Wednesday, March 04, 2015

All A Mind Needs is Willingness

For a mind to be aware of Truth and at peace it really is all about willingness and nothing else.

Looking back to when peace began for this mind so much time and energy were wasted trying to make peace happen when “my” part was over as soon as Peace came into the awareness of this mind. This awareness could not be sustained so this mind thought “I” had to make it happen again. But in hindsight it is clear that for this mind time has been about undoing the obstacles that stood in the way of this mind keeping Peace in its awareness. All of this was done within this mind as the natural unfolding in time of the awareness of Truth that came to it all those years ago. For this mind this is the meaning of “the script is written”. It does not mean that every detail of the self’s story in time was pre-ordained. It simply means that the outcome of this mind’s experience in time was inevitable once Truth came into its awareness. This awareness changed the trajectory of this mind’s story in time. In fact, time was really over for it once Truth came into this mind. And all it’s really had to do since then is to accept this.

This mind’s mistake over the years was focusing too much on whether it was happy or comfortable in its identification with a self. It looked and worked for the ego (personal thought system) to become peaceful. It expected the self would not go through the usual life processes. But when Peace came into the awareness of this mind it was not to the ego or to the self. The ego is still in this mind, blathering on with its judgments, conflicts, and confusion. The self’s story continues on with the usual life processes. But Peace is here in this mind despite the ego and the self. This is how this mind came to see it is not an ego or a self.

When this mind recognized that Peace was not leaving its awareness it wondered why there was still a world in its thoughts. And the Holy Spirit (this mind’s awareness of Truth) noted, “What difference does it make? You have peace.” Of course! This mind was focused on the wrong thing. Peace is what is real, not the story of a universe of form and the ego’s interpretation of it. Whatever this mind attends to grows in its awareness.

Despite this mind thinking what it needed for Peace, Peace came anyway. Not because this mind knew how to make peace happen in its identification with a self and an ego. But because this mind was was willing to have It in its awareness. Willingness allowed the awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit/Teacher of Truth) to work in this mind to undo its obstacles to Peace. Any obstacle that it needed to look at and undo, any technique that it needed for centering itself in Truth, came into its awareness because it was willing not because of any effort it made.

What does it mean for a mind to be willing? It means for it to be open, despite obstacles and fear, to letting the Truth work in it. The transformation occurs mostly on an unconscious level. This mind had shifts toward Peace, insights, miracles, and Revelations. And none of these ever came where this mind was “working on” the ego and the self trying to get them to change. These came despite this mind’s efforts in the ego and the self.

This mind’s willingness was demonstrated by its invitation to Truth to come into its awareness with no agenda but to be aware of Truth. It was demonstrated by its inviting the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit/awareness of Truth) to be its Constant Companion, Guide, and Teacher. It was demonstrated by its turning to Truth throughout the day simply to remember that It is here.

This mind’s willingness was never perfect. But as A Course in Miracles says, you only need a little. It does not have to be perfect; it just has to be there. If this mind had accepted this long ago it would’ve saved itself a lot of effort and pain and guilt. But it couldn’t accept it because it found it unbelievable, and somewhat insulting, that “I” did not have to make peace happen. It was all wrong about what is real. A mind naturally at peace is real. The rest is just a meaningless story.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ask: What comfort can you give a child whose father just died?

“I know this world/body is not real it something I created out of my vane imaging {ego}. I understand that but What comfort can you share with an eight year old child whose father just died. I know the usual "He's in heaven with God ", etc.  Confused on how to counsel My Great Grandaughter  from an ACIM VIEW POINT. I GET TEARS EYES THINKING WHAT SHE IS GOING THRU.” – JP

