You Don't Have to Give Up the Loves of Your Life
If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while please bear with me because I am returning again to an idea that I’ve visited many times before in many ways. But it is something that comes up often with clients and with people who write to me, even those whom I know have read all my stuff. So here I revisit it:
You do not have to give up the people, things, activities, etc. that you love to have inner peace. You simply want to give them to the Holy Spirit so It can use them as classrooms in which to teach you peace.
So often I hear from students of A Course in Miracles who judge against themselves for being too attached to their families, their friends, their animals. They try to force themselves to give up their interests and activities. If they love someone or enjoy or get pleasure from something they are certain that it is “wrong”. Somehow they think ACIM asks them to give up these things. But in fact it is the ego with its belief in guilt and punishment that leads them to feel that they must sacrifice. This expectation that they will be asked to sacrifice means they totally miss that ACIM teaches them not to give up but to turn over their “special relationships” to the Holy Spirit. ACIM also warns them to not decide for themselves how to walk the path to peace. Those who are used to listening to the ego have no idea how to find peace.
This self has people and animals that it loves and things and activities that it enjoys and, lo and behold, this mind has inner peace! They are actually separate things. As I have said many times, the ego and the self (body/personality) are not changed by your choice for peace, but the mind changes. The ego continues on with its guilt and fear and you (the mind) simply stop believing it. And as the self goes about its life you (the mind) simply rest in Truth and observe its unfolding story without judging it.
To clarify: You are mind. The self (body/personality) is an idea in your mind with which you identify. It is neutral in that it has no meaning. It is not right or wrong or good or bad. It is actually nothing. The ego is a thought system in your mind about the self as your reality. This is simply a mistake, not a sin. And the Holy Spirit is the thought system in your mind that knows the Truth but also knows that you (mind) identify with a self and have listened to and believe in the ego. So your choice with regard to the self is which thought system you want to direct you in directing the self. You have used the ego and you find it is rather painful. If you want a “better way” then you might want to try the Holy Spirit.
So the self’s loves and indifferences and likes and dislikes and preferences are all neutral expressions of its personality. They are not wrong or bad. They are not sins. For the ego they are ways of reinforcing guilt and fear and tying you tighter to the ego. For the Holy Spirit they are classrooms in which It can teach you of Truth. It teaches you of Truth simply by teaching you and you becoming aware of It.
You will not fully understand this until you do it. Just bring the Holy Spirit with you into your work, your relationships, your interests, etc. Start with just one part of your life if that feels safer. If you have questions or problems ask for guidance. The answers are not the point; that you connect with the Holy Spirit is the point. This is how you build trust in It. The result also happens to be that the answers mean the self has a more harmonious, simplified life. This is a nice side-effect, but the result of being aware of the Holy Spirit is inner peace no matter what is happening in the self’s life.
So don’t give up your loves. This actually blocks your awareness of the Holy Spirit because of your sense of sacrifice. And it also precludes you having classrooms in which to join with the Holy Spirit. Instead share your loves with the Holy Spirit, giving them all the singular purpose of peace.
Want support on the path to peace? read "You Don't Have to Go It Alone".
Learn about one-on-one mentoring, how to send a donation for this blog, and 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.