Ask: What do you think about all the hype about germs?
“What do you think about all the hype regarding germs, sanitizing, and hand washing? I'm asking because my partner and I have different habits around this, and I feel really disgusted by her behavior sometimes. I know that mentioning it to her will cause a fight, probably because I feel guilty for having these feelings. I'm afraid that by being close to her physically, I am risking becoming infected with something she has picked up in public. What's actually going on here?” – OT
At the level of form there are laws of cause and effect. Some things cause harm to the body. The experience of a self is inherently dysfunctional and will never be perfect. But it does make sense to know the laws of cause and effect relating to the self and its body to mitigate your discomfort in this experience where possible. As the story goes, germs cause illness in the body. You do reduce, but not eliminate, your risk of being infected or of causing infection in others through basic hygiene, like washing your hands after using the toilet or handling raw meat, washing more often when you have a virus, brushing your teeth, etc.
There are two questions for you to look at: First, are your hygiene habits rational and reasonable or driven by such irrational fear of infection that they are obsessive? Infections in the body are inevitable. But the body is not you. As you grow more aware of Truth you will be aware of Perfection within so you will release (forgive) the body. This shows up as you accepting the experience of the body as it is, without judgment, resistance, or a need to make it perfect.
Also, if you are irrational and obsessive about hygiene the body’s brain may have a chemical imbalance that causes an obsessive-compulsive disorder that needs to be evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Medication and therapy may be helpful. In time, as you grow aware of Truth, you will recognize this disorder is also of the body, not about your Reality in Truth.
The second question is why do you feel guilty for feeling that your partner’s habits are not up to par? Is it because you sense your hygiene standards are irrational? Or do you feel that you are judging her by observing her unhealthy habits? It may be an observable fact that her hygiene is not very healthy. Your judgment on her would be feeling that she is wrong or bad for not having good hygiene.
So you need to sort out what is fact (perhaps her hygiene really is not healthy) from projection of meaning, or judgment (she is wrong for having poor hygiene). You are never disturbed by fact, but rather by your own projections of meaning. They make guilt real to you.
Once you sort this out, if it is a fact that her hygiene is poor you will be able to discuss it with her matter-of-factly, without rancor.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.
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.