On my decision all salvation rests.
I look at the words in this Lesson and reflect on how much trust is invested in me to choose on behalf of my brother and the whole of the Sonship. The power I have to choose Heaven or hell is a theme throughout the Course. It is the only power we have in this world. We have chosen separation and everything that comes with this choice, but now we can choose again.
"Until that point is reached you have no choice, and you can but decide how you would choose the better to deceive yourself again."
(T.31.IV.8.2) (ACIM OE T.31.IV. 40) We have decided who we are and who our brothers are and in that decision, we have limited them, as well as ourselves, to the body. We are mistaken in our decision.
"You who believe that you can choose to see the Son of God as you would have him be, forget not that no concept of yourself will stand against the truth of what you are."
(T.31.VI.5.1) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.66) Now we are called to give up all concepts so we can know the Self we are, as our Father knows us.
"You created me, and know me as I am."
(W.238.1.2) Because He knows who we really are, He can put His total trust in us.
The self I know as me, Sarah, cannot be invested with His trust. When I identify with the ego, I see unworthiness and lack in me. Yet He says that I am worthy. What does this say about what I think about myself? It says I am wrong about myself. It says that because He created me, He knows the truth of who I really am, as the perfect Son of God. He knows the light and glory that is my reality.
"Today I will accept the truth about myself."
(W.237.1.1) I willingly release any thoughts and beliefs about myself that stand in the way of that truth by placing them on the inner altar.
The ego is devious, self-serving, and wants everything for itself, but the truth is that we are not the ego. This false self is not our reality. The truth is that we are grand and glorious beings, who have forgotten what we are. We are called to remember and accept our reality. This acceptance comes through the process of becoming aware of the blocks in the mind that hide the truth. We see them when we project our own self-attacks onto our brothers. Now we are called to take responsibility for these projections and see that what we see in our brothers comes from our own minds. For example, I see someone criticizing me and I get triggered by what they are saying to me. If I am willing to look behind my defenses I can see that it is my own self-judgment that triggers my reaction. Thus, there is only my own mind to heal.
We forgive our brothers for what they have not done. We forgive ourselves for using our brothers to sustain our egos and keep ourselves from the love we are. When we see our brothers as responsible for how we feel, we are projecting our guilt onto them, instead of accepting responsibility for it in ourselves. We are investing them with the power to take our peace from us; but now we are called to reclaim responsibility for being the ones to throw away our peace and blame them for taking it from us. Peace is already in us. It is our natural inheritance. We make our brothers responsible for our lack of peace when we choose to be victimized and betrayed by them. Yes, the cause is always in our own minds and not in the world.
The Holy Spirit is part of every fragment of the One Self and is quietly waiting for our readiness to replace our thoughts of conflict with His Thought of peace. It means that we must be vigilant in looking at the ego thought system and bringing the darkness in the mind to the light. Any thought of conflict, despair, frustration, bitterness, specialness, competition, and attack can be remedied by the Holy Spirit. There is no order of difficulty in the illusion. Go past the turbulence in the mind, and turn within to the quiet center where peace resides.
All that stands in the way of peace must be given over for the Holy Spirit's healing. Nothing more is needed from us but to recognize the meaninglessness of all conflicts and all desire for specialness. By stepping outside of the dream, we observe the conflict from outside of the dream. We look at the actions of the characters in the dream from above the battleground and recognize that the world is nothing more than an outward picture of the thoughts in our own minds. We can change our minds about everything we currently believe. Every moment can be a new beginning.
Today, I was feeling neglected by Don, who had plans for the day involving other people he was reaching out to help. His motives were kind and giving, but I felt upset and put upon. After he left, I investigated my feelings and uncovered the fear of not being in control and feeling left out. I came across a vision of a little girl who was left on her own to find her way to the bomb shelter during the war. I did not have the support of my mother since she was carrying my sister who was 11 months younger. I felt the fear of being left on my own. I knew I did not have to hold onto these beliefs in victimhood. I could choose to be present and grateful for the kindness of my brother. I could make a deliberate decision to be happy. While there was initial resistance to giving up my story, there was a stronger pull to know God. The truth could set me free if I chose to embrace it. I want peace more than I want my story.
