Ask: How Can I Choose to Not Suffer?

Ask ACIM Mentor:

How can I choose not to suffer? In my head I can, but I still feel the pain of rejection. - AM

In Truth, you cannot suffer, but you need to be in touch with the Truth in you to be able to turn toward It, away from suffering. So, before you can stop suffering, you must cultivate your awareness of God within you.
In your mind, you have two thought systems. One comes from God – what A Course in Miracles calls the “Christ Mind” or “Holy Spirit” in you. This is the Part of your mind that knows that you are One with God (eternal, limitless love, peace, and joy). The other thought system is what the Course calls “ego”, and I have translated as “personal mind” or “personal thought system”. This thought system is the opposite of God in every way. Its foundation is guilt, therefore fear-of-God, which manifests as anxiety, anger, insecurity, irritation, worry, etc. It is your identification with this thought system that leads to your suffering, so the obvious correction for your suffering is to stop identifying with it. But, you cannot be without an identity, so you will only stop identifying with a personal self when you identify with God. This means that God has to be more than just a nice idea that you’ve read about in a book; God has to be a real experience for you.
If you are already conscious of having experiences of God – what the Course calls miracles (indirect experiences) and revelations (direct experiences) – then, when you are caught up in the negative emotions of the personal thought system, you can turn inward, away from them toward those experiences of God. At first, these will just be memories of occasions when you’ve been aware of God through revelations and/or miracles. You remember those experiences and remind yourself that the Source of those experiences is What is real, not what is appearing before you, or what you are thinking about what is appearing before you. For myself, I use the phrase, “Only God is Real.” This turns my mind back toward those experiences. When I use this phrase and feel myself take a deep breath and relax, then I know that I’ve made the connection to Truth. From there, I’m able to just observe the personal thought system’s thoughts without taking them on as my own. I rest in peace, and the thoughts that cause my suffering fall away automatically in the recognition that they are not about anything real.
In time, the Presence of God will be more than just rare occasions that you can remember – It will always be with you, and turning toward It, away from the world and the personal thought system’s stories for you in the world, will become much easier.
If you are not conscious of having had experiences of God, then you need to invite them into your awareness. Simply open your mind to God: “I’m willing to experience You.” These words are for you, not for God, Which is always right here within you. If God is not in your conscious awareness it is because of your obstacles to being aware of God, not because God isn’t here. Your willingness has to be a feeling of truly being open. It does not have to be perfect; you don’t have to be without fear or doubt. Simply open yourself, then let go and trust. Miracles will come into your awareness and show you that God is with you.
Miracles can take many forms: A sudden awareness of the Presence of God with you; an insight that shifts you toward peace; a change in perception about a situation that shifts you toward peace; a spontaneous feeling of peace or joy that is unconnected to anything happening “out there”; guidance from the Holy Spirit; an awareness of Oneness with God or another. It always happens in your mind, and changes you; it may or may not show up “out there” as something in the world of form changing. Miracles are the experiences that “prove” to you that God is Real and within you; this is why they are necessary. (This is why it is called A Course in Miracles!).
The more that you center your mind in God, the more miracles you will experience, the more real God will become to you, and the less effect the personal thought system will have on you. Return your mind to God again and again throughout the day; don’t wait to suffer to do this. Any time that you have a quiet moment, turn your mind inward and remember that only God is Real. As God becomes a real experience for you, painful thoughts will be something that you release easily, and you will no longer suffer.


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Kirt said…
Wonderful article!!!

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