Ask: I fear that if I continue with my Course studies I will lose the memory of my husband...

“…I contacted you almost 4 years ago when my husband of 20 years, and the kindest, most supportive and best friend I've ever had, died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep at the age of 43. I contacted you soon after and asked your thoughts about seeing a world famous medium and you said I should do whatever might help. I have received many messages of support from him since then in the form of readings from various mediums, a host of coincidences and even sightings in my daily life. These have been a great help in my embracing our eventually being reunited when I die. That said, I can't apply the Course teachings to everything else and not this. If everything I experience here is what I've asked for that means all of my husband’s messages are coming from me and not him and that is crushing me. Literally. And now, the personal thought system is constantly telling me that if I continue with my Course studies, my husband will disappear from my memory because he was nothing but my own projection and that when I die I will not remember him and will never see him again and this, more than anything else, has interrupted and stalled my progress…Ken (Wapnick) said that the thoughts of love we have here are but shadows of what is beyond and you explained that Tim was a manifestation of the Love that I am. It's all so confusing to me.  Obviously I can't go back, but I also do not want to give up the hope that I'll see my husband again…” – SB

Only the Truth is eternal and unchanging. If you have something and lose it, it was an illusion. You seem to feel that either your husband was the source of your well-being or your relationship with him was the source of your well-being. If your well-being falls away when he is gone then it is not real, lasting well-being. It is an illusion of well-being.

But the good news is that you do have a Source of eternal, unchanging well-being within you. You won’t let go of your husband as long as you think he is the source of your well-being. You will let him go naturally when the Truth is true for you and you know that you can rest in Its eternal peace. There is no reason for you to feel guilty for your mistaking the source of your well-being. The Truth in you goes on whole and perfect, untouched by this. The path to true Peace, for everyone, is one of holding onto idols while growing your awareness of Truth. No one releases idols until they see that they do not work and they are aware of What does work. Your having an idol simply means that you are not yet aware enough of Truth to not have an idol. Growing that awareness is a process.

You also do not have to fear that you will lose idols that you are not ready to release. Nothing can be taken from you. What falls away does so because you are ready for it to do so. However, it is true that you will not continue on a path that you do not believe will bring you the unchanging peace that you seek. When you find yourself fearing that you may lose the memory of your husband as the source of your well-being remind yourself that this will fall away only when permanent Peace has come into your awareness. At that point you will not experience any loss. You will then remember your relationship with him, not as an idol that was the source of your well-being, but as a manifestation of your eternal well-being. There will no longer be any fear associated with this memory.

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


Unknown said…
Excellant reply.I was inspired by the courage of this lady to be so open. Equally inspired by your reply. In my own experience of a love lost,the fear of loss and letting go seemed mammoth. In actual face not giving up I felt gently guided and grew in trust.It never seemed like a transition anywhere.All my love to you precious lady xxx
will said…

You do not have to give up the hope you will see your husband again. God Sakes. Do not torture yourself over this, that is the last thing the Course is teaching. You hold the memories and hopes close to your heart. You stay close to the Holy Spirit in your mind. You walk with the Holy Spirit and the memory of your husband. You put the grief on his shoulders. Now is not the time to worry about the metaphysics of the Course.
will said…
This lady is under attack by the ego. The issue is always the same. It's not about how she should grieve. It's about guilt. The ego wants guilt. And with guilt comes pain.
Christine said…
After all these eons, I have finally come to realizing that "they are all inside of me" - my mind, all there, always have been. I am much more the observer now, just watching kind of neutrally people, things, situations, places all seem to unfold...then they fold back up again. Sometimes they "fold back up" in painful ways - sudden and unexpected death, wars, disease, whatever...this world is a place of loss - Ken Wapnick described it all as "disease, disaster, and death" with periods of harmony mixed in...I find, with practice, that starting with Truth, putting the attributes/qualities of God first in out thought is so helpful to bringing Peace into our awareness. Sure - don't be a blissninny and deny what's happened, but don't Dwell there at rock bottom. Personal sense/ego is what makes "other" and makes up a story about "other". And when we feel like we're a victim, been victimized by someone or something that happened the ego is off and running.
I don't mean to sound cold! Just thoughts...
will said…
When we are in pain we are always alone, the most alone place you can be. Pain, sorrow and grief put us in a place where we are just hanging on and crying for help. The course becomes words. You can only work with what you have. Patience is the key.
Unknown said…
War and Peace, Tolstoi's novel just about sums up our old Ego. I find I'm tottering all the time between my ego system of thought and the Son of God I want to be. You're right, Will, Patience is the key.
nicci said…
thank you will. . . for the gentle guidance to walk with HS and give Him my burdens, and for God Sakes. endless Love, nicci
Guy M said…
I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

I believe that the idea that all other people in our experience are nothing but projections is a misinterpretation of ACIM. I realize that some influential people may have said this. However, this erroneous hypothesis carried to its logical conclusion would mean that the people saying this and their writings are also our projections.

