My life is a testament to faith, yet that hardly means that I am living the life of Riley (does anyone still use that term!). I have had many, many opportunities to be surprised by things magically coming together, but I have also had plenty of doubts and fears and trepidation. This is when I am grateful to understand spiritual principle because I know that I am responsible and therefore cannot really get away with blaming anyone else for my circumstances (much as I want to). As I survey the current happenings of my life, I must consciously choose faith. Today’s ACIM lesson states, “I have invented the world I see.” Meanwhile, in my Unveiling Your Hidden Power class, this week’s lesson is on faith. It reminds me that “According to thy faith be it unto thee.” Or as today’s lesson says, “You are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. You will see it or not see it, as you wish.” What do I have faith in?
I could enumerate the circumstances, but why? All that they are are the out-picturing of my mind’s fears and faiths. Emma Curtis Hopkins says, “mind will demonstrate as much greatness as it has courage to stand by its intention.” Or as Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”
Our lives speak loudly of where our faith lies.
My mind scrambles to figure out how the pieces will all fit. I had the opportunity to spend around $2500 that I hadn’t anticipated and so as I project expected income for the next month, I find myself wondering how things will all come together. I do not know and all I can really do is keep putting one foot before the other and lift my heart towards Heaven knowing I am cared for.
Hopkins says, “It’s not so much by what we do as by what we think and say that we manifest our intentions.” This tells me that I must look to the good.
As I am fond of saying in my Tuesday night ACIM group, “It’s not like God decided to sit out this round.” God is always present. Good is always there. To see that, my faith must rest in steadfastly knowing that despite appearances, things are working out.
Nothing has power unless we believe in that power. When someone says something that is “offensive,” well, who decided to be offended? When someone does something that irritates us, well, who was it that was irritated? Too often we confuse effect with cause thinking that our reactions came from what happened. Yet no one else can control our reactions unless we give them that power. By definition, a “response” is ‘something offered in return.’ There was some stimulation of sorts and then we “react” (act in return). But the choice of how to react doesn’t come from the stimuli, it comes from what is stimulated.
We have free will. We are at choice. What choice do we make?
I will forever be grateful to my son for understanding this at such a young age. As a child, he would literally do things just to gauge reactions. He was (and still is) a master button-pusher, in part because he wants people to be smart enough to realize they have given away their power. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” As Alice Walker said, “The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
We all have power and it lies in where our faith lies. When we think others have the power to control us, then they can. When we know they can’t then there is no power struggle. Think of the quiet woman who allows her man to think he is in charge, but does as she pleases without repercussion. She KNOWS (has faith in) her abilities to achieve success. She isn’t butting heads, she simply has faith in her own power.
I say this as a woman who once upon a time was partnered with some extremely controlling men. It was only after recognizing that I was giving them power by being afraid that I was able to escape and enter a relationship where I am neither controlled nor controlling.
So as I examine my circumstances, I remember that I made it all up. And that these appearances are simply an opportunity to strengthen my faith and to invent a world I love.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.