I am clawing my way back to certainty. As human as I am, I too often believe my own illusions – act as if they are somehow apart from me and that I had nothing to do with them. I find myself eternally grateful for my Tuesday night ACIM group because no matter how far off track I sometimes find myself, they anchor me in truth. They are the breadcrumbs that lead me back home. When I have been sucked into the secular – clinging to the autonomy that makes me think I can navigate my life without God, without the need to call for help – I end up bereft and in hell.
Life is hard without God in the mix.
Like a mechanic who never gets around to working on his own car, or an electrician who never manages to rewire the bedrooms to accommodate the ceilings fans he says he wants, I find, too often, that I “forget” to pray for my own best interests. I try to do life without God. Sure, I call on the Holy Spirit much more than I did in my younger days, but the “effects” in my life reflect the fears than travels on my back. I don’t run around certain that things are working out the way I want. I run around afraid that they aren’t; that they won’t. My bank account is a huge testament to this. Things are not unfolding the way I think they should.
My failure to allow God to lead the way has been leading me through unsavory results. Miracles are my birthright and the Course in trying to teach me that.
As we read last night, “The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo.” We are learning to remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence (which is your natural inheritance).
Without God, I thinking I am living in a world where things are done to me; by things that aren’t my fault. (Ego loves to abdicate responsibility.)
I am responsible. I often think I don’t want that responsibility, but I’ve studied the Course too long to be able to pretend I don’t know better. (“The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate. At that level you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations.”)
I am not the victim of the world I see. (Lesson 31)
As we read last night: “The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself.”
Shit! Shit, shit, shit!
Because God is perfect, today’s lesson serves as the reminder that I don’t need to fight any of it: I am as God created me.
Yesterday, before class, I was reading a book I got from the library call Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine take the Lead by Tosha Silver. She suggests that whenever one is faced with discouragement of limiting beliefs that one should add on the phrase “(without God).”
In the spiritual circles I travel in, we often add “up till now” whenever we encounter a limiting belief, but I like the “(without God)” even better.
I always struggle to lose weight (up till now), becomes I always struggle to lose weight (without God).
The addition of “(without God)” becomes the reminder that I am trying to handle things myself. I am getting in my own way. I am making it more difficult than it has to be (without God). Miracles are my birthright. Can I just surrender to them? (Without God?!?!)
“The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo. And thus it cancels out the interference to what has been done. It does not add, but merely takes away. And what it takes away is long since gone, but being kept in memory appears to have immediate effects. This world was over long ago. The thoughts that made it are no longer in the mind that thought of them and loved them for a little while. The miracle but shows the past is gone, and what has truly gone has no effects. Remembering a cause can but produce illusions of its presence, not effects.”
And so on this day, as I venture out into the world to face what ego tells me are “problems,” I remind myself that the only issue is that I have been trying to take the lead myself. I have been attempting to live without God in the equation and that’s just plain crazy.
The fear I have been toting around, as quiet and subtle as it is, is a sign of lack of willingness on my part. I have been unwilling to surrender which speaks of a lack of trust (without God!).
“Fear is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts with what you do. This situation arises in two ways: First, you can choose to do conflicting things, either simultaneously or successively. This produces conflicted behavior, which is intolerable to you because the part of the mind that wants to do something else is outraged. Second, you can behave as you think you should, but without entirely wanting to do so. This produces consistent behavior, but entails great strain. In both cases, the mind and the behavior are out of accord, resulting in a situation in which you are doing what you do not wholly want to do. This arouses a sense of coercion that usually produces rage, and projection is likely to follow. Whenever there is fear, it is because you have not made up your mind. Your mind is therefore split, and your behavior inevitably becomes erratic. Correcting at the behavioral level can shift the error from the first to the second type, but will not obliterate the fear.”
As I train myself to this new habit, I notice how often I have squeezed God out of the decision-making process. Yet all that is required is to be still an instant and in that stillness, the memory of God rushes in to replace what never was (illusion). “There is no past to keep its fearful image in the way of glad awakening to present peace.”
The Course tells, “This world was over long ago.” The game is rigged, folks.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.