It is the same comforting a child as it is comforting an adult. First, get yourself out of the way. Put aside your own need to comfort and ask what the other needs. Most people just want to be heard and understood. So listen to your great-granddaughter and validate what you hear. “I see you are missing your Dad. I know it’s very painful”, etc. And you may want to give a lot of hugs! But make sure she actually wants the hugs and that you are not just satisfying your own urge to “fix” her.
Loss is a part of life in the world. Grief is not bad or wrong. It is the normal response that the body and the human psyche have to loss. It is a process and you may want to educate yourself about the process to help your great-granddaughter understand her physical and emotional feelings. She is going to experience loss in many forms as she goes through life and she needs to understand the experience. You can reassure her that time does make it better.
Don’t try to give your great-granddaughter more information than she’s asking for. Put aside your own need to inform or to educate. If you try to give her more information than she’s seeking then you will only confuse or overload her in her already overwhelmed state. If she does ask about where her father has gone, ask her what she thinks happened to him and let that be your guide. If she has her own ideas, then let them be. If she’s truly open and wants to know what you believe then you can share what you believe.

It is difficult as students of A Course in Miracles to share what we’ve learned and experienced with others because even though it is comforting to us it is not comforting to others who are not seeking Truth and are still identified with an ego (personal thought system). So you probably don’t want to say, “Your Dad never really existed in the first place so nothing happened when he died.” But you can point out that he is still with her in her thoughts. Or you can say something like there is a part of God (or whatever she will understand) in everyone and It is Eternal and That she shares with her dad.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ask: What about PMS making it hard to get past the ego?

“I notice that despite all of my work with the Holy Spirit and using correct perception of my ego's thoughts that PMS time still gives me a difficult time.  It seems that a hormone shift just changes my ability to deny the ego its "voice".  I know Eckhart Tolle addressed this as a manifestation of our collective experience here....I was wondering what your understanding is.” – MB

Mood-swings are just part of the experience of female selves. The degree varies from woman to woman and month to month. If you know your cycle you know that negative emotions can be chemically induced or exaggerated when you are pre-menstrual and when you are ovulating. You know not to take them seriously and to ride out the episodes each month. Sometimes, if it’s bad enough, it does make it seem like you cannot get past the ego. Irritability, depression, foreboding, and/or sadness are its playground and if you aren’t aware of what is going on it can have a field day with you! But if you pay attention to your cycle you can learn to detach from these episodes.

Since I have been in peri-menopause for the past few years, and negative mood-swings are par for the course during this stage, it has become crystal clear to me that peace does not come to the ego or to the self. I have peace, but the ego is still judgmental and the self still goes through the normal life processes. The peace allows me to detach from the ego and the self. But it has not changed them. It has changed my relationship to them. They are not reality.


It has also made it clear to me for how long I made the mistake of judging my progress toward peace by the mere moods of the ego or the self. I was looking in the wrong place! Peace came despite the ego and the self. It is wholly apart from them. This has allowed me to let them go – to forgive them. I rest in peace and observe the ego and the self without judging them or judging myself by them.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Assertion Is Not Aggression

(To clarify: The boundaries discussed here are about boundaries for the self at the level of form. They are the practical result at the level of form of being aware of your wholeness in Truth. Discussions in spiritual teachings about the dropping away of the boundary of the self refer to a an experience that transcends the level of form.)

Sometimes students tell me that they feel that setting boundaries is an attack on others. This is because in the past they didn’t set boundaries until they felt so violated that they felt they had to become angry and aggressive to protect themselves. They would blow up at others or cut them out of their life for not respecting boundaries that they never clarified. Their anger seemed to be about others. But really they were angry with themselves for allowing others to abuse or to manipulate them.

When you are confused about your worth you feel uncertain about where to set your boundaries. You feel that you do not have the right to expect respect from others. You feel, unconsciously or consciously, that their abuse is justified. So asking for respect feels as though it requires you to “confront” others. This is a projection of your own inward conflict. Internally you feel so guilty and conflicted about your own worth that you don’t feel right simply asking for respect. You feel you have to “steal” it from others and that this makes you even more wrong.

