Review II ~ Lessons 77-78
The Lesson for the morning,
"I am entitled to miracles,"
(W.89.1.1) affirms our entitlement to be released from all grievances because of who we are as a Son of God. It dismisses our belief that we deserve to be punished. Regardless of how we see ourselves, we can't change the truth of who we are, and that is certainly a relief. All that can happen is to become unaware of the truth of what we are.
The Atonement Principle is our assurance that the separation never happened, although we experience it as if it had. However, God's law is unchangeable. We remain as we were created. If this is the case, the things I think I have said and done that seemed to have an effect on me have not actually happened. I cannot hurt and cannot be hurt. This is the case because the world is an illusion.
Everything I have held against anyone is just what I secretly hold against myself in order to keep the separation going. What we do is project our unhealed thoughts and self-attacks that are in our minds. Projection makes perception. It is an outside picture of our inward condition. Grievances draw a veil across the face of Christ, and they hide the miracles. We hold onto grievances because we are ultimately afraid of connecting to the love in our minds. In other words, we have a deep fear of intimacy, so we keep a distance from each other, and this is the same distance we have with God. The fear is not as much of the love, as it is of the god the ego has made, for it is a god of retribution whose punishment we fear.
Grievances come in many forms, and they show up: when our expectations are not met, when we become disappointed in people, when difficult events show up in our lives, when we try to alter things we think we want and need, and when our focus is on seeking pleasure. The stories we tell of our betrayals, disappointments, and difficulties constitute our lives. Our grievances are all about complaints, regrets, frustrations, disappointments, and losses. Why do we hold onto them? Isn't it because we feel they define us? Isn’t there something we get to be right about? Isn’t there some kind of payoff we get from holding onto our perspectives? Of course, the biggest payoff is that we keep our separated self.
"Where the attraction of guilt holds sway, peace is not wanted."
(T.19.IV.B.1.2) (ACIM OE T.19.V.b.59)
We are invested in the illusion and actually afraid of love, and that is precisely why we choose to hold onto our stories. Grievances don't just come to us. We choose them and hold onto them because we want others to be responsible for how we feel. We don't want the responsibility for seemingly leaving God. We want to make others responsible for our misery. We are only miserable because of our decision to hold onto our separate, unique selves, and we do that by holding onto our suffering. We still value what the world has to offer, even if that offering is nothing but more suffering and misery disguised as hope that the world has something to offer us that we think we still want.
Actually, at the bottom of our existence in this illusory world is pure, unequivocal goodness, innocence, and joy. To discover this truth is a blessing of grace. It is grace because there is nothing we have to do to achieve wisdom, miracles, and ultimately the truth about ourselves. Grace is a direct experience of divine presence. It is always available to us but requires surrender. We need to relax our control over our lives. We cannot add anything to the truth, improve on the light of God, nor do we need to improve ourselves. We just need to undo the blocks to love. In order to recognize these eternal moments of grace where the miracle shines through, we can't be caught up in our issues. The miracle is available to us now. Enlightenment is not a goal we need to reach. As Adyashanti says, it is not some kind of finish line we need to cross in order to accomplish something.
The simple moment of letting a grievance be replaced by the miracle is the moment of awakening to the wisdom of our authentic Self. It is not complicated to observe our minds on a daily basis so that we can bring the judgments and grievances to the Holy Spirit to be released. We can't heal what we don't acknowledge in ourselves, but when we look at our guilt through the loving, gentle eyes of Jesus, we can smile at its unreality. Yet we must want the peace more than we want to be right about our perceptions.
If we really, truly, and completely believed that any grievance we held kept us from miracles, would we hold them regardless of the perceived attack on us by others? Think of the power unleashed whenever we forgive. The power of God brings us miracles. We are worthy and thus deserving of miracles. Attack makes us feel like we are unworthy of them, that we don't deserve God's love, and that we are not entitled to miracles. Removing ourselves from God's love by erecting a wall of grievances that block His love from our awareness simply hurts us. Why would we want to continue to do that to ourselves?
Very often I find myself stubbornly hanging onto my point of view, my self-righteous position, and my judgments of others. What does this do? It puts me in hell. It accentuates my guilt and fear. It keeps me separate and in fear of punishment. I am actively choosing to be in a state of darkness rather than opening up to God's love, which is the current that turns on our light so it can be extended to everyone. We have a function given to us in this world, which is to allow God's love to shine through us as we extend it and offer miracles. The way to experience this is by forgiving what stands in the way.
Our grievances are the basis for our stories and our dramas, which keep us from knowing our reality. We can let these stories be dissolved in God's healing love. When we hold expectations of how others must be, we are judging them for not living up to our expectations. Now we can turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to look at the grievance with us and give us His interpretation of how to see the situation. When we are willing to release our justifications for how we feel and recognize that holding grievances will not make us happy, we can know the love and peace that is our inheritance. Do I want to be right about the way I see this situation, or am I willing to accept His help so I can be happy?
Now, instead of judging and attacking, we release our judgments by bringing them to light. We are helped by Jesus/Holy Spirit to see "others" as part of our One Self. When we are willing to overlook their errors, we see that they are pure light and innocence, just as we are. We embrace them in the truth of who they are, no different from ourselves. We express deep gratitude for our brothers and the gifts they bring. That is how grievances are replaced by miracles.
If we remembered this in every moment, we would experience peace; but our peace is not consistent yet, which is why we are in this classroom. Our saviors are everywhere to help us see what is in our own minds where healing is needed. What is required is our willingness and our desire to take responsibility for what is in our wrong minds that we are projecting onto others. We must be willing to admit that what we see is incorrect and only the Holy Spirit's interpretation, not ours, is correct. Insisting that we are right has not brought us peace and joy. Now we must become willing to see that our will is the same as God's Will
"and perceive them as one."
(W.89.3.2) This is our
"release from hell."
(W.89.3.3) This is enacted in the world when we see our interests the same as our brothers’. As we join with our brothers, it is a reflection of our One Will that is the same as God's. Our release from hell is through our relationships with our brothers.
Today, we are asked to take up our function as channels for miracles. Bring to mind people in your life you have grievances against. Say to them in your mind,
"Let our grievances be replaced by miracles, [name]."
(W.89.4.3) This is a statement of our willingness to acknowledge that how we are seeing a brother is wrong. Bring a difficult situation to mind where you are experiencing struggles in your life, something that feels ugly or hopeless, and say,
"Behind this is a miracle to which I am entitled."
(W.89.2.2) Miraculous transformation is possible in any situation.
Be willing to make no exceptions, and hold onto nothing that is a substitute for the eternal. Know that it is all available to you as you release your grievances.
"I want all of Heaven and only Heaven, as God wills me to have."
(W.89.3.6) Make this Lesson a personal statement by reading it all in the first person. Bring your desire and intent to it. It is about valuing the gift of Heaven more than valuing the wants and demands of our personal self. It is not about doing anything, trying to change ourselves, nor make ourselves more loving. We are not needed to improve on truth, light, and love.
It is through the day-to-day practice of recognizing
"By this idea do I accept my release from hell"
(W.89.3.3) that we affirm our own ideas are wrong. Our ideas are conditioned by the learning of the world. We must recognize our need for learning. In order to learn, we are basically unlearning all we have previously held as true. When we clearly and firmly embrace what Jesus is telling us, it opens us to the awesome power within. That is what this teaching offers us daily.
Love and blessings, Sarah