to evict worry from our mind.  Doing this can be as easy as dismissing worry thoughts, one right after the other, when they occur to us.  Substitute thoughts of love, loving thoughts, and the worry will have no place to occupy.  It is always best to substitute another thought, lest our attempt to dismiss thoughts is akin to ignoring an elephant in the room.  Not possible.

We want access to our true self.  It behooves us to take steps in that direction, especially when we are tempted to turn aside from our true self.  Worry is a form of fear, and we know that love cancels fear.

Let’s let love do its work today.

Answers to Prayers

“When you feel worried, sit down, relax, take a deep breath, connect with the desire, and wait for the answer.  The answer to desire will be given in due time and in perfect form.  Someone will knock on the door and bring you the solution, or a situation will be unlocked, or a successful idea will come, or simply the problem will be otherwise resolved.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

This good outcome is what happens when we pray with anticipation and a quiet mind.  I have found that some things that bother me have never found their way into my prayers.  And that is why the Answer may be a long time in coming.

If we articulate a need, the solution is found with the problem.  This tenet is part of A Course in Miracles.  I have found it to be very true.  Notice that there is no time delay.  Time delay is not always needed, particularly if we ourselves hold all the keys to the Answer.  Sometimes we just have to get ourselves and our worries toned down, and all will be well.

I notice that Jesus says here that we are to sit down, relax, take a deep breath.  Is this not common sense?  But how many of us do this, consistently?  We might get answers to our prayers more readily if we prepared ourselves as he describes.

If the Answer seems long in coming, know that there is a reason that we cannot fathom.  God Himself does not like delay; He works fast, once we know what we are really asking.

Focus on the questions for which we need Answers.  And give a prayer of thanks when the Answers come. 

Eliminating Worry

“I ask you to observe the pattern of concern, the recurring pattern of worry.  Always it takes concrete form:  maybe money, a business, health, the safety of the children.  Everyone has an area in which they feel insecure.  Maybe there are several areas, but they are always few and very specific.  We now work with these areas to experience those patterns of thought and emotional responses, and to transmute them.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

We get very practical help from Jesus here.  All of us have worries, and here he recognizes that these are very specific, and few, concerns.  We can lift our mind and heart from these negativisms, and Jesus is willing and able to help us do so.  Let’s accept his help. 

Of course, sometimes specific worries escalate into what is called “free-floating anxiety.”  Even if we suffer from this, we can spend some time in contemplation as we search out the specificity of what we are anxious about.  Identify the concerns, and take them one by one to a Higher Power.

We are not meant to dwell in worry.  At base, we are handicapped in trust.  If we open our mind and heart to God Himself, He will teach us how to trust Him in all things.

Then the concerns will fall away, often immediately.

Trust

“[T]oday I speak of trust.  Observe how the thought patterns of worries and concerns of all kinds seem to assault you again and again.  These concerns come, in fact, from beliefs contrary to trust.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

We would not worry so much if we trusted more.  If we trusted in God.  We do know that most of what we worry about never, ever, comes to pass.  How much better we could live if we dropped worry and replaced it with trust!

We can’t just determine to drop worry and concerns.  We need to edge these negative thoughts out of the mind with something more powerful.  The perfect alternative to worry/concerns is trust that a good God doesn’t mean us harm and, instead, is showering love on us just all the time.  He is, you know.  The bad things in life don’t come from God, but from our own misguided notions and ideas.  We use our free will to make for chaos, and chaos finds us.

Drop chaos when we drop worries and concerns.  Let trust in God, the first prerequisite for a teacher of God (according to A Course in Miracles), take their place.  Then, even if bad things happen, we won’t feel them nearly so much. 

We will have a faith in things ethereal and permanent that overshadow, and sometimes negate, the transient things of this world.

Let God Act in Gentleness in Our Very Souls

I and I alone am the source of what I experience and perceive. I am not a victim of the world I see. Everything I experience, I have called to myself, plain and simple—no excuses, no ifs, ands, or buts. That is the way it is.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64)

We are one with Jesus, as we are one with all other beings in our world. We are responsible for this “pebble” (Jesus’ word) called “earth.” There is one Self only, and this Self is a manifestation of God, insane though we have been in manifesting Him. He is not insane, and so we could not fully experience God in our illusory separation from Him. But we have never been victims. We did just what we wanted. We thought it smart to develop a worldview that left God out, and in the doing of it, we suffered mightily. Our suffering was chosen by our souls to lead us back to knowledge that what we were about would never work.

God was not punitive. He just had to have universes that were based in Love in order to keep that Creation from self-destructing. We didn’t know this, for our finite minds could not contain the ramifications of this in our delusions. We projected the ego as the Devil, and we imagined a cosmic war going on. This has never been, but we didn’t have, in separation, a certain way of knowing the truth.

Now we do. We live in the time of Christ, and certain things that have been hidden until are now, now are out in the open. Our way back is seen as the smooth path that it is. We need fret, worry, suffer, be in pain, no more. Our Self, seen as individuated entities apart from each other, will gradually return to the fold, knowing that suffering is unnecessary. We will let God have His way with us, learning through rewards, a way that is vastly superior to pain.

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it is not necessary to learn through pain. Believe him, and watch the agonies of this world recede.

Let God act in gentleness in our very souls, and our way will be smoothed for all time.

Resolving Conflict

Are we ever really in conflict? The Course would say not. The true Self is above such pettiness. When conflict rules, we have let our egoistic images of ourselves collide with simply a different egoistic image, also of ourselves.

This conflict happens all the time to those of us still on this side of the bridge, and this includes most of us—we who are still not consistently living in the “real world.” We do not, however, have to continue in conflict. We can refer all questions to our Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

I have found that the gesture of turning the conflict over to the Holy Spirit may be answered immediately, or we may be so involved with turmoil that a quieter mind, one that could hear guidance, has not yet come to us. If the latter is our situation, we need to suspend our thoughts, refusing to mull over the unresolved issue, and quiet our minds.

Whatever method one uses can be right—meditation (the Course makes use of some of this quietness, though the word “meditation” is never used in the FIP edition); prayer; or simple distraction from the conflict to thoughts of something else. One must be aware, however, that distraction can allow the conflict to light upon something else later on. Whatever method one uses, we must trust not in one’s self, but in the Holy Spirit, the Bearer of better thought, to give a way out of the impasse. One helpful thought when battling conflict is to remember that one always battles illusions, for Reality does not battle at all. This recognition may in itself may be enough to calm the heat of passion.

