Ask: What steps can I take to overcome this fear of loss?

“My best friend and husband died suddenly one night a little over 3 years ago and your help was wonderful…the fear and pain of that sudden "loss" opened up a door to the Truth and I was able to move forward…However at the present time, I fallen back into the trappings of the dream.  With T gone and no family I've put all of my security and sense of well-being into the two Pugs we were raising together and our home…I see that I've come to believe my safety lies in having these things around me, this while studying every day and going into silence almost as consistently…
Each time something "happens" to threaten whatever illusion I've put my faith in, obviously, I quake with fear and run to the Course. Now it's one of the dogs. I can't believe what happens whenever something seems to go wrong with one of them…And with my years of studying I have felt the feeling of dark terror so much less than I did that when it does come I feel as though I might die. And then I remember that what is frightening me so isn't these "things" at all. And then the fear really comes.
My question is whenever I take anything in the dream seriously, do I bring those thoughts to the Truth in my mind? I do this, but with my head bowed in shame for being duped yet again, for taking it all seriously and making it real. How do I laugh gently
at these things I believe are so real and threatening. How do I get to look at the dream battle field from above?
The Course says it is never talking about form or to the dream figure reading its words, that the decision maker is the one who will lift the veil… My real question is...What, if anything, can the dream figure do to help the decision maker change its mind? I've reached a point where I feel like I'm banging my head against a huge iron door with the decision maker on the other side and there's nothing I can do to get in touch! And I know the more I believe it's impossible that is exactly what I will experience.
            …What's next? I guess I'm looking for steps... I've got one foot planted firmly in the dream and the other tentatively dipping it's toe in Truth and I feel lost.” – SB

            First, let me clarify that you are the “decision maker”. This is not a term in A Course in Miracles but it was one coined by Ken Wapnick to describe your mind in its split between Truth and illusion. The “dream figure” is the body/personality/ego (personal thought system) with which you as the decision maker erroneously identify. You have the choice to continue to identify with the dream figure or to grow your awareness of Truth. And what you describe indicates that you are smack in the middle of the process of choosing Truth over illusion. For a long time we students of ACIM vacillate between the two thought systems in our mind as we learn that Truth is more valuable than illusion. It is as though we have two competing realities. This is simply how this process works. You are not failing when you find yourself back in ego. It just means you have not fully realized it has no value for you. And identifying with the ego is not “wrong”. It is simply not Reality. Whether or not you want Reality is up to you. There is nothing and no one who says you have to choose It.
Two statements that you wrote explain why, instead of just going back into the ego (personal thought system) and being uncomfortable for a while, you experience such fear. One was your statement that you are aware that what frightens you is not the fear of losing things in the world. I assume that you mean that you are aware that your real fear is fear of Truth. And this fear makes you even more afraid. This indicates that you feel guilty for your fear of Truth. The other statement that you made was also of guilt: the shame you feel for being “duped” again by the ego. These statements reveal that you still believe that there is a god that holds you to a certain standard that you are failing. No wonder your fear is so extreme! And no wonder you keep turning back to the ego. You may not like the ego but it must feel safer to you than a disappointed god. You are experiencing one of the very reasons why for a long time students continue to turn back to the ego.
So what you must do now is root out that belief that there is something outside of you with power over you (a god) sitting in judgment on you and who is waiting to punish you for not being perfect. That god does not exist. It is a construct of the ego and your conscious and unconscious belief in it is the source of your fear. While you do this you want to remind yourself that the Truth goes on within you, whole and perfect, no matter what you seem to do or to not do in the universe of form. Remind yourself of these facts every time your fear of loss comes up.

If you want to know in more detail where guilt comes from, how it is maintained in your mind, and how to release it you may be interested in my book Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace. It is only in digital form and you can find it at www.amazon.com (for Kindle) or www.lulu.com (PDF or ePub).

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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

Christine said…
DB - you've just sung a song we all are singing - the melody is the same, just the words are different for each of us...we - the seemingly separated ones. I too had chosen dogs as "an extreme form of innocence"...so it has been a form or classroom I have chosen to work with now With the Holy Spirit. At this point in my life ( I am as old as Liz!) I have experience loss - most times slow, sometimes sudden and unexpected( finding my mother dead in the kitchen of my childhood home)...I don't neglect or deny these facts of the story - I just look at them and my thought about them more and more with the HS now...took soooo much time and effort, but it does awaken your Awareness of Peace (it's all Within, too, it ain't outside!)
My husband and I have had so many rescues - adopted dogs, off the street, or through a middleman/shelter, etc...and they've all died! I used to just react with such horror with either a bad diagnosis, or just with their getting old and wearing out - I finally decided to look at this "pattern" differently. This Peace has been revealed - sometimes splotchy, and sometimes it seems to stay longer - but It has been revealed to me. I can't go back to the old ego thought pattern again - at least not totally...and at some point - never again.
Our dear Golden Retriever had to be put down in March....I wrote about her in February. During the brief time of nursing her,making sure she was not in pain, etc. though I was crazy about her, this time I didn't suffer!! She "told" me when it was "time to go"...it was the strongest I had ever been at "the end"...the atmosphere at my vet's (new vet, too after 25 years with the first one) was "heavenly" - everyone hugged and kissed me (never had happened before! Even the vet!)...23 hours later, and even one day - I open my studio door and there on the sidewalk was a cross...the next door neighbor's dog I babysat at the time had chewed a perfect Christian symbol cross. I know it's a symbol - but to me, it was a message of healing. Don't get mad at me, Liz - this is just the way I perceived this occurance...my period of grief just dried up on the spot!
ACIM Mentor said…
Do I get mad?
will said…
SB,

