The Gift of Letting Go of Potential

I have never been interested in fame, fortune, or power but there were certain assumptions people made about me when I became a life-coach back around 2000. One of them was that I was looking to become the next Dr. Phil, or some equivalent world-renowned life-coach. It’s true that some with whom I studied life-coaching were looking for recognition, either on a large or a small scale. Many were actively and openly looking for ways to get on Oprah! But my idea of success has always been inner peace, not a particular life style. Since I’ve written the translation of A Course in Miracles I find these assumptions (projections?) happening again. Some think that I wrote the book to become some sort of great guru, if not in the world at large, at least in the Course community. But in fact I still want only what I already have, which is everything I’ve ever really wanted: A loving life-partner, a sweet little home, and lots and lots of time for contemplation and meditation. I like my little mentoring practice and only want it to fill out. For me, awakening to God has always been an inward path that requires a quiet, simple outer life with a minimum of distractions.

The problem was that I was finding myself getting defensive whenever someone suggested that I was on track to become some well-known teacher in the world. What was that defensiveness about? Did I secretly want recognition? Fortune? Power? As often as I looked I could not find any part of me that wanted any of this. Then it occurred to me that this experience was just like the conflict I felt in high school. I’ve always been an introvert, not out of fear but out of preference. I always found the inner world of the mind far more interesting than the outer world. I could never understand the desire to be popular, though my two best friends longed for it. I didn’t understand why other kids joined clubs and organizations. When school was out I felt set free to pursue my own quiet interests – why would I want to waste my precious free time in these groups? But I felt a conflict that was more than just being different because I really was okay with who I was. Something within me was nagging at me to reach a potential that deep down I knew I had. I could be anything I wanted. And this is the same conflict that was coming up for me thirty years later. It’s not that I want recognition or power or money but that a part of me wants me to stretch Liz, not necessarily to the limit, but enough to see some of what she’s made.

So the defensiveness I felt when others suggested my goal was something other than the quiet life I really want came out of the obligation I felt, in my identification with a personal self, to discover that personal self’s potential. I felt guilty wanting a simple, quiet, inward life when I had a potential to discover. Of course, as soon as I recognized this conflict I realized how meaningless it is to develop a personal self, which isn’t me. It only makes sense to develop my awareness of What I really am. Initially I felt some grief because I enjoyed making “Liz”: stretching her wings, making her grow, testing her potential. But the grief passed quickly and was replaced by a subtle relief that left me feeling light as air. Making a personal self is a lot of work! This is one of those examples the Course speaks of where I thought something was being taken away and I found a gift instead.

Read The Message of A Course in Miracles: A translation of the Text in plain language at


will said…
Lord Liz, you wrote a book and then gave it away on the internet...
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, I don't get your point...
will said…
Sorry Liz, the ego speaking first and poorly written. I simply meant that if people were questioning you or your motives, the fact that you have gone through a period of giving the book away for free says it all. Actions do speak louder than words. I'd probably go for sales and Oprah. In any case I know you have found a publisher and wish you only the best with it. I didn't grow up with computers and find it hard to read from a computer screen. I like the feel of a book and am glad to pay someone for their efforts.
JJ said…
Related to me comment on the following post, I wonder who is the "I" that:

"I still want only what I already have, which is everything I’ve ever really wanted: A loving life-partner, a sweet little home, and lots and lots of time for contemplation and meditation."

Isn't the "I" that wants all those a belief in separation?

Could you still be at peace with God were all those taken away?

Could having them taken away even bring you closer to God?

Is it possible that your attachment to them in fact keeps you from a deeper surrender because your energies are in service to the illusion of "Liz"?

These are sincere questions, not criticism! I ask them about myself.

ACIM Mentor said…
I can do without all, JJ, but the lots of time for contemplation and meditation! I still must make a conscious effort to stay in touch with the Peace of God within me.
Anonymous said…
I am a massage therapist by trade for 23 yrs. Recently encountered a coach who said I "should" be more and do more. The vision: website, videos, coaching. At first, I felt flattered and caught up in her vision. Then resentment set in. I have pondered these feelings for some time- should I do more, be more?
Thank you for this blog and the clarity it provided. I am content and peaceful.

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