Trust Your Own Path

If I had my way (oh, there’s so much I could say after this!) no one would be able to read spiritual material or to listen to spiritual teachers that are more advanced than they are. It seems to cause so many problems. And of course the problems are not in the material but in the readers and listeners.

I’ll say again what I’ve said often lately: this path has not unfolded in the way that I thought it would. I have gone along for a ride that has taken some surprising turns. Of course the way I thought it would unfold was shaped by what I read into others’ experiences. It was not necessarily what the writers intended.

Sometimes I misunderstood what others shared because I was not yet at their level of awareness. Sometimes I didn’t have their experience and felt I must be failing or missing something. And sometimes others simply used different words to describe an experience we shared. Often I reached a point where I’d say, “Screw what I’ve read! What has my experience taught me?” For me, experience always trumps concepts. So eventually I did accept that I know nothing. I just have to sit back and let this journey to peace unfold as it will without judging it.

I missed miracles because of my guilt and expectations. In guilt I felt I was always falling short. In guilt I couldn’t see that I was in a process because I was so certain I was somehow wrong or off.  I focused on what I lacked, not the peace, the insights, the everyday and higher miracles, the Revelations that I had experienced. I wasn’t sufficiently grateful for those because they weren’t “enough”. Unconsciously I was afraid that they were all I would experience because I was afraid that they were all I deserved. So even when I came to accept that I was in a process I would still have horrible bouts of resisting this awareness. I wanted peace now, damn it, because unconsciously I was afraid it would never arrive.

Expectations meant I often looked in the wrong place for results. The biggest example of this was my expectation that the ego (personal thought system) would change. Of course it didn’t so I felt a failure. But then peace came to stay and the ego was still in my awareness. That’s when I realized I had been looking in the wrong place for peace. Peace came to me, not to the ego. Of course! The ego isn’t me. Isn’t this what I was learning? Now it seems obvious.


There were so many big and little expectations, some of them not consciously held by me, that have been undone or have fallen away. So I say to you: Read or listen to others’ experiences with interest but not with expectations for yourself. Keep your mind open and let your path unfold. Some experiences you will understand right away. Some you too will experience in time. Some you will never experience. Trust the unfolding of your own unique path from within you. Be with the Holy Spirit (the awareness of Truth in your mind) where you are right now. You are now where you have to be to get where you are going.

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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.

Comments

will said…
It made me rather grouchy the first time you started talking about this stuff. In the end that grouchiness really imprinted what you are saying. To me the most important part is, "I missed miracles because of my guilt and expectations." Thanks for your 20-20 hindsight.
Christine said…
Will - I thought of you when I recently read in Joel S. Goldsmith's Parenthesis in Eternity (you turned me onto Joel's books - it's not the Course, but it explains so much)...anyway, it is about asking questions of one's spiritual teacher. Here goes:

p. 166 :"No spiritual teacher avoids answering questions that will clarify the meaning of the message, but once the student has attained the actual contact with his Source, questions seldom arise. As God unfolds in his experience, he is left without questions, without any doubt about what to do or why. ...His one concern would be to follow the light that is within him"...."Spiritual development comes about through the experience of God, not in questions or answers..."Sooner or later, the way opens so that the student will receive his own impartations from within. The same light that has come to every mystic can then reveal itself to him. Truth in its essence is the same, but it comes in different language and in different degrees to each and every person." He goes on and on - very clearly. This is "trusting your own path", when you've reached this point, I guess it's not for beginners!
hannahlily said…
this was great to read, relaxing and helpful! and maybe a bit tongue in cheek!?

this particular angst you speak of is such a part of the contrast and inner conflict from which ive learnt i need to start trusting my own path (very recent learning.

without it the path so far may have (would have!) been a lot .. gentler, but probably a lot slower as well. LAUGH!! but this is my own experience ;) ;) ;)

quicker learning due to contrast.
will said…
It made the ego rather grouchy.
Anonymous said…
The Unfolding - Many years ago, way before my Course study, I took a workshop on meditation (seeking peace) and so I would practice sitting quiet, counting my breaths and watching my thoughts. If I was successful, I could probably meditate, sit quiet for a minute or two. Mostly, it felt strained and eventually fell away but taught me how to watch my thoughts.

Over the past 5 days and two years into my study of the Course, I discovered I was meditating and it unfolded naturally with the awareness, I am the quiet center. No counting, no strain, no thought, peace.

Just one example of how this path is unfolding in ways I had thought.

