The Way Out is Through

When I started out on this path to Peace I was very young. I was drawn to Truth, but I was also hoping to avoid pain. I wanted to use my growing spiritual awareness to do so. But it quickly became obvious this was not going to happen. Pain did not go away. But it was my fear of denial that had set me on this path in the first place, so I was not going to use the path for another form of denial. If I found I was doing so, I’d pull myself back and face whatever I had to face.

Not only was I not going to avoid the pain of the personal life, but there was the pain of the spiritual path to deal with, too. It is not that it has to be painful. It is just that it is inevitably painful to look into one’s mind at one’s obstacles to peace. If I didn’t think they were painful, they wouldn’t be obstacles! The only way to overcome obstacles and get out of the pain is to go directly into and through the ideas and beliefs that cause them. And that is experienced as painful until I am through them and see the ideas and beliefs are false.

This requires that I am completely honest with myself. Only then can I be honest with the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in my mind). A thought or belief is always more painful when it is hidden. Its being hidden makes it seem more frightening or unacceptable. So once I am honest with myself I am at least half-way through the pain. In fact, sometimes bringing it to light is enough to dispel it. I see right away it is false and it is gone. But, usually, there are many angles or layers to the belief to work out with the Holy Spirit. And I always do, finding release and relief.

The more I practiced this, the easier it got. I learned and I now trust that there will be relief at the end so I’ve become very willing to go through the process. My tolerance for pain is less because I knew relief is possible. Now, if I am in pain, I just want to go right through it and work it out. There is no reason to suffer.

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Do you need help finding and releasing your obstacles to peace? It can help to have someone who has been there. This is something I do as a mentor. Email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment. Learn more at www.acimmentor.com.

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others email it to me at Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the newsletter/blog.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I have heard you lay out this concept many, many, many times. It is, imo THE way out of our existential problems. And yet when I practice it I come up against an impenetrable wall. Why is that?
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, it sounds like an obstacle. It's not impenetrable. It just feels that way this side of it.

If you want some help finding or looking at it just drop me an email to set up an appointment. Liz@acimmentor.com.
will said…
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will said…
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Anonymous said…
Back to my question above regarding the "impenetrable wall".
I still don't see how questioning a belief and seeing that it is false is anything more than an intellectual exercise with no deep, lasting transformation.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, *knowing* that it is false is the key.

For example, think of a kid lying in his bed afraid of the monster in the closet. If you tell him there's no monster in the closet he will still have doubt. He might stay awake staring at the closet door all night. But if you open the closet and show him that there is no monster he will *know* that there is no monster, relax, and go to sleep.

It's the same with your mind. When I write "see" I mean you come to know that an idea is false and you are released from your fear.
Anonymous said…
Your example of the monster in the closet is clear. If only it were so straightforward. I've been at this for years - questioning my beliefs and even observing substantial and repeated evidence to disprove those beliefs - and still I continue to react as though those beliefs were true.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, often there is more than one belief involved.
Anonymous said…
Sorry Liz, your answers, especially the last one, still offer me no way out.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, it's very hard to talk about this in general terms. If this is too public a forum for you email me a specific example or call to set up an appointment.

It's also quite possible that I'm not the teacher for you!
hannah said…
hi anonymous.

i'd like to say that i spent years humming and harring about speaking in person with liz, unsure if it would really be that much more helpful than writing about my obstacles or clearing up fuzzy areas. it was, for me, tremendously helpful. i still get a lot of clarity and help from writing with her, but it does not compare to speaking in person.

this is not a 'plug for liz' post, despite appearances ;) just a 'what worked more profoundly for me' post! true, as liz says, not every teacher is for every person, of course.

what tipped me over the edge of choice to contact her was how long id been plugging away at things though, with only limited results of greater peace. all those years! fear of how quickly the years seemed to be passing also was part of my decision! i kind of.. tipped over into feeling the investment in myself and my peace was worth it, and that it was certainly worth having given it a try at least, cos if it wasnt going to work for me id surely know soon enough!

while its true that i still experience a lot of fear, the Peace behind the fear and the slow but steady lessening of the guilt i feel and project, is palpable. the time i spend feeling stuck (feeling unable to turn inward to peace and let things be or let them go) is less and less all the time.

of COURSE you follow your own gut! i just felt like sharing :)
Christine said…
Yes, Hannah! Not a "plug", just a fact. Speaking with Liz on the phone helped so much, instead of floundering 'alone' with a problem....I don't set up an appointment that often, but when I do, she has helped me so much that I don't need to call again for a while.
Anonymous said…
I always take "testimonials" with a grain of salt because I've learned from my own experience that what I thought at one point in my life changed years later. Besides there is no objective measuring tool to gauge ones's spiritual growth. It is all relative. Consider the infant who stands on its own two feet for the first time. The thrill, the glory! But what is it really in the scheme of things? No single conversation I've ever had with Liz has made all that much of a difference. On the other hand, I can see a cumulative effect over time. And even that has been like a drop in the bucket; a glacier moving a millimeter.

