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.

Comments

Christine said…
Well stated, thank you.
Bente hove said…
Yes, the Course doesn't ask us to give up ANYTHING in the world...
Why ? Because, ''this is a course in LOOKING - at your ego (idea of being a person) - with the Holy Spirit (e.g. without judgment)- AND NOT A COURSE IN DOING !!
And, ACIM asks us NOT to bring the H.S. into the world - but bring the world TO the H.S. and look with 'Him* at the world FROM ABOVE THE BATTLEFIELD (e.g. from the part of your mind that God created and which is IMPERSONAL, the 'being'...)- and remember it is a dream... Difficult to get ? Seems to lofty for a mind that DOES want to be a body.. Yes, but I think it IS what ACIM says...
Love, peace and blessings...
Anonymous said…
Thank you Liz for revisiting this topic. I have been pondering it for years and remain clueless as to its implementation and outcome. Here are some specific questions:

1. If we have a passion for a person, thing, or activity why bring it to the Holy Spirit in the first place?
2. What would the "turning over" look like/feel like?
3. And if we did, what could the change look like/feel like?
4. What if the things we used to feel passionate about have lost their glow?
Anonymous said…
I noticed you began this blog with an uncharacteristic, "please bear with me", because you were repeating something. I state emphatically that repetition is one of the best ways to teach and learn. So please, repeat, repeat, repeat!
Anonymous said…
This is an example of what turning over to Holy Spirit looks like. This is not an example of giving up a love, but giving over to Love to Love of Self. I carried much much fear in my mind about "the dentist", making the torture of the past real in my mind, carrying the past in the present. So I had a dental appointment yesterday to have work on 3 teeth done but this time I turned it over to the Holy Spirit. When the drilling started however, the fear began to rise up and the dentist asked, are you okay? At that moment I began to look at the fear and then the dentist began sharing sweet and "innocent" stories of her 17 month old son. The gripping loosened and the thought of innocence came through "become like little children again". Then when "the work" was completed and without any pain, I heard myself ask, "so what else do you believe I need have done with my teeth? I want to have all of it taken care of." In letting go the fear, the dentist not making the fear real in my mind, the past seen rightly as the illusory guilt, fear and punishment in my mind, true forgiveness and healing was received. The symbol of pain and punishment was transformed to trust and healing.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous:

1. Most people initially invite the Holy Spirit (the Awareness of Truth in their mind) into their relationships, work, or interests to help them resolve problems or conflicts. But you do not have to wait for a problem or conflict. Bring these things to the Holy Spirit to connect with the Holy Spirit. If you want peace then you want to make It your Constant Companion.

2. Turning it over means opening yourself up to the Holy Spirit in your mind. You are willing to put aside your way of looking at things to experience a new way of looking at and experiencing things. This will feel like freedom from guilt and fear.

3. The change would be answers and a more harmonious life in the world for the self. The change of mind will be freedom from guilt and fear. It will be a peace that is with you no matter what is happening in the self's life.

4. If you are no longer interested in something or someone then let them go.
Anonymous said…
As I read over the answers to the 4 questions I submitted above, I realize that there is no way you or anyone else can adequately describe the experiences you are talking about. It's something that has to be practiced and nurtured on a daily basis and happens when it happens.
Anonymous said…
The dentist story this mind was watching play out was the Self showing Itself Non-Truth in order to wake to freedom from the belief in guilt and fear. With this mind's shift (change) I see clearer, the loved ones, things, activities are just ideas in the mind you can continue to experience (meaningless) and if there is a someone or something you are no longer interested in, let them go. It is just the mind letting go of the idea.

As anonymous said it "happens when it happens" and as Liz has said many times, it's a natural unfolding.

Peace to this mind, Deb
Anonymous said…
Google: "Special Relationships: The Home of Guilt." It also contains some passages from the text of Jesus talking to Helen.
Anonymous said…
An interesting aside in that piece is in the 9th paragraph: “That is how the split mind works. It is one or the other, (then later) When that belief is withdrawn, the ego disappears.”
Liz has been talking about her state of mind that the ego keeps on chattering regardless. This quote seems to be saying the same thing. Belief is withdrawn, ego goes away, belief returns and attention is drawn to the ego. A kind of back and forth, back and forth.
Bente hove said…
..but, the belief in 'ego'(person, body, separation) is not completely withdrawn till you have laid the body aside... So, as part of us still wants to believe in the body, it WILL be back and forth! (till you lay the body aside). Blessings...
Anonymous said…
I don't have anything on hand to quote from but if I remember correctly for some the back and forth was a stage not an end point. Really it's just something to talk about, it's unlikely any of us will reach that stage (if it exists).
Anonymous said…
The "back and forth" is indeed a stage, referred to by the Course as the "Period of Sorting Out" which Liz has written about extensively as something that is extremely uncomfortable and which lasts a long time, but which is followed by more stable, less stressful periods. As long as I know what I'm in for it makes it a bit more tolerable.
Anonymous said…
Your right anonymous. I was referring more to "a period of achievement" or what is called "complete peace" in the 4 Habits. It's interesting, but we can only give our opinions. The only one's who know are those who are experiencing it. Day at a Time.

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