It’s crazy, the things we do to ourselves. Today’s ACIM lesson, #330, I will not her myself again, is a call to forgive. Ultimately, because I am human, because I forget, I will find that I have hurt myself with my mindless actions, occasionally mindless words, which means that the only way out is forgiveness. This lesson states, Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function. I’ve only been up for ah hour and a half and already my mind has found a half dozen things to hold against me. “I shouldn’t have eaten those leftovers for breakfast.” “I shouldn’t have eaten so much.” “I shouldn’t have bought that thing online.” The list is endless because ego will always look to the past to smear guilt on the present. To heal, I must forgive. “Healing cannot be accomplished in the past. It must be accomplished in the present to release the future. This interpretation ties the future to the present, and extends the present rather than the past.” The Manual for Teachers says, “Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical…. That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood, if the teacher of God is to make progress.” So there you have it, the only way out is through. It isn’t that I won’t ever listen to ego again. Undoubtedly, I will; it’s that when I notice it, my go-to must be forgiveness, it must be to answer the call for love with love. I must be present to tie the future to the love that is already here. From last year’s writing:
I think that part of studying A Course in Miracles is learning self-love; learning to stop hurting ourselves. I was noticing this morning as I did my lesson that at the top of the acim.org website, it describes the Course as: “ A unique, universal, self-study spiritual thought system that teaches that the way to Love and Inner Peace is through Forgiveness.” Part of that forgiveness is for ourselves. It is learning that we are not the horrible people we have told ourselves we are.
Yet ego, in typical ego fashion, wants to keep up from looking at ourselves too closely. Not so much because we will see how horrible we are or even that we are not as terrible as we thought. No, ego doesn’t want us to look because, as we read in last night in our ACIM group, “Your real terror is of redemption.”
Our real terror is losing our identities. I recognize this, and part of me trembles a little at the thought. No matter how much progress I’ve made, no matter how far I’ve come and how much I love myself and have forgiven myself, I still can’t stand the thought of not mattering.
“4 You have built your whole insane belief system because you think you would be helpless in God’s Presence, and you would save yourself from His Love because you think it would crush you into nothingness. You are afraid it would sweep you away from yourself and make you little, because you believe that magnitude lies in defiance, and that attack is grandeur. You think you have made a world God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you do, you would throw this world away, which you would. Therefore, you have used the world to cover your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego’s foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there. And it is this that frightens you.”
“You think you have made a world God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you do, you would throw this world away, which you would.”
Okay, I get that I would be throwing away illusion. I would be throwing away all the stuff I don’t even like (war, poverty, hatred, cruelty, etc., etc.), but it’s my stuff. That’s the part ego can’t let go of. Sure I made it up. Sure it’s hell, but, but, but….
Enter the need for forgiveness. I know it’s insane to keep the ego’s thought system with all its death and destruction, but part of me still feels like it’s not completely ready to give it up. Not the death and destruction part, but the “mine” part.
So today’s lesson is just one more step that chips away at the resistance I still cling to at times.
I will not hurt myself again today.
Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function. Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept God’s gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.
Father, Your Son can not be hurt. And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
In vowing not to hurt myself, I accept that God knows better than I (even though “better” is a comparison and thus an ego assessment). I accept that it is more constructive to be present rather than to focus on the past or worry about the future.
Last night, during my middle of the night reading (thank God for Kindles!), I was reminded that if I ever hope to heal my weight issues, I need to start eating mindfully. This morning at breakfast, I remembered why I rarely do. It takes more focus. It takes putting aside all the things I use to keep myself from being in the now. But how exactly do I hope to heal my weight issues if I can’t be present to my behavior? Although I am not a binge eater or anything like that, I frequently find myself finishing what is on my plate so long as it’s not enough to give me a stomach ache. If I’m just overeating a little, I will allow myself to get away with it by not being present to my behavior. (And believe me, I can’t eat a fraction of what I used to so it doesn’t take much.) Although I frequently don’t finish my meals because I can’t without feeling sick, I still find I will have eaten a few bite more than my body really wants, all because I am not being present.
I bring this up because it is germane to the “I will not hurt myself again today” lesson, but also because in our ACIM group last night, we were discussing cancer and how it is a call for balance in one’s life; that it can be a blessing for those who listen to the diagnosis as the body’s way of saying, “quit sacrificing your life for shit you don’t care about and start living, babe.” What if being overweight is the same message? What if it’s a call to something better, healthier, more life-affirming? And yes, I know that comparison is an ego gambit, but the body is an ego gambit. The Holy Spirit will still use every opportunity to purify. “…the Holy Spirit is evaluative, and must be. He sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there.” So even though the ego’s goals are destructive, the Holy Spirit will always use them to offer a gift.
But I have to be present to get the gift. “Healing cannot be accomplished in the past. It must be accomplished in the present to release the future. This interpretation ties the future to the present, and extends the present rather than the past.” Since our ego-inclination is to drag the past into the present, it prevents healing from being able to occur. “The ego invests heavily in the past, and in the end believes that the past is the only aspect of time that is meaningful. Remember that its emphasis on guilt enables it to ensure its continuity by making the future like the past, and thus avoiding the present. By the notion of paying for the past in the future, the past becomes the determiner of the future, making them continuous without an intervening present. For the ego regards the present only as a brief transition to the future, in which it brings the past to the future by interpreting the present in past terms.
5 “Now” has no meaning to the ego. The present merely reminds it of past hurts, and it reacts to the present as if it were the past. The ego cannot tolerate release from the past, and although the past is over, the ego tries to preserve its image by responding as if it were present.”
“I will not hurt myself again today.” I will be present. I AM present. And like in meditation when my thoughts wander, as they will, as they sometimes do, I bring myself back. I forgive myself for my humanness and I allow myself to remember that “it never happened in reality.” “I am upset because I see something that is not there.” “My thoughts are images that I have made.”
It’s crazy, the shit I do to myself, which is why I need forgiveness.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
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