In my own case, I used to have a neurotic tendency to find something, anything, about which to worry. It is as if the “worry” part of me were comfortable only if I had something to fret over. So it is that the ego thrives on conflict, justifying its continuance by conflict. There is a well-worn groove that most of us reserve for worry. When all is said and done, we may find that we were simply in the grip of a bad habit. But by so retaining this bad habit, the Course would say that we make the conditions that we dread, because we choose our own reality. There is a solemn warning in realizing our power to choose our futures that should not be minimized.

Picture instead a resolution, as yet unknown, to be worked out by the Holy Spirit. Abide with this thought awhile, and see if a calmer mind will not welcome, in a moment of revelry perhaps, the answer previously sought so frantically. Once we set aside the conflict-ridden emotional state, the Holy Spirit is free to act.

Love Is a Greater Emotion than Worry

“Remember that your worries affect nothing. You think if your worries affect time this is an effect, but time is an illusion. It too does not matter. Remind yourself of this as well. This is part of letting go of the old world to make way for the new. Realize these things do not matter and will not be carried with you to the new world. So you might as well let them go now.” (ACOL, C:1.6)

Letting go of all our worries sounds like an impossible task. Our worries, large and small, do make up the tenor of our lives. We are shaped in daily life by whether or not we are actively worrying about something. This obsessional nature of worry ruins many a day.

How might we get over this thing called worry? We can realize that love is a greater emotion than worry. It is just that simple. We do what we can, when we can, to live life wisely. Then we let go—into the well stream of living in love. We realize that there is a Higher Power that will sustain us through all that we might ever face. Indeed, has sustained us already, when we have let Him. If we have resisted living in love, then even God does not go against our free will to fashion a life such as we would have.

Many of us think that worry is a lucky charm, that if we carry worries about with us, then the individual, myriad things to which it attaches are not likely to happen. Does this really make any sense? Isn’t this pure superstition?

Yes, many of our lucky charms are nothing but superstition. We don’t think that a benevolent Power will save us from ourselves, and so we degenerate into believing mindless magic.

We would be done with this manner of living. Today. Let the heart lead you, for the heart knows that we are all safe except in those instances that we go against divine will by asserting our own paltry desires into our life choices. We need guidance to know how to live well, and guidance will come to all if we are open to it.

When we are following guidance, our amulets and lucky charms drop away. We know within our heart that we have a Power helping us that will keep us safe. We don’t need to follow superstition any longer. We are home free. We are living in the new world that we are creating moment by moment.

A Place of Retreat / A Place of Safety and of Rest

1 – Freedom

“Freedom from want, freedom from lack, freedom from repression, are what we will now enjoy together on our mountain top retreat. We have not removed ourselves from life in any way, and yet we have reached a place of retreat, a place of safety and of rest, a place away from ‘normal’ life and the lack of freedom you have experienced there. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

2 – Blessings

What a blessing this quotation promises! We have all known a lack of freedom in our everyday lives. We have so much that presses us on all sides.

3 – No Worrying

But there can be an end to such thinking. We can walk through a normal day without worrying about relationships, work, love. If we are attuned to the Christ within, we will know how to let go of those things that impinge upon us. This does not mean that we give up on relationships, work, love—but we transform these everyday issues into something meaningful to ourselves. We walk through the day with nourishment from our everyday issues, even when they are difficult. We know intuitively what to do and what to say, guidance, and this guidance makes all the difference. We no longer wander in a fog of discontent. We are happy, regardless of whatever outside of us seems to rue our day. We don’t let anything rue our day.

4 – Mountain Top

These 40 days and 40 nights with Jesus on the mountain top are magical, but in a good sense—not in the sense of irrationality. We know that we will learn much, even though we are not learning in the way that the ego learned for eons. We are learning in a new way, an effortless way—and we will be much the better for it. Life does not await our recalcitrant spirit; life awaits our running forth to meet it.

5 – Arrival

“Allow yourself, now, to experience your arrival, your return to your true home, your return to your Self. Laugh. Cry. Shout or wail. Dance and sing. Spin a new web. The web of freedom.

“In other words, express your Self” (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

6 – Happy

Jesus seems happy as he speaks these words to his scribe, Mari. He wants us to be happy as well. Happy and released. What joy to know that we can be free in everyday life. Our wills are no longer imprisoned, for we have let go of the ego, and in the letting go have all things been given to us. Once we learned in A Course in Miracles that our will and that of the Holy Spirit was actually identical, that He speaks for us, we were well on our way to better days. We know that if we follow our guidance, we will live better lives. He makes the decisions “for us” that we were too confused to make. And those decisions lead to inner peace. And freedom.

7 – Confidence

“You who do not feel confident in your feelings, who do not feel confident in your ability to respond, who do not as yet feel the freedom of the new, allow yourself now, to do so. Allow freedom to reign, for it is your allowance, your choice, your permission, that will make it so. The only one who can stop you now is yourself. The only permission you ever needed was your own. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

8 – Freedom

We only needed our own permission to be free. Of course, we had to learn to follow guidance to be free, for with imprisoned wills in the egoic mind, we led sad lives indeed.

9 – Joyful

Now all of this lamentable mess is gone for good. Why would we not be joyful? Why would we not shout and sing and dance? We might not want to do such in the company of other people, but most of us have at least some solitude from time to time. I encourage you to seek out that solitude today, and to express your joy through your body. Follow Jesus’s advice to let your inner spirit out to play. The play is the result of learning made evident in the whole Self Who we embody now. The play is the way that things ought to be on a daily basis. Effortless living. What a blessing this is!

10 – Certainty

“Certainty of mind and heart has been realized by many. The expression of that certainty in form has not. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

11 – Elevated Self of Form

We want to occupy the elevated Self of form, something that hasn’t yet happened on a grand scale. This elevated Self of form embodies a state known by several names—Christ-consciousness (called such in A Course of Love); Awakening (called such in A Course in Miracles); enlightenment (called such in the Eastern religions). The concept is the same, and Jesus says that he is ready for us to reach this state on a sustainable basis.

12 – Sustainability

We want to reach certainty, and we want to sustain certainty. Jesus seems to lament the fact that more of us have not sustained certainty. He seems bent on leading us to that state through his 40 days and 40 nights with us. Perhaps this is why we have come; surely it is.