The type of emotional pain you are going through will leave you feeling isolated, powerless, resigned to a life of emotional isolation and pain. It will pass. It is a cycle, up down up down up down. Over time the lows aren't so low and highs aren't so high. A process we all go through. You are not alone.
Christine said…
Liz, yes, at the time -I perceived it as your "getting mad"! Over three years ago, I e-mailed you about "saving two Shih-tzus who were lost in the middle of a busy street" while my husband and I had just left my father's funeral (cemetery)...(there goes my symbol of innocence - the dogs, not my father)...anyway, my approach to "asking the Holy Spirit for help" catching them was all wrong. I perceived your answer as an attack - I had to regroup and really understand why I reacted that way to your reaction to my story. It took a while, but I finally understood. I was asking the Holy Spirit "for help" as if It were an "outside source", a power somewhere out there we call on for help in dire situations (old time crapola)....instead of the HS being My True Being, or Christ Consciousness, etc. closer than the air, within my mind. Shih-tzus were my father's favorite breed.
Anonymous said…
Christine, are you saying your symbol of innocence "dogs" represent your innocence and that your perception of attack felt as an attack on your innocence? Also, that by rescuing dogs (innocence) was your attempt at rescuing your innocence and by going to Holy Spirit, you were shown your true innocence, Wholeness and thus shown your Golden's Wholeness (sameness)? Am I interpreting this right? dsb
jerryo said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said…
I don't know - I perceived Liz's reply to my story about "saving the Shih-tzus" as a form of not-Love! So - I realized I had to go to work and see why I reacted that way.I've also learned that in "the case of the lost Shih-tzus in traffic" - that if they had been run over, etc., that my inner perception is Always that only Truth is true still (even if the scenario did Not turn out in a 'nice'way!) I have finally learned that turning within (where True Peace has always been) is better for you than turning outward and seeking for it!
I've re-read your question, dsb, and yes - I think you got it.
Anonymous said…
Well I don't know if this mind got it but it is what came through. This mind was sifting through a pile of guilt that to my surprise got uncovered from the blanket of denial after reading "Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace". I don't know why it all came bubbling up but an amazing read Liz. Gracias. Besides some spiritualizing self to work through, I was shown the mask of false innocence I was wearing out in the world as conscientious, responsible, people pleaser, oh the list goes on. Let the true innocence shine through thank you please.
hannahlily said…
thank you SB and Liz. i appreciate your questions, answers and splendid Timing.

i have been doing my best to face a growing awareness of fear and mistrust of god/reality/truth, but been more confused than i would have thought possible when sorting out whats love and whats fear. and this post (and particularly the excerpt below) has bolstered my commitment to to choose again, to really use these feelings and this time as a bridge to reality not a wall between my awareness and love, and to trust i CAN see/feel/hear what is the egos god and what is reality. the wording of liz' answer has simplified the choice, which the ego had tricked me into thinking was complicated and hard to understand. but this is simple, so the choice is simple. hard or easy as i make it.. but simple!! so, heartfelt thanks to both of you. and if your computer crashing was part of the timing of this particular post happening now.. thanks liz ;)

"I assume that you mean that you are aware that your real fear is fear of Truth. And this fear makes you even more afraid. This indicates that you feel guilty for your fear of Truth. The other statement that you made was also of guilt: the shame you feel for being “duped” again by the ego. These statements reveal that you still believe that there is a god that holds you to a certain standard that you are failing. No wonder your fear is so extreme! And no wonder you keep turning back to the ego. You may not like the ego but it must feel safer to you than a disappointed god. You are experiencing one of the very reasons why for a long time students continue to turn back to the ego. So what you must do now is root out that belief that there is something outside of you with power over you (a god) sitting in judgment on you and who is waiting to punish you for not being perfect. That god does not exist."
will said…
"You cannot willingly be Defenseless in the world that you perceive until you have a sufficient awareness of the Christ within you to feel Its Safety all around you. Until then, you will reinforce fear in your mind by pretending to feel a Safety that you do not yet feel. Simply accept that you will use the personal mind's defenses until you have experienced your Real Safety. It is not a 'sin' to do so; it is only a mistake that you are working to correct."

Mentor Note, Vol. II 'Practicing A Course in Miracles', Liz Cronkhite
hannahlily said…
beautiful Will, thanks :)
will said…
Take a few deep breaths, it's just the ego raving on. Go to the Holy Instant.
hannahlily said…
if you will lay aside the egos voice.. loving lesson 106

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