Ask: Will others be going with me as my life takes this new direction?
“…I have recently retired and have taken this opportunity to start going deep into my study of ACIM and my spiritual path in general. I have recently encountered a lot of confusion about what the direction of my life will be from here and if my wife and any of my friends and family will be going there with me. I have felt like I have to place all of these things in my life on the altar as it were and be willing to live with or without them. I am assuming that this is a somewhat normal occurrence but it is becoming very disruptive in my marriage as I express my confusion and the change in my energy and actions is being felt by both of us. I can tell that there is fear of the unknown present and I have given it to the Holy Spirit to show me the truth of the situation…” - MG
It is common for students to become aware of internal shifts in their perspective and values as their goal changes to inner peace. And this is usually accompanied by fear that this will cause external shifts in their life. And it will, although not always as dramatically as the ego (personal thought system) makes you fear.
If your life is greatly dysfunctional then you are more likely to have some dramatic shifts in your external life that reflect your new goal of inner peace. These can seem to happen suddenly. For example, if your sense of self-worth has been very low the goal of inner peace itself indicates a healthy shift. You must value yourself at least a little to make inner peace a goal. This shift in goal changes your relationship to the world. The choices you made from a place of low self-worth will no longer fit you when you value yourself. This is why many students find themselves divorcing, filing for bankruptcy, foreclosing on their home, closing their business, losing their jobs, etc. For some this all happens at once! Often they feel they did not set these things in motion, but their shift in goal did.
Some external shifts will certainly happen over time. The ego’s (personal thought system’s) way of relating to others is dysfunctional. It is co-dependent. This means that when you come from the ego in your relationships with others you take responsibility for them or you ask them to take responsibility for you. So as you learn to look to God (Truth) for wholeness rather than to others this will change the way that you relate to others. You will no longer ask them to make you whole. You will no longer play a certain role with them to feel whole. You will be in a relationship with them simply because you love them and enjoy being with them. But if they expect you to ask them to play a part in your life that you no longer need, or you no longer play a part that they want you to play, then they will face the choice to grow with you, stay and be unhappy, or leave the relationship.
The ego is a thought system of conflict. And conflict means drama. When you choose inner peace it means you choose to let go of conflict and drama. You choose to detach from ego. To the ego in your mind as well as in others’ minds this can feel like a death. So as your values change give others in your life the time and space to grow with you. Acknowledge their fears, reassure them of your love, and support them if they choose to grow with you. They may not follow your path. But they will need to grow in their own way to adjust to the changes in you.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, and 4 Habits for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.
Coming soon: Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace: A companion to 4 Habits for Inner Peace
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.