13 – Ideal Self

“Let’s begin this day with a consideration of the idea that you may have an inaccurate idea of an ideal self. . . .The image of the ideal self you hold in your mind, no matter what form it takes, is still an image, and must now be done without if you are going to realize freedom. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

14 – Persona

We often have a persona that we display not only to others, but also to ourselves. We almost never let ourselves drop the masks that we wear. That is because we have an image of an ideal self that we think we need to accomplish. Is this idea true?

15 – Mirage

An ideal self is still a persona, is still a mirage. And we need to drop the persona if we are to allow other people to see us as we really are. Perhaps we think that we will not be accepted if we share who we really are. For some of our brothers, this might be true. We cannot allow this to stop us. If we avoid anger and attack, two things that have been recommended elsewhere by Jesus, we will be better accepted. This does not mean that we will be making a persona that is untrue. This does not mean that we will be making an “ideal” self (for we could not do this if we tried).

16 – Who We Really Are

It means that we will be true to who we really are. Who we really are. Do we even know what this means?

17 – Consider

Take a moment to consider what is being said. Just let the masks drop, the persona melt away. Just consider being the Self that you intuitively recognize from within. This is enough to ultimately get us home, home to Christ-consciousness. When God will take that step is unknown to all of us, but it is inevitable once we have started out on the pathway home. It is God’s Will for us. Of this we can be sure.

18 – False God

“To work toward, or to have as a goal, the achievement of an ideal image is to have created a false god. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

19 – Concept of an Ideal Self

If we are tempted to keep our concept of an ideal self alive, we will have to know that we are making a god. None of us wants that. So it behooves us to study how to avoid making a concept.

20 – Stillness

A few moments of stillness with a look within will set us on the right pathway. It takes work to make a persona—no work at all to be our real Self. Keep this in mind, and avoid struggling to have this as a persona. We want the real Self.

21 – Ego

“As with most goals of the time of learning, it was an ego-centered goal, a carrot of fulfillment the ego but dangled before you in the place it called the future. As with all messages of the ego, it but says that who you are is not good enough. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

22 – Wrong Way to Live

This “ideal” state is a wrong way to react. We don’t want a false god. We don’t want to live amiss, and living amiss is what we will do if we reach for what we perceive to be an ideal. In the first place, we cannot know what an “ideal” would be. We are too much influenced by the ego in such a transaction.

23 – Relinquish the Ego

Most of us who study A Course in Miracles have been well-tutored in the fact that we need to step aside from the ego. Relinquishing the ego and forgiving our brother were significant emphases of ACIM. We need now to realize that the attempt to reach the “ideal” persona will engage the ego again, something that we desperately want to avoid; the ego will never get us where we want to reach—Christ-consciousness or Awakening.

24 – Live in the Now

We also need to live in the present, and the ego would dangle an ideal state as one always placed in the future. We err when we live in the past and the future, for that is itself is an impossibility, a mirage that gets us nowhere fast. Live in the Now. We will never be that ideal self, impossible as it is, for the ego will always convince us that there is one more thing that we need to do—one more and then one more still. It was in the attempt to let us know that we are OK exactly as we are that Jesus is channeling A Course of Love. This is blasphemy to the ego, but we are rapidly leaving the ego behind—just turning away from it and all of its hollow promises.

25 – Give Up Images

“Your freedom is contingent upon your ability to give up your images, particularly the image you hold of an ideal self. It is contingent upon your ability to accept that you are your ideal self. Yes, even right now, with all your seeming imperfections. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

26 – Ideal Self

Yes! This quotation gives us the crux of the matter. With the ego gone, we have become that which we sought to become. And we need to rest in that realization. We ARE the ideal self that we sought to become, even though all of us recognize that we still have imperfections. Jesus’s answer to these imperfections, stated in A Course of Love, is simply to turn aside from that which one would change. If one reacts with anger all too often, simply made a decision to let the anger go. The decision will affect all future actions. Anger is used as Jesus’s example with concentrated emphasis; this is because anger had been considered off limits to those of religious persuasion by A Course in Miracles.

27 – Serve

So, if we are the ideal self that we sought to become, what more do we do? We serve others, and in the serving of others, we nourish ourselves. We love and are loved in return. We rest in God’s grace, secure in the knowledge that a Higher Power is always there to rescue us from mistakes and to set us on the high road again.

28 – The Work

“For if you believe that we are proceeding to some predetermined ideal state, we will not succeed in the work we are doing here together. If you believe this, you will not accept your Self as you are. If you do not accept your Self as you are, you will not move from image to presence. If you do not move from image to presence you will never realize your freedom. If you do not realize your freedom, you will not realize your power. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 142)”

29 – Learning

This passage emphasizes the fact that we have been trying, through the past time of learning, to build an ideal self, which we believe would then express. But we want to express our Self without the goals of the forsaken ego, without trying to be other than what we really are. It is in our expression of our freedom to be as we really are that we express our Self, the elevated self of form.

30 – Express Ourselves

We are encouraged to express ourselves on this Day Nine in any way that feels appropriate–laugh, cry, shout, wail, dance, sing, and so forth. Any way is alright. All are blessings of the time of the coming Christ-consciousness. We are taught not to place any faith in our inaccurate notion of an ideal self, because this fiction was of the time of the ego, the time of learning. We are all different, and diversity in this world is a gift of God. We are meant to give up this fiction of an ideal self, or else we will not be able to express our real Self. We will not accept ourselves just as we really are, and that acceptance is what is called for.

31 – Freedom of Expression

We are not like the young child that we once were–the young child who felt free to express himself or herself in a carefree manner. Freedom of expression has become diminished in ourselves, and we must welcome it back if we are to move forward. We must debunk the fiction of an ideal self, and realize that this was only an idol, now an idol that we would leave behind. We will achieve confidence to express our real Self when we leave this false image of an ideal self behind.

32 – Alive

“You express the beauty and truth of who you are by being alive. It has only been your inability to accept this that has caused your grief and pretensions. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

33 – Striving

“You might ask now what is wrong with desiring to have the freedom to strive to be more and to do more. . . .You have just completed a monumental learning challenge and so your natural pattern would be to keep going now, to use the momentum of this learning success to achieve another. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

34 – Challenge

“This pattern will be easily replaced, however, as your acceptance of yourself as you are, the real challenge of this time, begins to grow and to build your confidence. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Nine)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to accept myself without the ego. Be with me as I relax into the “play” that Jesus suggests for this day. I know that only through consciousness of You will I have the presence of mind to be at ease.

