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Lesson 270: End of an Era: Seeing Past Appearances

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So this ACIM post from last year was written on the 30th of September and not the 27th because I was behind schedule at that point.  Today is my 25th wedding anniversary and there is something beautiful about doing this lesson today because on this day twenty-five years ago, I vowed to my husband to always look past appearances, to “see with a clear heart that knows your true essence and my own and to trust the goodness of that essence.”  It was the day I chose happiness; the end of sacrifice.  The Course says, 4 You who believe that sacrifice is love must learn that sacrifice is separation from love. For sacrifice brings guilt as surely as love brings peace. Guilt is the condition of sacrifice, as peace is the condition for the awareness of your relationship with God.”  In choosing to marry Jay, I was choosing life.  I was choosing to be true to myself. “But do not be mistaken about what sacrifice means. It always means the giving up of what you want.”  So this lesson, #270, I will not use the body’s eyes today, is perfect.  Happy Anniversary, Jay.  Thank you for being a man who makes it easy to give up sacrifice.  I love you.

I will not use the body's eyes today.

Lesson 270 A Course in Miracles

It is, at last, the end of the month, and somehow today feels like it marks the end of an era.  Today’s A Course in Miracles lesson is I will not use the body’s eyes today.  Not literally, of course; I still need to see where I am going as I drive my car and walk through the world, but this is an invitation to see past appearances.  It is the reliance on the Holy Spirit to translate the usual mess of the world into the “forgiven world,” the place where I have no judgments coming in to cloud my vision.  I will see past appearances to wholeness, to the recognition that only the love is real.

I close on my deal from hell today.  All of us will be glad to put this behind us.  It was hard but not because the pieces were difficult to pull together, though they certainly posed their challenges.  No, the real battle was with shadows; fear was lurking in every corner and my sellers were freaking out because the buyer had already taken up residence in their former home and they were terrified that this man would besmirch the house that they had imbued with so much love and care.  What if he ended up NOT buying it; then what????

They were making up unsavory stories that didn’t end well and I was battling the temptation to join them and make up my own stories that didn’t end well.

This is what made it hell.  Imaginary tales of horror born from fear.  I hated every second of it.  It was work to bring myself back to peace.  I spent a lot of time feeling stressed out and hurt and lost in escape just to get through it.  Not exactly healthy stuff.  And for what?

Nothing really happened. 

It is amazing that looking past appearances really involves letting go of judgment, letting go of stories of guilt and innocence, letting go of the nightmares.

Letting go of guilt – no one did anything wrong.  Not the sellers.  Not the buyers. Not the loan officers, nor the agents.  (Not them.  Not me!)  Mistakes may have happened but it’s just life.  Condemnation helps no one.

I will not use the body’s eyes today means I will not filter my perceptions through the ego thought system.

Today’s lesson:

Lesson 270

I will not use the body’s eyes today.

Father, Christ’s vision is Your gift to me, and it has power to translate all that the body’s eyes behold into the sight of a forgiven world. How glorious and gracious is this world! Yet how much more will I perceive in it than sight can give. The world forgiven signifies Your Son acknowledges his Father, lets his dreams be brought to truth, and waits expectantly the one remaining instant more of time which ends forever, as Your memory returns to him. And now his will is one with Yours. His function now is but Your Own, and every thought except Your Own is gone.

The quiet of today will bless our hearts, and through them peace will come to everyone. Christ is our eyes today. And through His sight we offer healing to the world through Him, the holy Son whom God created whole; the holy Son whom God created One.

© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA  94942-0598

 

It has been an interesting chapter.  It has required faith and tenacity, patience (my strong suit but not my sellers’) and forgiveness; so much forgiveness.  I have caught myself in my old victim paradigm so very many times.  I have witnessed as ego wanted to play the “feel sorry for me” card over and over.  But this deal closing marks the end of so much – I get to put this chapter behind me and close the book on a few others as well.  It shifted what I thought I wanted because once I was stripped of caring about pleasing anyone beyond myself, I found I wasn’t being true to myself.  That in and of itself was huge.  And a relief.

As I often remind my students, relief is an indication you are heading in the right direction.

Ah.

Daily, I have been grateful for these lessons.  I have come to know that above all, A Course in Miracles is my path, the one that resonates truly.  Even my husband, who doesn’t get too involved with my spiritual path, agrees.  I don’t know what that means in the grand scheme of things, I just know how it helps define the next step, and it feels good.

I keep hearing this song from Rickie Lee Jones in my head.  It was the one that broke my heart when I left my old boyfriend.

So as I put this behind me, I repeat to myself, I will not use the body’s eyes today. I will see past appearances.  I will let love lead the way.  But as I do that, I will remember that love requires no sacrifice.  4 You who believe that sacrifice is love must learn that sacrifice is separation from love. For sacrifice brings guilt as surely as love brings peace. Guilt is the condition of sacrifice, as peace is the condition for the awareness of your relationship with God.”

I am not asked to sacrifice my own desires, but I am asked to recognize what sacrifice is; it is what happens when I choose fear over love; listen to ego rather than the Holy Spirit.  5 What is the real meaning of sacrifice? It is the cost of believing in illusions. It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth. There is no pleasure of the world that does not demand this, for otherwise the pleasure would be seen as pain, and no one asks for pain if he recognizes it. It is the idea of sacrifice that makes him blind. He does not see what he is asking for. And so he seeks it in a thousand ways and in a thousand places, each time believing it is there, and each time disappointed in the end. “Seek but do not find” remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goal can do otherwise.”

The Course says sacrifice is giving up what you want (“But do not be mistaken about what sacrifice means. It always means the giving up of what you want.”) and as a teacher of God, what I want is to teach love; to remember who I am; to remember who you are. 8 Teacher of God, do not forget the meaning of sacrifice, and remember what each decision you make must mean in terms of cost. Decide for God, and everything is given you at no cost at all. Decide against Him, and you choose nothing, at the expense of the awareness of everything. What would you teach? Remember only what you would learn. For it is here that your concern should be. “

Yesterday, I was speaking with one of my students and he related the difficulty he has with integrating his own interests into the solution to his problem.  To him, it felt at odds with being a good Course student.

“Are you teaching love?” I asked him, reminding him that love doesn’t mean self-sacrifice.  You are not teaching love if you are allowing another to abuse you; you are teaching them that it is okay for them to be anchored in the ego thought system.

I was, of course, speaking to myself.  I am still teaching this lesson because I am still learning it.

Seeing past appearances – it requires a willingness to just listen to the Holy Spirit and forget what I think I know.  I will step back and let Him lead the way.

Today marks the end of an era.    I will not use the body’s eyes today.  I will see past appearances.

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.

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