One thing that no one seems to be talking about is Liz's caveat that this process takes decades. Another is that one needs to THINK about these things. One can question their beliefs or one can QUESTION their beliefs. How deep we go is up to us.

Another thing Liz has told me is that we need to "build" on our spiritual experiences no matter how brief, seemingly inconsequential, or isolated they may be. As I mentioned in a previous post, for me this building feels more like grasping at straws. How does one build on the memory of a glimpse? How does one build on a straw? I suppose if you put enough straws together you'll have something.

In a conversation I had with a long-time student of Buddhism, she asked me if I was interested in Buddhism. I said no because I felt weighed down by all that structure - the books, teachers, doctrine, retreats etc. "Do you really need all that structure?", I asked. "Not really", she said, "You don't need any of it".


will said…
Anonymous,

I have been writing similar things to what you are saying over the past two weeks. I delete them because they are really not appropriate for someone new to the program (yours are fine). Sometimes I get out on this plateau where I'm pretty tired of the whole thing. One thing I try to do is keep a line of communication open to Jesus. Even if it is only a few seconds, a few words. Liz dropped the course for three years once. She would be a good one to talk to about the experience.
hannah said…
hi m'lovelies!

yeah, the time factor.. it took about 8 years before i even started to realise what the course meant by magic, and that it *wasnt* in fact offering a magic solution! i was initially devastated to realise this.. and so bloody angry! i am still triggered by situations sometimes to the level id call devastated. change my mind and not the world to know peace... noooooo, dammit! i can see its a matter of what is real to me.. what i think is real is what i think has importance. and this all stems from what i think i am!

i like what you said about questioning or QUESTIONING! it made em think of the part in the process where you STOP thinking abut an idea, and reach deep with it. like.. set the parameters for the experience and then stop thinking about it and FEEL your way into it. one of the most difficult things ive done, was standing in the middle of my kitchen, feeling crushed by the weight of guilt crowding in my mind. i cant recall the details, except that i felt i had let one of the kids in my family down, that i hadnt been good enough for them. i started to panic, because it wasnt that long since these kind of thoughts would have spiralled into self harm. first i thought to myself 'ok, now if what the course says is true, then these thoughts and feelings dont mean anything and you are justified in dropping them, right now. holding on to these feelings is a form of insanity. you wont be punished for dropping guilt. you are justified in shifting where you place your trust, right now.' the building on a straw part was also bringing my remembrance of the higher miracle into my mind.. the experience of such love and peace that encompassed all of time and space in my mind, unfaltering present 'despite' all things i had deemed disturbing to love and peace. and i stood there, for quite some time, reaching deeper bit by bit into the feeling of innocence in the logic i had just laid out. each wave of guilt that washed back through my mind, i returned to the memory of the experience of forgiveness as the higher miracle showed it to me, completely overlooking all the egos stories as having any meaning that said anything real about anyone. it took quite some time,. and for me at least it was soooo damn hard, it felt like my mind was going through a wringer. the shift into acceptance that feeling guilty was not justified and that i was safe and sane to drop it, and then just DOING so.. oh the relief and joy! and.. i have not managed to do it fully again since! which is fine.. liz has helped me to identify other erroneous beliefs in my mind, that i hold in the way of extending forgiveness and love in my mind all the time. but that experience is now another building block.. another experience that showed me that Love is real and fear is not, and i am justified in trusting the one and not the other, though yeah.. it might take another ten or twenty or thirty years before there is nothing more to go through, not around, because i try to make selfdom real and special all the time!

one of the most pivotal conversations i had with liz, was in recognising that i didnt have to 'like' someone to love them! i had read this idea before, but for some reason hearing it again while in direct conversation about my dad, it flicked into acceptance in my mind.. id thought i was failing at love, but i was trying to push love into a not-love shaped box!

i liked the last paragraph as well anonymous.. it reminds me.. we need the path to help us reach the remembrance that we dont need the path!

Christine said…
Yes, there are differing levels of readiness and acceptance! We all have "come froms", and I guess mine was decades of Christian Science/metaphysics...then I was so primed to be ready for the next step which was the Course (the text given to my sister in 2001, then she gave it to me...I took it like a football running to the goal line! She gave it totally up after a few years!!)...then now, I am kind of a Joel Goldsmith student...just Open to Truth constantly...so when I do call Liz, I seem to get it, whatever comes through her to say to me. I ponder it, I use the information...I don't seem to struggle so much with all the "groundwork" I have done for so long...we're all students at different levels in different rooms but in the same school building!
ACIM Mentor said…
All one needs is willingness. The structure and practice arise organically from there.

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