Thank You for these many words of Jesus. He is my guide, and I am very grateful.

I don’t readily accept Jesus as an equal; that goes against my thinking, as I have not yet assimilated A Course of Love. Help me to see what Jesus means by this assertion that he is our companion and our equal. I know that the Christ Self is in all of us, just waiting to come out. But my moments of Awakening are inconsistent still; I have not yet sustained Awakening. Help me to know what and how to think about this issue—today. I know that You often answer prayers immediately, and I ask for such an answer now.

Amen.

I Am Here Only to Be Truly Helpful. I Do Not Have to Worry about What to Say or What to Do, because He Who Sent Me Will Direct Me.

“I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
(T28)”

Affirmation: “I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do.”

Reflections:

1 – What Am I to Do?

One of you who reads this blog frequently finds a favorite post by typing into a search engine the question, “What am I to do? Where am I to go?” Today’s passage just happens to be a precise answer to this question, a question that affects all of us to one degree or another. We are here to represent God; that is the spiritual answer. But not all who read this blog are ready for such spiritual talk. It is enough to know that those of us in the secular world, as well, can see that we do receive guidance about what to say or do next. This guidance can be very precise: Turn left at the next corner, even. Of course, if we are unbalanced, everything can seem to be a sign. But if we are reasonably well put together, our guidance will come in rational ways, though we will need to enlarge what we think of as “rational.”

2 – Lovely Prayer

The passage for today is a lovely prayer, set in the form of a blank verse poem. The “He” and “Him” referred to in the poem mean the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Universal Inspiration, the part of us that is in communication with the Father, with God. ACIM uses the triume God as a part of its theology: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But we are all the Son or Daughter, in a departure from traditional Christianity. We all have the Christ Self within as part of the inner Being whom we are.

3 – Holy Spirit

Two of the most beautiful lines are Lines 3 and 4, in which we are assured that the Holy Spirit will guide us. We do not have to reach ahead to the future, wondering what to do. We will be told in the present. If there are plans that need to be made, we will be told of them at the point of need. There is no need to worry. This lack of a need to worry is powerful incentive to let the Holy Spirit makes decisions for us. If we turn over our judgment to Him Who knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–the cause of worry is negated. We have previously shown a lack of trust in the universe when we have worried. We have shown a lack of faith. But we do not have to stay in this state of unrest. We can move with a surety that is not of this world. We can move in God’s grace.

4 – Guidance

We will follow guidance to go wherever in this world we are led to go. This is truly being led by the Holy Spirit, and it may not take what is commonly known as blind faith. We will know inwardly and with assurance what pathway is best, and where that pathway is physically located. We will go with knowledge that we are there with the Holy Spirit.

5 – Our Brother’s Keeper

We are also our brother’s keeper. “I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal,” which is the last line, is an assurance that our relationship to our brother is where healing lies. This points out a frequent emphasis in this blog, that our holy relationship to our brother/sister is our means home to God. Here is the healing. And we heal him/her as surely as we heal ourselves. This is the means that A Course in Miracles is using to save us time. Each of us will save a thousand years as the world reckons. The world is old and worn down, very weary. It is a place of joylessness, but we can turn it into a place of joy. (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

6 – Study the Poem

If we study this poem, we will have its blessing, for it is indeed dense with meaning. Let the Holy Spirit speak to us as we read.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank you for helping me to make decisions through the Holy Spirit. Let me realize that I do not have to worry about what to say or do, because I will be guided. This is Your promise.

Help me to be helpful to others in my daily life. As I am healed, I will be better able to effect healing in others through Your grace.

Be with me this day. I ask You to give me good energy as I walk through the day. Give your blessing to my brothers and sisters as well as to myself. May I follow the guidance that I receive. May I not be stubborn in my own alienated will.

Amen.

Worry Explained

van gogh - flowers4“All your worry over the future and the past is but a worry about the return of gifts given.  What gift of opportunity did you not accept in the past, might you not recognize in the future?. . . .What peace might you know if you realized, truly realized, that all gifts come but once and are forever?  The past nor the future matter not.  All is available in the here and now where giving and receiving occur.  (A Course of Love, 29.25)”

Affirmation:  “I would cease worry immediately, for gifts are given permanently.”

Reflections:

1 – Obscure Passage

The meaning of this passage is a bit obscure until we dissect the sentences.

2 – Past and Future

First, we are to cease worrying over past and future.  We have been afraid that the peace that we know in the present is a brief peace that will disappear when circumstances.

3 – Giving and Receiving = One

This does not have to happen.  Our faithfulness to the truths that Jesus gives us in A Course of Love, the giving and receiving as one, is all that is required.

4 – Accept God’s Plan

Second, we have the opportunity to accept the plan of God today.  We do not have to let this opportunity slip by the wayside.  And we must not.  We need not fear that this opportunity will not be offered again (for it will), but why wait?

5 – Christ-Consciousness

Third, the peace that we feel can and will be permanent when Christ-consciousness is sustained.  This may be a long time off, but in the meantime, many of us will be given glimpses of the revelation that all is well.  We will know Christ-consciousness in ever-greater intervals of time.  And that is the great promise.

6 – Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are one.  How often and how long have we known this?  But perhaps these words are simply words to us.  To give is to invite the receipt of the gift given.  We find that like attracts like, and this is the law of attraction, about which so much has been written recently.  Many have found the truth in this law, but we would find amiss if we stop with just the material benefits.  The material benefits will not long satisfy.  It is the intangibles of God that count for the most–the joy, the harmony, the peace, the tranquility.  And in these intangibles do we learn the most about giving and receiving being of one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease worry, the worry that has dogged my steps for many years.  All of this is such foolishness.  Do I or do I not trust You?  I know that if I follow Jesus, everything will be alright.  And Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are manna unto my spirit.  Thank You for his part in Your plan.

May I return also to the Bible in my contemplative moments.  I see the Bible, especially the New Testament, ACIM, and ACOL as part of a continual tradition.  Others may not agree, but I thank You that this interpretation gives me peace.