Thank you Liz.
Anonymous said…
Aha, Liz! I can certainly relate to this post. It was not until AFTER I finished reading my first experience of the Course through the devouring of Gary Renard's first book, DU, that I realized that it did me a big disservice. I compared my path to his for years, feeling like a failure and oh so wrong.. He had at least ten years of studying the material right from the start...a fact that eluded me as I read along. 'He' tempted me to skip steps by trying to understand what I was not ready for as a newcomer. The ironic part is that I would never have gotten into the study without his humorous, laid back introduction...but by then, the cat was already out of the bag. My unique slower path...now I accept that it simply had to be this way! *laughs* Thanks for the pointing of this out. --T
suzanneberry said…
I was going to write that this is quite possibly the best thing I've ever read but I think perhaps it's more that I read what I needed at the time I needed it most! Which I still, I'm amazed to say, still surprises me.

I continue to feel guilt with every attack thought and I continue to believe I must change what isn't real and whip the ego thought system into shape. The good news is that I also continue to ask for help to see it all differently.

I need to let go and trust the process and not set a timetable or conjure up steps or try to manipulate my thoughts.

Thank you so much. Your experiences and sharing them have helped me so very much in this amazing ongoing process of remembering Truth.
will said…
Liz, maybe this is true for you or maybe it isn't. Your first paragraph is similar to what sponsors say in 12 step. But in the end the sponsor's always say they got more out of it than the person they were sponsoring. Someone has to lay the trail, that's just the way it is. But yes, it certainly has its downside.
Anonymous said…
Amen
ACIM Mentor said…
You know the first paragraph was written in humor. Perhaps I should use emoticons...
will said…
Ahhhh. Yes I see that. It was me who missed it. Computers are deadly with that sort of thing.
will said…
It had felt a little silly bringing it to your attention. In the back ground my mind was saying "she knows this Will."
hannahlily said…
laughing! emoticons, holy spirits way of communicating with the overly serious or slightly autistic in nature ;)(i am talking about myself here will :D )

i felt a bit silly with my question re tongue in cheek, (what WILL liz and co. think of my presumptuous comment!) but not taking myself seriously and worrying about the impression others have of me is most definitely a part of this Self discovery. this very important serious quest! if i want to ask or say something and i get butterflies, that usually seems to be an indicator of facing some illusion, of potential for letting go of something unhelpful.

"when in doubt ask", seems to work wonders in both clarity of understanding AND self image , um, lessening-of-value-of, bonus!! ;)
will said…
'Why miss an opportunity to correct someone', that's my motto.
will said…
hannahlily,

you probably know this but taking a risk and saying whatever your thinking (on the blog) has big spiritual payoffs. It has for me anyway.
hannahlily said…
will, yes i had. usually to do with both the topic at hand, and some aspect of fear of how im perceived. "in guilt i felt i was always falling short" so, im trusting my process (to the best of my current ability!) rather then trying to control the uncontrollable. im more accustomed to not questioning so that its more likely i'll be liked.

maybe this boundary pushing is trying to force the ego to change to achieve peace? not sure, but so far it feels best to try not to make my choices from the fear of what impression i'll make, see whats on the other side of the butterflies! i do apologise if im ever disrespectful though!
will said…
h.
I am seeing recently how prevalent "the fear of how I'm perceived" is. It has had a tremendous impact on my life. In my twenties the only time I could get out of the house was when I was drinking. Counseling or medication had little impact. I've been using Liz's 'Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace' as a guide to get into the subconscious and root this stuff out.
hannahlily said…
will, i just ordered a copy :)

i had an experience a few weeks back that has changed the courage level of my approach to life, as i know that, beyond what im presently experiencing as this selfs reality is a reality that truly unites all being, is 100% loving, beautiful, kind and and unalterable, and embraces every single seeming upset/horror with absolutely no effort at all.

since then i started doing the workbook lessons again, and spending more quiet time with truth, and what im practising has a completely different resonance than last time, in my awareness at any rate. i am much more willing to embrace the fact that this selfs will has no meaning, its non-reality engenders much less fear/sorrow, as the united Will experience showed me that whatever truly Is, IS something i WANT to want more than individual existence. the need to pay attention to it (self) and talk about it is lessening (still strong.. here i am ;) )as trust in Self grows.
will said…
h.
I have been reading The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes a history of Australia. It's a good one.
hannahlily said…
i havent read it, after googling it looks interesting. does it mention albany (1st WA settlement by europeans?) im not actually generally a history enthusiast, but have two sisters who are (1 history major at uni and 1 a writer) who would be interested in anything including this towns history. im a bit one track minded when it comes to reading these days, (yep, acim acim acim) though im sure that will pass in time, as i settle into trusting my own inner teacher! by the way, i made my contact available on my 'blog profile' if its not good form to chat here on non-blog related topics. i dont know blogger etiquette!
will said…
Thanks h. it's probably best to stick to the task at hand. People don't want to know what I'm reading in my spare time.

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