I believe you will be reunited with your husband someday and he will be recognizable as him. Love Guy
will said…
Most everyone who is studying and practicing the course doesn’t believe this is a dream. We don’t have any choice. Someone close gets sick or dies, a tragedy happens, people worrying about the ecology, planes fly into the world trade center any number of things show how grounded we are in the egoic mind. This is a course in Miracles. What that means is that the changes talked about in the text take place by an intervention of the Holy Spirit. Miracles. No one can step back and see this world as a dream until the Holy Spirit intervenes. For whatever our personal reasons are we remain committed to following this path to its conclusion.
Anonymous said…
I woke this morning with these lyrics in my mind, a love song by Barbra Streisand “what kind of fool, tears it apart, leaving me pain and sorrow” and I said to myself, ya, what kind of fool and answered, a fool who is afraid of Love. I am that fool (ha) but less afraid (yay) now, as I grow my awareness of truth. As I read this post I thought, oh my, this was my story too. My husband, also of 20 years who also passed at a young age 4 years ago was/is the love of my life and not because of the dream's story but the recognition of shared interests, the sameness, the oneness. Just prior to my husbands death, he realized the peace of God, and I at the time was still too frightened of Love but his passing, finding myself without him in “my life”, with all the pain and sorrow, well I cried, there has to be another way. As I journey ACIM, miracle after miracle graces my mind and even some of the unexpected happens. One Tuesday afternoon this past June, I recognized in another the sameness we all are and in that holy instant, I exclaimed, I just received the Love my husband has been trying to show me. Tears of happiness poured as I finally understood that he was the Love in my mind and I Am that Love and it wasn't until that Tuesday afternoon that I was finally ready to receive it. Now that is a Love story.

Today when this beloved Son of God shines in my mind, I smile a sweet smile of gratitude. I smile with the same smile of peace that illuminates the same Light. That is where Jose shines now. He is with me now. He is my laughter when my pups make me laugh, he is my patience when I most need it, he continues to be my strength when the ego fears, he walks with me always in the eternal now. Blessings to all, Deb
Christine said…
And that "he" is the Holy Spirit!

Anonymous said…
I was led to respond to the "widow's" expressed "fears" in this
> newsletter, but could not understand the process when I clicked-onto
> the site, so I will just comment to you...
> I began my study and practice of ACIM in 2007, having both yours and K.
> Wopnick's publications as my study/practice guides.
> Truth-within was not difficult for me to accept as I recall "feeling"
> that as reality since age 17. I have consciously been seeking
> God/Truth since age 4.
> My husband died at age 72, 3 years plus ago, after two years of
> fighting first strokes, followed by a courageous year long battle with
> pancreatic cancer. So, we had many months to process his death eminent death.
> During that two years, I began processing the fact he was "my idol"
> since before our marriage in 1963, and I was able to validate that
> with my acceptance and progress in comprehending and believing all I
> was learning via ACIM.
> However, when he died, I became enraged at the reality of "my projection,"
> in spite of actually BELIEVING IN that concept.
> During the first three years following his death, I became clinically
> depressed, a self-diagnosis of certainty because by education and
> career work, I am a LCSW with a private psychotherapy practice, now
> retired. I never gave up my faith/acceptance of all I was learning
> and practicing via ACIM, and remained steadfast in my acceptance and
> continued to trust the process.
> Now, my anger (guilt for having an idol?) and grief/sadness of his
> presence in my life ended is resolved, replaced by my fulfillment with Truth Within.
> Furthermore, I still recall the fun we shared and the family we
> created together, as well as our 54 years of individual journeys as
> our lives progressed together, yet separately. Of course, we also had
> marital struggles, along the way!
> At age 76, I appreciate more than I can express how my life has
> evolved, plus the life-changing effect of my "discovery" of ACIM, as
> well as my "discovery" of two mentors, you and K. Wopnick.
will said…
I have been reading through lessons 20-40. What struck me was the level of commitment and Effort Jesus is asking of us. He says in lesson 20 about the lessons “There has been virtually no attempt to direct the time for under taking them, minimal effort has been required and not even active cooperation and interest have been asked,” which about sums up my current practicing. It soon moves to ‘five practice periods, then six, then every half hour, as often as possible and on lesson 39 “search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation.” If I remember correctly Liz, you said you used to do this A LOT. That your job allowed you to focus on this. I've been slacking off and this is a good reminder to pick up the pace a bit.
ACIM Mentor said…
No, Will, I certainly never did that! It was a good day if I remembered the lesson once or twice that day. And I never looked at my mind between lessons. My mind was completely unfocused.
Christine said…
Will, try not to ritualize anything...
will said…
Trying to communicate on a computer... Liz I was talking about when you were years into the course. Doesn't matter.

Christine I hear what your saying. When you ritualize you are repeating something in a set precise manner. Jesus is having us do this in the early lessons as the quotes show, but for my purposes what I am understanding Jesus to be saying is if you want this you really have to put some effort into it. Again it doesn't matter to me what people do, but for me I need to focus more.
will said…
Consistently doing the 4 habits is what I would call putting some effort into it which I haven't been doing:) Some ritual wouldn't hurt me either in the time I set aside for meditation. I've gotten pretty undisciplined.
will said…
I think what got me writing was I had not read these in awhile and the seriousness of Jesus's tone is unmistakable. At least to me. It read if you want this (the course)your going to have to apply yourself, really apply yourself, which struck me as I was reading it. I didn't write these comments with any intent of telling other people how to do it, it just struck me as important so I came in here to the computer and put it down.
Anonymous said…
After years with ACIM, and like you said Liz, in reply to Will, it was very kindly suggested to me by someone (a long-term (not in the 'usual acim community) when I shared that Id tried to do the lessons 6 years running, that it was a form of self attack and not helpful as it just introduced more guilt. That certainly was the experience of course. So I stopped a few months ago. How would I now become more focused Liz? Not with the intent of restarting the lessons but in practicing forgiveness every moment. I recently was trying to look from above the battleground and realizing its my dream, became terrified as to what I would be shown. All I experience now are nightmares and cannot budge forward or back because of fear. How do I get past this? Thank you.
ACIM Mentor said…
Are you aware of my book, "4 Habits for Inner Peace"? It is basically about the habits ACIM instills in you. It's useful after you have already done the lessons. Basically, connect with Truth every day and bring your mind back to It throughout the day.

Don't worry about practicing forgiveness. You will not forgive until the Truth is true for you. Then forgiveness will happen naturally.

Stop trying to force the process. Let the Holy Spirit lead the way. If you are frightened you are following the ego.

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