May all of us have a good day.  May none of us turn pain into suffering.  With You in our lives, welcomed in, then all indeed is well–regardless of outer circumstances.  Thank You.

Amen.

Cease Toiling

ptg-monet-magpie“Your work is that of creation.  Your creation is your service to the world as your Father’s work is his service to you.  As you cannot imagine God toiling, so you should cease to imagine yourself doing thus.  (A Course of Love, 29.10)”

Affirmation:  “I would refrain from ‘toiling’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Protestant Work Ethic

Many of us think that God is a hard taskmaster, because the Protestant work ethic is embedded in our culture here in the United States.  God is not a hard taskmaster; it is ourselves that merely think this, erroneously.  God would have us work effortlessly, and when we are living the Self/Christ that we really are, we are at peace, relaxed, and capable of great service to others (and ourselves) without strain.  We work the easy way.

2 – Toil Unnecessary

It is only our perchance for toil that seems to bring it upon us.  We do not need to toil in service to ourselves, and we also do not need to toil in service to others.  Easy does it.  The best and hardest work is that which is the easiest to do.  We may not immediately believe this assertion, but let us reread the passage for today, and, if we believe it, we will know this to be true.

3 – Creation

Our creation is not the “making” that was of the ego.  Instead, our creation is creating in the real world, the world beyond illusions, the world of joy, peace, harmony.  These intangibles of God find concrete form when we listen to His guidance to us.  And only then.  We work amiss when we try–try–to do “good works” for Him.  He would not have us strive to please Him by such means.  He will teach us the easy way to work, if we will only listen.

4 – Hardest Work Becomes Easy

So, let us have no more of hard toil.  The hardest work, objectively, becomes easy when we invite God into the mix.  Let us do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we relax in Your embrace, the most stressful day becomes smooth.  We do not need to toil, wearing ourselves out.  When we are at home in You, then we can work very, very hard–but the work will seem effortless.  And, of course, effortlessness is the easy way to work.  

Thank You that Jesus said long ago that his burden was light.  And when the burden is light, it truly is not a burden at all.  May we spend the rest of today thanking You with grateful hearts for the burdens that no longer weigh heavily upon us.

May we cease fretting and worry.  These are among the most common burdens, and with You in us, with us aware of You in us, fretting and worry are understood to be needless.

May the day go well.  May we bless our brothers and sisters with our words, our thoughts,
and our actions.

Amen.

What the Elevated Self of Form Means

“This is the invitation to the celebration.  This is the invitation to greet this day with no worry, disappointment, or planning.  This is the invitation to greet your Self and to find your Self within this day.  (A Course of Love, 26.18)”

Affirmation:  “I will look to my Self today.  May my Self be evident to me.”cezanne - houses

Reflections:

1 – Do We Have What It Takes?

The passage for today is very optimistic, and we might wonder if this reflects Jesus’s optimism about us.  Will we really prove to be who and what he wants us to be?  Do we really have what it takes?

2 – Start the Day Aright

A day started out right has much to recommend it.  If we decide, early today, that we want a celebration, then we might well have it.  We can drop worry, disappointment, and planning–if we have the right support from God.  And we will have that right support when we know that Jesus’s affirmations are true.

3 – Experience the Christ/Self

We need to experience our Self today.  It is the only way that we can be truly peaceful in a world that grows more difficult every day.  This Self does not hamper the growth of a better world in any way; living this Self is the way.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

How do we reach the elevated Self of form?  What, indeed, do these words even mean?

5 – What the Elevated Self of Form Means

The words, “elevated Self of form,” means that we will live in this world as physical beings but we will be living in Christ-consciousness.  The Self/Christ in us is an elevated being when we compare to the personal self, the little self, that was dominated by the ego.  The Self in form has thrust aside the ego as a bad idea, though as a part of ourselves it will simply cease to be; it will not be destroyed in any violent act.  We just turn aside from thoughts of the ego in making our decisions; indeed, we do not make our decisions alone, but in concert with the Christ within.  We assume guidance to be a constant factor in our lives, and we do not recoil from it–ever.  We know that the guidance that we know to be true is the next right action to take.  And so we live, simply and peacefully, fully reconciled to God and fully in harmony with the world in which we find ourselves.

6 – The World Will Change

The world will change when these changes have reached a critical mass.  And we can help that day be sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start this day aright.  I would leave aside worry, planning, disappointments.  I would sense my Christ/Self within today.  All will be well if I can stay true to this resolution.  I do have plenty of help.  Help is only a call away.  You are with me, and there are helpers abounding.  Thank You.

I would live the elevated Self of form today, if only in fleeting moments.  Your guidance will bring this out in me.  I am grateful to You for the assurance that we are meant to live the elevated Self of form.  The physical does not have to be downplayed.

Be with me as I seek to drop worry today, worry and obsessions.  I must do my part, and, with Your help, I will succeed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Overcoming Worry, Planning, and Disappointment

cezanne.appg - still life“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind?  Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more?  Can you let the planning for the future cease?  Can you be still and know your Self?  (A Course of Love, 26.16)”

Affirmation:  “I will be still and know my Self.”

Reflections:

1 – We Need Peace of Mind

We need to recognize that living in any time other than the present, and living in the present with worry is devastating to our peace of mind.  We need to drop the past, similarly, and cease planning for contingencies to come.  We will be guided to make plans if those plans need to be made, and at the very point of need.  Otherwise, we can safely be stll and welcome the coming of our Self, the coming of the Christ within.

2 – Invite Christ-Consciousness

This technique is actually a manual for how to invite Christ-consciousness.  We only need to be still!  What a blessing!  Can we believe it?  It is in the receiving that we will know the truth of this promise.  We can ask for Christ-consciousness, but if we do not believe that this blessing will be given to us, we will not be in a position to receive.  We need to ask and then contemplate receiving.  As Norman Vincent Peale says, we are expert askers but inexpert receivers.

3 – Willing to Receive

This factor of being willing to receive, to thank God for the receipt, is pivotal.  Until we have become willing to receive, to believe with all our heart that we are ready, then the receiving will not happen.

4 – Do Not “Seek”

So long as we continue seeking, we will not receive.  There is always something more that we can read.  It is true that we need inspirational meditations for the long haul.  But we do not need to use such reading to “seek” what has already been given.