But when you come from self-respect you assert your feelings, boundaries, and desires matter-of-factly. You don’t feel guilty so you are not defensive, angry, or aggressive. So if you feel confused about your right to set boundaries or you feel that setting boundaries requires a huge confrontation then look, with the Holy Spirit (the awareness of Truth in your mind), for the guilt and unworthiness in your mind. When you have undone them you will find taking care of yourself around others by setting healthy boundaries comes naturally.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I Am Whole and You Are Whole

To follow up on the last article about “Love”, when you enter into relationships from the awareness that “I am whole and you are whole” you change the dynamic of personal relationships. Personal relationships usually start from “I lack, please fill me”. In an attempt to feel whole you drop the boundaries between you and another. This shows up as you demanding that another meet your needs. If they don’t you feel abandoned or attacked. You also may insist that the other change to meet your needs or change because you are uncomfortable with how they show up. Without boundaries you feel that how they show up reflects on you. Or you may be uncomfortable with how they show up and think that they are responsible for your discomfort.

You also experience the other side of this in personal relationships. Others demand that you fill their needs or that you change to make them happy or comfortable. You can see why personal relationships are so contentious! Everyone is pulling against everyone else.

This is not easy to address because often our identities are tied up in the role we play with others. That role may be the helpless one in need of fixing. This is the victim role. You are a victim of your childhood or circumstances or a god or something that makes you lack. You are powerless and dependent on others to make you feel better. And if they do not then you are their victim, too. Everyone plays this role in some, if not all, areas of their life. It is central to the personal thought system (ego).

You may also play the role of the fixer-of-others. You may feel that it this is your purpose in life; maybe even a “God-given” purpose. Eventually you may find relationships to be a burden because you are overwhelmed taking responsibility for others’ bad feelings and problems. So you may avoid relationships. Of course you cannot fix others and they often resent you trying. This makes you feel unappreciated in your relationships and becomes another victim role for you. But when you feel that this is your assigned role in life you feel guilty if you do not take responsibility for others.

You can see how coming from True Love, or the recognition that “I am whole and you are whole”, changes the dynamic of personal relationships. Not only do you not need others to make you whole. You also do not need to make others whole. You do not need to play a certain role with others to be whole. And since you are already whole you do not have a purpose to fulfill to make you whole. In Wholeness you recognize that you do not have to do anything. You are free! And you are with others because you want to be with them not because you need them or need to play a role.

Some think that coming from True Love means being a doormat. But an awareness of Wholeness shows up as self-respect. Your relationship with others is your relationship with yourself. And in self-respect you expect respect from others. So you set boundaries with others who do not behave respectfully. This honors not just your wholeness but theirs. Their acting out and inappropriate behavior is a sign that they are not aware of their inherent wholeness. When you set boundaries you give them a chance to look at themselves and to grow into an awareness of their wholeness. Whether or not they take this opportunity is up to them.

In self-respect you decide how far out boundaries need to be or how close in they can be based on what you need to take care of yourself. Students will say, “But don’t I need to look at myself in this situation?” Yes! But you do that behind healthy boundaries. You don’t have to hang around abuse to figure out what you may be projecting or using in the situation to perpetuate your story of victimhood. Eventually you will stop taking personally others’ responses to you and you won’t feel attacked. But even then you will put up boundaries. Even if you don’t feel attacked allowing others to disrespect you only teaches them that their dysfunction is okay. Again, your boundaries are for you as well as for them. It’s a way of saying, “I’m whole and so are you. This is your chance to learn this.”

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Problem with "Love"

“Love” is one of those words that I wish was not used in spirituality. We use the word in two ways when discussing human love and only one of them describes the experience of True Love. This leads to confusion as the two ideas become conflated.

As humans when we say “I love you” we mean “I like you a lot”, “I enjoy you”, “I enjoy being with you”, “I like how I feel about myself when I am with you”, “I enjoy the role that I play in our relationship”, “I am grateful to you for the role that you play in our relationship” and/or “I’m obligated to you through a family connection”. In these contexts “I love you” really means “I am attached to you in some way”.