Our belief is that all this takes time and that time seems long to us, but the fact is that we are already home with God. We just need to work through the process of letting go of the drama of our lives and recognize that we have made up this dream. To be saved is simply to withdraw our belief from the illusion. Salvation does not require that we do anything. It is only about undoing what we are believing and letting go of what we are holding onto. By withdrawing our power of belief from the dream, the illusions
"quietly go down to dust."
(W.PII.Q2.3.3) (What is Salvation)
We do not have to go along with the ego. We have the power to choose not to listen to its invitation to go along with its dictates. The ego says, "Keep looking to the world for your happiness. There is always a new relationship, a new car, a better job, a vacation, a winning the lottery, or anything in the world you could pin your happiness on." Yet Jesus reminds us,
"You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms that have no meaning to you, though you sought to make them meaningful."
(W.200.4.2) Yet this does not make what we do in the world wrong. We seem to be in this world for now, and while we see ourselves as bodies, we will undertake some kind of work, make money, and engage in special relationships. Yet while we are occupied with these and other activities, the thing to do is to withdraw the belief that our happiness lies outside ourselves. It is still all about our thoughts. In other words, we need to withdraw our attachment to the things of this world and recognize that the way back to our true happiness is to forgive ourselves and others. Through the process of bringing the blocks to His healing light, we experience a glimpse of our Eternal Self.
What do we do when we are not feeling accepting, joyful, loving, and peaceful? The process will be somewhat different for each of us. We may take time to notice our thoughts and simply choose to see that they have no meaning. We may inquire as to what is underneath our upset. We may notice what we are projecting and investigate what is going on in our own minds that we prefer not to see. We may sit in prayer and meditation. Jesus says our problem is that the Son of God remembered not to laugh at the foolishness of this dream. Have the courage to honestly look at the darkness and see it as nothing. There is nothing to defend. When we surrender our opinions, perspectives, and positions and admit that we do not know, we become willing to be shown what to do. Allow whatever comes up to come up, and look at it with Spirit, knowing you are the dreamer of this dream and not a character in the dream. From this perspective, we look at our foibles with love and happy laughter.
A friend was recently sharing with me that she did not attend workshops because her husband did not want her to go. She believed that he was threatened by her attendance. One day after reading a relevant passage in the Course, she came to the sudden awareness that her husband was the reflection of her own fears projected outward. When she came to this awareness, she could look at her own mind, instead of blaming him. This is a perfect example of how we project our own guilt and fear onto others, who will act it out for us. Our responsibility is to own it and to heal it. What we are seeing in any brother is the split-off part of our own minds. Saving the world is simply about bringing together the fragments of the Sonship, which we do when we recognize that the holiness that is in us is in everyone. All the fragments of the Sonship look different, but the content of holiness is the same in each. When we recognize the sameness, we see holiness in each part.
Jesus tells us that we are completely free to choose to listen to the ego or the Holy Spirit in our minds. We make the decision on our own to accept salvation for ourselves or not. The truth about us is held for us in our minds until we are ready to know it. The importance of readiness and willingness cannot be understated. In the end, we will choose to know ourselves and to know God. It is just a matter of time. When we have gone down every road in the world, looking for happiness, and find that it is not to be found there, we will finally conclude: "There must be a better way." As Jesus tells us, we may have a high tolerance for pain, but it is not without limit. For some of us, our unwillingness to suffer a high degree of pain brings us to this spiritual work before life totally brings us to our knees.
The outcome is inevitable, but the time is of our own choosing. Today, take in the thought of how deeply loved you are and do not refuse to turn to Him as often as possible to ask: "What would you have me do?" "How would you have me see this brother?" "Where would you have me go?" Let us approach the Lesson with the confidence in ourselves that we are totally worthy of this effort. You are needed to demonstrate peace wherever you go. Take this peace into the battleground and share it with everyone you encounter. All that is required of us is that we put aside our desire to judge and attack, and instead be willing to transcend all conflict. On this decision, all salvation rests.
Love and blessings, Sarah