Ask: What can I do about my frustration with those who are stuck?

“As my awareness of truth grows, I see aspects of my behavior, attitudes etc. in terms of correctable mistakes rather than crimes against humanity. The boogey man becomes smaller and smaller. This of course is a removal of an obstacle to peace. The problem that arises however, is my frustration with those around me who - out of fear - are so dug in to their stuff - unable and unwilling to budge. This results in a feeling of hopelessness, of helplessness, a "missing piece", a lie that must be tolerated. My options are to reject these friends totally; grin and bear it; knock some sense into them; or what? There's gotta be a better way.” – Anonymous

On the surface the fact that you no longer see your mistakes as “sins” would seem like a good thing. However, you still see “sins” or you would not be bothered by others. You still project guilt so you still believe that you are guilty. Your shift from seeing “sins” to seeing mistakes is merely a superficial intellectual shift.

If you do not want to be around people who are not growing then limit or end your relationship with them. They are taking up space in your life that could be filled by healthier people. But doing this may bring only temporary relief. It won’t fix your problem of projecting guilt. You are likely to project guilt into new friendships.

The guilt in your mind is taking the form of you thinking that it is “wrong” for people to be stuck in their problems. You must still feel that there is something “wrong” about you that you are seeing in them instead of in yourself. It may be a direct projection where what you specifically see in them is something that you feel in yourself. For example, there may be an area where you feel “dug into” your “stuff”. Or each person’s specific “stuff” may be something specific that you feel in yourself. Or it may be a general projection of feeling that you are inherently “wrong” and seeing others in their dysfunction merely brings up your general feelings of inherent “wrongness” and guilt. You could also feel helpless and hopeless because you mistakenly feel responsible for their dysfunction or for fixing their dysfunction and this is the source of the guilt that makes it hard for you to be around them. You may feel guilty for choosing to get healthy and “leaving them behind” in the process. In other words, these relationships are long over and you feel guilty for being the one to “leave” by choosing to get healthy. In fact, you could be feeling grief as well as guilt over the end of these relationships. You will have to sort out exactly what form(s) of guilt you are projecting and undo them or you will continue to project guilt.

When you have worked out the guilt in your mind you will no longer be frustrated by others’ choices. You may briefly wish that they could see that they are worth a better choice. But this will lead to feelings of compassion, not helplessness and hopelessness. You will see that they have their path to walk and that it is none of your business. Then you will feel free to decide, without judgment or guilt, how much, if at all, you want them in your life.

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


will said…

If have the ACIM pamphlet The Song of Prayer the section III.Praying for Others (paragraph 4) covers both your question and Liz's answer.
will said…
And Anonymous, if you don't understand the answers don't worry about it, this is a very difficult topic because of how abstract it is. The answer will make sense in time.
sosolobi said…
This answer is Very helpful, thank you!
Marissa said…
Indeed very very helpful! But what if you don't want to give up your relationship, say with your partner. Do you then use him/her as a means to know when your guilt comes up? And silently say to yourself 'forgiveness is still and quietly does nothing, it merely looks and waits and judges not'. In other words when my partner is angry, I do not add to the drama by reacting, by replying, by defending myself of whatever I'm being accused of, because, in my secret dream I'm seemingly accusing myself of the same thing? Which is my seemingly separation from Truth? It can be hard, but if I want to uncover my guilt, and I most definetely do I look at this as an opportunity to see where my obstacles to peace ly?
will said…
"His real escape from guilt can lie only in the recognition that the guilt has gone. And how can this be recognized as long as he hides it in another and does not see it as his own"?
The Song of Prayer
ACIM Mentor said…
Marissa, you don't have to give up any relationship that you do not want to. The writer was talking about relationships that he found untenable, not just relationships with the usual frustrations.
You are only projecting guilt if you feel an emotional charge when someone else is angry with you. If you have no emotional charge you are not projecting guilt. If you find that you are projecting, then the article lists some of the ways in which you may project guilt.
will said…
Liz, I was a counselor in a mental health center for many years and also did my own therapy. I saw my job as education. It’s crucial to understand (the text in ACIM) what the problems are. In therapy it lays down the foundation for mental health. I was really good at doing that but that’s all the help I could give. Identify the problem and send them on to Self Help or the doctor for meds. The person who came for help has a false sense of security, “I know the problem, I can talk about it, so I’m well.” Until you realize you’re not. The ego is always like that. It encourages you in your ACIM studies, “Learn the Course and you’re done.” I talk about this all the time but still, on a regular basis, I fall into the trap. It feels so damn good to talk about what you know. The personal mind feels mastery, success, self esteem and on and on. The ego’s gifts. The ego’s dead end.

A very good post as always.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, I also refer you to the two past articles about the other Vision as validation of your comments. Fixing the ego is an EFFECT of an awareness of Truth but fixing the ego is not the point. Fixing the ego for the sake of fixing the ego is just spinning in place. The real shift is the Vision of Truth.
will said…
That's easy to forget.
I was reading about cause and effect with prayer in the pamphlet. Truth is called the song and everything else is what is referred to as the echo, that being form (cars, money). There is a kind of split where in one paragraph it will be pretty intense about praying for the echo "are used for goals that substitute for God...a request for enemies." But then it is very accommodating saying when you are starting you can't help but pray for stuff and it's OK until your spiritual understanding catches up. Then you pray to the song,"It is the song that is the gift. Along with it come the overtones, the harmonics, the echo's, but these are secondary."

Yes your post have been excellent lately. I print them out and read them repeatedly.
will said…
The course is such an intense shift. Praying for the echo, cars money etc, also includes praying for others specifically. "You may ask for specifics and not realize that you are asking for effects without the Cause. And this you cannot have. For no one can receive effects alone..." I may be wrong on some of this stuff.
nicci said…
thank you will. your last messages here provided a deeper clarifying i needed. endless Love, n
will said…
Thanks Liz, I really did need to slow down and start reading the past few weeks blogs again.
will said…
I was just reading on page 3 of The Song of Prayer: "And prayer is as continual as life. EVERYONE PRAYS WITHOUT CEASING (caps mine)" Think about that for a few minutes. That's pretty heavy stuff.
will said…
Sorry to keep harping on this but when your vision clears and you really understand what your reading it is a very powerful experience. I've read The Song of Pray many times but nothing close to this.

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