Changes Along the Way

There are several changes that students of A Course in Miracles go through and they sometimes wonder if it is natural. When you become a student of the Course, you are accepting a whole new purpose for your life. You are now on a path of becoming a teacher of God and your life is no longer driven by ego’s perceived needs. At first (the period of undoing) this is almost unconscious, but it causes shifts within you and in your life. Some of these changes occur because your values change and you simply don’t want or need what you were used to thinking you wanted or needed when your goal was separation from God. Some of these changes occur because the Holy Spirit requires them to fulfill Its role through you. Here are some changes that students report:
  • A sense of isolation because you cannot share what you are studying and going through with those closest to you.
  • Friends falling away because you are no longer interested in the same things.
  • Cherished goals no longer seeming important or desirable
  • Career/job changes
  • Relocation of your home
  • Loss of interest in former interests
  • A sense of aimlessness
  • Anger and depression because of these changes

As you develop trust in the Holy Spirit (see Development of Trust), the period of undoing (1), the period of relinquishment (3) and the period of unsettling (5) bring about the greatest changes both within you and in your life. The period of undoing seems to bring about changes that you are not conscious of wanting and they are the hardest to accept because you do not yet realize they are only happening because you are willing to let them happen. But by the time you reach the period of relinquishment, you have comprehensively sorted out ego and the Holy Spirit and have established a conscious, ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit. The “relinquishment” is consciously your own because you are now fully accepting awakening to God as your purpose. Your willingness makes the changes much easier, if not wholly comfortable.

The sense of isolation that many students report is replaced over time by a sense of connectedness with the Holy Spirit that surpasses any human experience of connection or community. You are walking inward, away from the world, toward wholeness and completion – something no human relationship can offer. Your new goal may cause awkwardness in your human relationships because it cannot be explained adequately to those who are not open to hearing the truth. Sometimes you will have to make up practical justifications for your life choices when others are not ready to hear “I’m following the Holy Spirit’s guidance”. Those close to you may be frightened by changes in you and your life and may take time to recognize that you are happier and more at peace than you were before. When obligated to be with groups of people, you will find yourself being quieter and less involved because you do not share others’ interests anymore, but you will feel at peace despite this.

Many students report feelings of irritability and impatience with everyday tasks at home and/or at work. This is simply part of the depression that comes from accepting a change of your life goal without fully accepting the new goal. You want peace and you are learning that it is going to cost you everything you have valued until now. This makes you resistant and depressed. Students say things like, “If it’s meaningless, why do I have to do this lousy job/chore?” Of course if they really realized it was meaningless they would be indifferent to the action. It is just the ego pouting and if you can recognize this and just let it be you will find it has a lot less effect on you. Resisting resistance takes a lot of effort!

It helps to keep the goal in mind. If you get too caught up in feelings of depression or resistance take time to meditate on the peace and joy and love you experience when you let go of ego. Know it is a process and you have already set it in motion and now you “need do nothing” but let the Holy Spirit work in you and through you.

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