5 – Christ-Consciousness

When we are ready for Christ-consciousness, we need to know–really know, not perceive–that the blessing will be given.  Our faith, a concept not discussed very much in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, will stand us in good stead.  Faith is simply assumed.  And with that faith will come an assurance that all is well.  It is all alright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease planning for the future.  You will prompt me when plans need to be carried out, at the point of need.  I would also cease worry and eliminate disappointment.  All of these things are necessary before Christ-consciousness can be mine.  Help me to begin to eliminate these distractions today, right now.

Be with me as I go through the day.  You know what needs to be planned, because planning has been something hard for me to overcome.  Likewise, worry has dogged my pathway.  I would cease such foolishness immediately.  You will guide me as to how to do that.  I do believe this.  And the New Testament says, “Fear not, only believe, and she shall be made whole.”

Thank You for the continuity of the Bible, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love.  Not everyone sees this continuity, but I choose to look for it, and I find it.  Thank You for these inspired readings.  Your way is mine, and I ask for the faith and diligence to walk to You, to walk that pathway.

May all of us have a good day.

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.

Return of Heaven

“If you cannot claim at least a small amount of love for your own Self, then neither can you claim your power, for they go hand-in-hand.  There is no ‘common good’ as you perceive of it, and you are not here to assure the continuance of society.  The worries that would occupy you can be let go if you but work instead for the return of heaven and the return of your own Self.  (A Course of Love, 16.26)”

vangogh

Affirmation:  “May I claim some of my love personally.”

Reflections:

1 – Power

“Power” is not a negative word as Jesus uses it.  We need to claim our power, and in this claim do we regain heaven and our Self.  This Self, as we have mentioned repeatedly, is the Christ within.  And when we work in tandem with our unseen helpers, we will know this Self sooner rather than later.

2 – Don’t Proselytize

We are not to proselytize.  We are here to offer help and sustenance to those who look to us for some small bit of guidance.  But we are not to reach out to those who are not asking and/or are not ready for the message of salvation as we teach it.  Nor are we told to do great things in society.  This is a personal gospel, in that when we have accepted the tenets of  A Course of Love, we will naturally reach out into our various parts of society and make a difference.  But we will not seek to evangelize.  Everyone learns at his/her own rate and in his/her own time.  It is not up to us to say who is ready for only a smile.  We will be guided what to say and what to do.  We need not fear to overstep.

3 – We Fret

So many of us are worriers.  We think that God is somehow great enough to be our Creator, but not to take in  hand the problems that engulf us, and to lead us to solutions.  And so we fret.

4 – Worry

This fretting is a false doctrine.  It is the “pound of flesh” (from William Shakespeare) that we all seek to sacrifice to ensure a happy ending.  We somehow think that if we worry enough, we will have done our part, and then we will ensure that the ending will be positive for us.  This reasoning is the height of insanity.  God created us, and He knows our needs.  He will answer all our needs, though not all of our wants–for many of our wants are misguided wishes.  Genuine need is met, and often by miraculous means.  Let us turn aside from our fears, for fear it is, and let the love of others and ourselves prepare us to receive God’s revelations.  He will reach down to us (metaphorically) and answer us with heartfelt knowledge that solves the problems and eliminates the fears.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let God solve any and all problems that I have, but not by my own abdication.  He will give me the power to know how to act, what to say or do.  It is only when I stay close to God that my days go well.  And I, like everybody else, would like a good day.

Be with me as I seek to welcome out the Self within.  This in itself will move me closer to heaven on earth.  Be with me as I seek to do Your will, which is also my own true will.  Help me to help others who need me also.

Amen.

Nothing but Love Can Be Cause of Joy

“For at least one brief moment, this was true love, for nothing but love can be the cause of joy, nor offer a haven of safety in an insane world.  (A Course of Love, 14.13)”

Affirmation:  “I choose love today.”vangogh_sunflowers1888

Reflections:

1 – Love Deeply

If we wish to be free of fear in all its forms, we need to love deeply.  Experiencing the peace that only love gives can prove this fact for us.  We can sense the love first as a feeling, a glorious feeling of joy and limitlessness, and then we will notice that we are free of the anxiety that has dogged our steps.  This is a true miracle, and its presence shows the place that revelation also has in our lives.  For this is a message from God to us; we could not effect this change from anxiety to non-anxiety on our own.  We could not leave fear behind, except that we love–and love deeply.

2 – Uncontrolled Anger

When we slip and let attack enter because of our uncontrolled anger, the peace that we were feeling will be abandoned.  We will know anxiety once again, and recovering our peace of mind may be slow.  Let us not slip today.  Let us invite the love that will banish fear, banish anxiety.

3 – Worry

Worry too is a form of fear, and we all have had many worries over the course of our lifetimes.  We do not have to keep the habit of worry; it too can be abandoned.

4 – How to Abandon Worry

And the way to abandon the spirit of worry is to substitute love of others, keeping in mind that we too must have a humble love of self.  The best way to eliminate worry is to substitute the feeling of love of God.  And in loving God, we are also loving the Self who is in our brothers and sisters, and well as ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would move ever closer today to the cessation of anxiety.  And in the passage for today, Jesus gives me the key:  love, ever-deeper love.  May I hold fast to this idea today.

Be with us as we eliminate the “what if’s” from our lives.  This is a foolishness that cannot be denied unless we welcome love.  We would leave behind worry with its “what if’s” today.  Be with me as I do so.

Help me to realize that the guidance that I need is given at the point of need, not usually ahead of time.  If the guidance were given ahead of time, we would always be out of the present, and being in the present is the way to live a heartfelt life.  We would live in the present today, practicing for all our tomorrows.

Thank You for always being there for me.

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.

Overcoming Worry

“Let your worries come and let your worries go.  Remember always that they simply do not matter except in terms of time, and that you will save time by letting them go.  Remember that your worries affect nothing.  You think if your worries affect time this is an effect, but time is an illusion.  (A Course of Love, 1.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I save time by leaving worries behind.”

Reflections:

1 – Worries Are Illusory Also

Here we hear again that time is an illusion.  In A Course in Miracles we also learned that the world itself is an illusion that we project from within, making the perception that we “see.”  Here the emphasis is on our worries, a practical concept, for who among us does not have worries?

