Maintaining Your Peace Outside Your Home

One of the most common complaints I hear from students of the Course is some version of: “I can maintain my peace when I’m alone but as soon as I walk out into the world I lose it.”

Why does this happen? When you are alone you can deceive yourself that that is all you are – this individual mind, this body/ego. But remember everything you perceive is a part of your mind. The world and others represent the rest of your mind that you deny when you are alone and so you cannot help but see what you really believe you are when you go out into the world. If you lose your peace it is because you really believe in separation from God rather than the Oneness of God. This is an attack on yourself and you project this outward so that it seems like the world is taking your peace away from you. You have split yourself into two illusions – the one that perceives itself as attacked and the person or thing or situation that is attacking you.

There is nothing you could attack that is not part of you. And by attacking it you make two illusions of yourself, in conflict with each other. (T-23.I.8)

When you step out into the world remember Lesson 30 in the Workbook: God is in everything I see because God is in my mind. Does this mean that what you see comes from God? No! It means you realize that the forms that are appearing are neutral and you are replacing their content, or meaning, with God. The lesson means to remind you that God is always with you no matter what is appearing. To the ego, the form matters and is the meaning. But with God, the form is nothing and the Content everything. The content of anything to you is what you want yourself to be.

Nothing around you but is part of you. Look on it lovingly, and see the light of Heaven in it. So will you come to understand all that is given you. In kind forgiveness will the world sparkle and shine, and everything you once thought sinful now will be reinterpreted as part of Heaven. (T-23.in.6)


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Comments

jacomina said…
snowballSo when my girlfriend is lashing out at the world and every little tiny event in her day is huge conflict and I sit patiently day after day after year listening to it and ultimately decide she has to be cut out of my life I read this article and now I wont. But honestly to be abused in this way and not have boundaries is too hard. How does one respond with this new understanding? I know I am 100% responsible for these types of situation and there are lots. Its easier to stay isolated. Thank you a zillion times over for this message Liz. Admittedly I am not evolved enough to project any sort of peace. What do you do?
ACIM Mentor said…
Jacomina, what you are responsible for is your perception - your interpretation - of your girlfriend's unhappiness. Meaning is what you are responsible for projecting, and it is to the meaning that you project that you are relating. Her unhappiness may be a fact, but how you interpret her unhappiness is your choice. Are you taking it personally? Or are you seeing that her unhappiness is not about you, and that she is only calling for Love?
I'm not sure why you don't have boundaries; that is also your choice. Spiritual awakening does not require that you be a doormat. It is perfectly acceptable for you to ask others to treat you with respect or to get out of your life. Boundaries serve both you and them, because you do not do others any favors by teaching them that abusing you is okay.
What you have to ask yourself is, is she truly not treating you with respect, or is that only your own interpretation (projection) on her behavior?
jacomina said…
I see she is calling for love. I love her. And that is where the boundary and respect issue come into it. Can we really "teach" people how to treat us when there is no "they". She is me and I cant walk away from her as another one like her will pop up. I am mirrored in her, right? It's my anger and abuse reflecting in her. So loving her gently and patiently means (in this illusory world) that I get hurt and used up and abused. If I walk away from someone calling for love I miss loving myself, right? Being a doormat is all I know. I appreciate you tryng to give me some clarity here as its something I just cant figure out. I project the meaning pain and fear on the world out there so everyday I see that in all people I meet. Walking away has led to my isolation and more pain and fear. If I could just understand this point I would be grateful and do things from today and on very differently. Thanks Liz
ACIM Mentor said…
No, you will not necessarily invite another abuser by walking away from this abuser, Jacomina. Walking away is the way that you signal to yourself that you are no longer going to abuse yourself through others. In time, you will do this faster; then you will have more room in your life for people who respect you.
When you forgive, it shows up in one of three ways in the world: Your perception of the situation changes and brings you Peace; the situation itself changes (as in, she stops abusing you); the situation falls away (as in, one of you leaves).
You can be sure that if you feel abused, used, or used up you are not following the Holy Spirit. It's the personal mind that says that you have to stay and be a martyr.
jacomina said…
Very clear and helpful. You nailed it. I was sure my question was not clear and yet you have made it crystal clear in your answer. So walking away is not out of line with acim teachings, and furthermore I had been listening to the wrong teacher. I am walking away. and am excited to see what follows. My teenaged children have been reading this post with me today as they are asking the same question and I am now able (all 3 of us are) to choose from this perspective. I always thought walking away was hurting others. Walking away is one way to show myself I accept the atonement and can stop punishing myself through "others" now. What a relief! Thank you for this lesson today Liz. I've got some walking away to do now......
jacomina said…
Amazingly I was drawn to reread this post after having left ACIM for many years. Was I ever shocked to see that the comments were mine! Seven years later and I am still not able to follow the Holy Spirit. The ego identity as victim is very very strong. Unfortunately, others did "pop" up and I didnt walk away. Still not ready I guess. I am a magician. I am able to perceive abuse in all my relationships. Liz asks , "Is she truly not treating you with respect or is that only your interpretation?" I would have to answer it is my interpretation. But...what chance do I have since the emotional triggers are just that......triggers! I have deluded myself thinking I was in relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. All this time has past and I still live isolated and in fear. I'm back reading your blog. And grateful for it (and your patience). I hope you respond to this "cry for love"
Jacomina
ACIM Mentor said…
Jacomina, it sounds like you may need traditional therapy to root out why you feel you deserve to be abused. You won't let Truth into your awareness if you feel you are unworthy of It. Traditional therapy is sometimes necessary to help one raise their self-esteem to a level where they feel worthy enough to let Truth in.
jacomina said…
Hi Liz. No. I have to disagree. Traditional therapy is what has made me sick. But thankfully, the pain has served in two positive outcomes. First, I am surprised at how much more open my mind is to hearing and recognizing guidance and two, I reread all your posts, audios, website material and any freebe's with a surprising depth of understanding. I understood only very shallowly years ago. The Holy Spirit is more real to me now. I can trust. It's not possible to sit across from a therapist and rehash my "story". Thank you for keeping all this material available to me and all others. Sincerely Jacomina

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