We feel attachment-love only when we love others not when others love us. When others attachment-love us what we experience is a safe place to be ourselves. Others’ attachment-love for us brings emotional and practical support to our lives in the world. But their experience of attachment-love for us does not leave them and then go into us. If we don’t value ourselves their stating, or even demonstrating, their attachment-love for us is meaningless to us.

The experience of attachment-love is valuable for preserving the human race and for preserving and enhancing individual human lives. But the experience does not make you feel whole. And “wholeness” is the other meaning we have for “love”.

When we speak of True Love – spiritual “love”, or “God’s Love” – what we mean is an experience of wholeness. It is an experience of abundance rather than lack. And this is what we really seek in our relationships with others. This is what we hope to find in our love for others or in their love for us. And human attachment-love does not provide this. It is inherently limited.

Human attachment-love is always directed toward someone or something. True Love, as an experience of wholeness, is not directed toward anyone or anything. It is an internal experience that you carry with you. So you can understand the confusion that comes with spiritual directives like, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” From a human point of view you think this means you have to like everyone! And this is of course not possible so you end up feeling like a failure. But if you understand that “love” in this context means “wholeness” you understand that to love your neighbor as yourself is to come from your awareness of your wholeness in Truth in your relationship with them. And to recognize that no matter how they appear to you or what they seem to think that they too are whole in the Truth in their mind. You hold in your mind that Truth is all that is true no matter what is appearing.

In your awareness of True Love you do not direct love only toward certain others. You come from your awareness of your wholeness in your relationships with all, regardless of whether they are close to you or are strangers; whether you like them or not. You still feel attachment to those close to you simply out of familiarity. And your personality will enjoy some people more than others. But you do not ask anyone to make you whole. You accept others as they are. And you are willing to let anyone go should it become necessary.


When you find yourself seeking to feel whole then you are not seeking human attachment-love. You are seeking for the True Love (abundant wholeness) that is your True Being. And you can only find this within. You grow your awareness that you already have It within you by choosing to come from this awareness in your relationships with others. This is the practice of “what you give you receive” or “what you teach you learn” that A Course in Miracles emphasizes. You can give only to yourself. And you can teach only yourself. You give to and teach yourself that lack is real when you choose to look for wholeness where you will not find it. And you give to and teach yourself that you are whole when you come from your awareness of abundant wholeness (True Love) within you as you interact with the world.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ask: I had an insight and then seemed to totally lose it. What happened?

“Let's say I'm embroiled in some struggle with another person. They 'appear' as some kind of threat and the usual defend/attack scenario plays out - mostly in my head but sometimes spilling out into acting out behavior. Suddenly, a realization comes to me that the perceived threat is all made up (by me) ie. I had been attaching certain meaning to their behavior while in fact this person that I had demonized now appears as weak, clueless, ignorant or just can't help themselves or simply has another point of view. Now that the drama has been drained from the story, and all the meaning neutralized, I then realize that I need simply state my needs to that person, work out some compromise or move on. Peace at last. But then, a couple of hours later, much to my chagrin, the whole thing starts up all over again, sometimes with an even greater intensity than before! What happened?” – ES

            You are simply experiencing the process of accepting a new thought system (Holy Spirit/Teacher of Truth). The new thought system brings blessed relief. But you don’t trust it yet. And  the old thought system (ego/personal thought system), though painful, is familiar. It seems to give you something that you feel you lose with the new thought system. Going forward you will be in a process of learning that the old thought system does not give you anything of value. And you will learn to trust the new thought system.

            These flashes of insight are how accepting the thought system of the Holy Spirit begins. Take comfort in that you have begun the process. You will be back and forth between the two thought systems for a long while, but there is no turning back. You now know there is another way to look at things. And even though you may consciously forget this sometimes your subconscious knows it. The process will now happen of itself.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace  at www.acimmentor.com.