2 – Drop Defensiveness

If we could know that we need not hold our worries to ourselves in an effort to defend ourselves, we will make much progress.  With guidance from either the Holy Spirit (ACIM) or Christ-consciousness (ACOL), we will know what we ought to do; we will be alerted at the time that we need to do it (whatever “it” is).  If there are plans that need to be made, we will receive guidance for that as well.  There is no strain in following God’s Will.

3 – Effortless Living

Effortless living, without the burden of worry!  Norman Vincent Peale, who received quite a bit of acclaim as an inspirational writer/speaker in the latter half of the 1900s, says that we would be inclined to go and retrieve our bundle of worries, even if we left them at God’s altar in a church.  We are so comfortable with our worries!  We are at home with them.  But at what cost?

4 – Personal Experience

We do God a disservice by wasting our mental energy in worry.  I used to think that, like Shakespeare’s “pound of flesh,” I would be somehow protected from pain if I worried sufficiently.  Didn’t that worrying prove that I cared?  That I was doing all that I could?  But this was irrational thinking, as any counselor could have told me.  We don’t need worry as a good-luck talisman against worse troubles.

5 – Leave Your Worries at God’s Altar

So ask for help today in leaving your worries at God’s altar.  Leave them there, and don’t sheepishly go back to the altar and retrieve your little familiar bundle of worries.  Try to clear your mind today, and see if the worries don’t recede ever so little.  Practice with a clear, free-floating thought process will mean that we have a mind ready to receive guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I drop worries from my repertoire of emotions today, for worry is a form of fear–and I have long ago prayed to walk away from fear.  I would choose love, and one form of love is tolerance of myself and other people.  May worry disappear before the practice of tolerance.

Be with me today as I walk Your pathway.  Life is best begun again, for any given day that starts badly.  If I have gotten overwrought already today (and I have), may I follow the advice that I read in A Course in Miracles to start the day anew.  So the day will flow smoothly after all.  There is no need to rue our days.  Nearly everybody has problems that can be helped by less worry and more tolerance.

Thank You for leading me to this resolution, so early this morning.

Amen.

Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “I have God’s protection.”

Reflections:

1 – Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

We must remember that temptations are simply attempts to place another will above God’s–choosing this other will as our lodestone or our (inaccurate) guidance.  We are not perfect.  In fact, A Course of Love questions whether perfection is necessary for Awakening.  I have experienced a few spans of time that seemed to be Awakening, but these were not sustained.  And I can certainly attest to the truth that I am far from perfect.  So perhaps we can hope for a sustainable Awakening without “perfection” (whatever that might be).  Jesus, in A Course of Love, asserts that nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness–nobody at all.  And Christ-consciousness is very close to Awakening, though the two are not compared in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love.

2 – Temptations

A temptation may be as simple as an inclination not to follow the intuitive guidance that one is getting.  We may be heading in a given direction, get a “stop,” and just not feel very much like stopping–so we forge ahead, and often, later on and sometimes immediately, find out why we should have stopped.  A temptation can be just this benign.

3 – Struggle = of the Ego

And we are human.  We are used, over the years of the ego’s rule, of struggling, but still of following what we perceived to be our own will, whether or not that will seems in accord with the divine.  But now is the time that we ought to listen more carefully to guidance, and to see every instinct not to follow that guidance as a likely intrusion of the ego.  The ego does not wish us well.  This ego is defined as a part of ourselves that we have made, a part that does not follow divine guidance.  And so we suffer as a result.

4 – No Fretting / No Worry

We are protected by God, and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  The passage for today says this.  And surely this affirmation warms our hearts.  We need not fret; we need not worry.  We are under God’s protection, but He does need our cooperation to carry out the best and right things that we deserve to have.  He will not violate our “free” will, which is actually the part that the ego controls (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Our real will and God’s Will are actually identical.  So, when we get that nudge, it is best to follow it, unless we have reason to suspect that emotion has carried away our reason, and, with it, our accurate assessment of intuition.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I sense an intuition that seems to come beyond my personal self, help me to realize that this intuition may be genuine guidance of my higher Self–the Christ in me.  I do not, in saying this, make any egoistic claim, because all of us are the same:  the Christ, the higher Self, is in all of us.  Help me to make this point clear in what I write today.

May we ask for and receive Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  Jesus has used both words in different channeled writings, and to my limited mind, the two words appear to be synonymous.  May today be an especially good day, with glimpses of Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May I do my part to be ready, though my part is very limited indeed.  This visitation, this glimpse of a higher Reality, is Your decision alone.  And may I not seem to pressure You before I am ready.  I do not want my ego to appropriate good things, good experiences to itself, and thus make of me a more limited being that I am already.

Be with all of us as we walk the pathway to Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May we know that the time will be as right as the Answer.  And that You are observing us, knowing when we are ready for this blessing.  You will not act precipitously, and I ask that You keep me from acting precipitously in my desire for this blessing.  May I remain humble, yet assured in Your love.  I do not want arrogance, but arrogance is often of the ego (Jesus says), and so obviously I need Your help in sorting all of these concepts out.

Thank You for being there for me.  Thank You for granting me glimpses of what will one day be my norm.

Amen

Little Scraps of Fear

“You retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One from entering. . . .Watch your mind for the scraps of fear, or you will be unable to ask me to do so.  I can help you only as our Father created us.  (T61)”

Affirmation:  “watch your mind for thousands of little scraps of fear”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety Created by Our Minds

Here Jesus is explaining something that he discusses at length elsewhere.  We cannot ask him to relieve us of anxiety or fear, because it is created by our minds.  He does not want to interfere with the results of our thinking.  Instead, we are to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to eliminate the conditions that led to our fear.  These fears are ego-related, without exception, for love knows no anxiety.

2 – Personal Experience

My greatest challenge in life has been my proneness to anxiety, and anxiety is an especially acute form of fear, and hence is of the ego.  As I have followed A Course in Miracles over the years, the anxiety has declined precipitously.  I know that I am following the ego too easily when I feel that old-time anxious feeling.  It is a warning sign that I need to stop listening to the weakened ego within me, and get back on the pathway to God.  The Holy Spirit so prompts, and when I listen to His Voice of intuition, I am reassured that all will be well.

3 – Ask for Help

It is a daunting task if we surmise from this passage that we must remove “thousands” of little scraps of fear.  But the passage does not indicate this.  We can easily remove them all at once, in the best case scenario, by asking the help of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Ask Repeatedly

Then we will know peace.  If another day arrives, with more scraps of fear, we simply ask again.  We cannot expect complete freedom from anxiety until surrender to God is complete, and this may not happen immediately.  It could, of course, but realistically it often doesn’t, because we are very much still creatures of this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

When I awake in the middle of the night, fearful, may I turn these scraps of fear over to the Holy Spirit for resolution.  May I gently return to sleep, knowing that He is taking care of them.

May I have help in the conditions that have brought this fear about.  Thank you for being there for me.

Amen.

Why Am I Afraid?

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide it.  (T29)”

Affirmation:  “My I allow Jesus to guide my mind.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

Elsewhere the Course counsels against mind wandering.  This mind wandering is exactly the way in which miscreation happens.  We fantasize about horrors of the past, present, or future, and soon we find ourselves afraid–full of fear.  The exact opposite of love.

2 – Personal Experience

I have almost constantly to caution myself not to let my mind wander when I am praying.  I have learned that praying aloud, when possible, keeps me on track.  Jesus is especially negative about mind wandering, maybe because all thought creates form on some level (an ACIM tenet).  I would not make form that is a miscreation.  While some of these ideas are theology of ACIM, and thus perhaps a bit controversial, I think that all of us can probably see that keeping a mind that is obedient to our commands, and the commands of the Holy Spirit (however these commands are experienced), will give us a better life, a different life in which there is far more peace and far less rancor.  ACIM does not say this specifically, but much can be found therein that suggests this idea.

3 – Allow Jesus to Guide Our Thoughts

When we allow Jesus to guide our thoughts, we do not know fear.  This takes great deal of concentration in the beginning, an awareness of what our minds are doing.  This kind of concentration usually does not come easily to us.  But it can be done, when motivation is strong.

4 – Motivation to Change Our Lives

If the fear is strong, the motivation to change to a better way of living will be strong as well.  We need at first attend only to the motivation to change, and then the remainder will fall into place without effort.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I allow my miscreating mind to rest in Your power and strength.  May I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts.

When my mind does not wander into fantasies, I am better off.  Thank you for the wisdom that would lead me to eliminate miscreations of my mind and eliminate fear.

Amen.

Worry Not

“I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
   to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
   He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.  (T28)”

Affirmation:  “I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do.”

Reflections:

1 – Follow the Holy Spirit

This is a lovely prayer, set in the form of a blank verse poem.  The “He” and “Him” referred to in the poem mean the Holy Spirit.

2 – Beautiful Poetry

Two of the most beautiful lines are Lines 3 and 4, in which we are assured that the Holy Spirit will guide us.  We do not have to reach ahead to the future, wondering what to do.  We will be told in the present.  If there are plans that need to be made, we will be told of them at the point of need.  There is no need to worry.

3 – Guidance Where We Are Led to Go

We will follow guidance to go wherever in this world we are led to go.  This is truly being led by the Holy Spirit, and it may not take what is commonly known as blind faith.  We will know inwardly and with assurance what pathway is best, and where that pathway is physically located.  We will go with knowledge that we are there with the Holy Spirit.

4 – Our Brother’s Keeper

We are also our brother’s keeper.  “I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal,” which is the last line, is an assurance that our relationship to our brother is where healing lies.

5 – The Blessing of This Poem

If we study this poem, we will have its blessing, for it is indeed dense with meaning.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to us as we read.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for helping me to make decisions through the Holy Spirit.  Let me realize that I do not have to worry about what to say or do, because I will be guided.  This is Your promise.

Help me to be helpful to others in my daily life.  As I am healed, I will be better able to effect healing in others through Your grace.

Amen.

I Need Be Anxious over Nothing

ACIM Workbook Lesson 275 – for Sunday, October 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “God’s healing Voice protects all things today.”

“Your healing Voice protects all things today, and so I leave all things to You.  I need be anxious over nothing.  For Your Voice will tell me what to do and where to go; to whom to speak and what to say to him, what thoughts to think, what words to give the world.  The safety that I bring is given me.  Father, Your Voice protects all things through me.  (WB434)”

Reflections:

1 – Follow the Holy Spirit Consistently

The “Voice” is the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration (a Text tenet).  We are, once again, bade to leave our minds to the Voice, and to follow His bidding.  We are not to take matters into our own hands.  If we get quiet and commune, pray, silently, to God, we will almost immediately get a sense of what to do or say in the next encounter–perhaps an encounter that we have been dreading.  We will feel an inner sense of assurance that we are not alone, that the encounter will go well because we have asked for help.  Let us not forget to ask for help all along the way today.

2 – Guide My Interactions with Others

We are even helped by what thoughts to think, for how would we know what to say to our brothers and sisters if we were not guided, ahead of time, by our thoughts about upcoming conversations?  And the guidance comes during the conversation as well.  We are never left to deal with any matter on our own.

3 – May My Ego-Consumed Will Not Interfere with God’s Will

Of course, our own will can intervene, and then we are likely to become quite stubborn, and forget that we never see the whole picture.  The Holy Spirit, the Voice, does see the whole pictures, and so His judgments about what to do or say, not to mention what to think, are true (a Manual tenet).  He knows what has happened in the past, is happening now, and will happen in the future; we do not have such prescience.  And so His judgments guide rightly.  (All of these paraphrases are from the Manual.)

4 – Safety Can Be Found

We will know safety, and so we not all want this in our very troubled world?  In this time of what seem to be escalating difficulties on earth, we need to know that we will be cared for.  We need very practical things by way of sustenance and shelter for our families.  Even if we fail to find these things, we have not been left, abandoned.  Some of the most spiritual people in our history have had very few material possessions.  Jesus himself was quite poor and dependent on the generosity of those who listened to his message.  But he did not worry.  He knew that, regardless of what happened, even unto the cross, he was cared for by the Father.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow the example of Jesus today, and be anxious over nothing.  I sometimes think that anxiety is my particular cross to bear in this life.  If I could finally let the anticipation of what others think leave me, then I think that the fear elicited by the ego would lose its punching power.  May I leave anxiety behind as I leave fear behind.  May I not care so much for anybody else thinks.  I need only follow guidance to leave both anxiety–my form of fear–as well as fear itself out in the cold.

Be with me today as I seek to please only You.  And You are in my corner, regardless of what mistakes I may make.  I would correct those mistakes as soon as they occur, and then I would walk more confidently along the path that You have set before me.

Amen.