5. Healing and Grievances: Workshop 5 of 12 based on "A Course In Miracles"
Hatred barges into your mind of its own volition. It cares not for your peace of mind. Love, however, must be welcomed, because it IS peace of mind. Peace does not force itself where it is not welcomed because peace is peaceful in all it does. Welcome peace through refusing to believe in the illusion it is possible for someone to hurt you. You are an unassailable holy part of God, Who is All Loving and commands you only to lay down your weapons to destroy others and Love them instead. Your holy power and your peace lie in the letting go of grievances. Do not throw your power away to the whims of the ego. It is far beneath your true Self to do so.
You know this is the truth, because the truth always feels uplifting. This is because the Voice of the Holy Spirit resonates with joy in your heart as your ears take it in.
God has written His Truth on the heart of every human being. It doesn't matter who writes it down on paper after that, or where you may stumble upon it. Truth always recognizes Itself, so when you read It or hear It somewhere, you will know It by how you feel. Deep within your being, your inner self will react with joyful recognition and a sense of, "I've always known that was true."
The truth is, we have decided that pain and suffering are okay. We've convinced ourselves it's normal to suffer and suffering is "just a part of life." We tell ourselves this as a coping mechanism, because we don't know how to get rid of it.
The deep truth is; we don't have to live like this. We are Love, and it's neither acceptable nor natural to live in any other state BUT love.
This world is un-loving towards us, because we are a walking contradiction to it. The ego knows we are here to undo this illusion of hate and fear with our remembrance of peace and love. Therefore, the world is defensive against us who are here to undo it.
Our ego would have us believe this world is our home and we are miserable creatures born from a cruel god who would punish us for our "sins."
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
You know this isn't true, because every person has experienced a time, a moment, where life became so bad, you literally said to yourself, "This can't be happening! This can't be true. This doesn't even feel real."
And there, at long last, you heard the Voice of the Holy Spirit speak within you the truth written on your heart: This world isn't real, and this is not where you belong. You are Love, and Love is the opposite of what you think you are now. Love is Heaven, and you know the world before your eyes is not heavenly.
Yet, this message gets ignored, and we move on with our lives. We simply don't know what to do about our pain or how to keep the feeling of peace and love permanent in our hearts.
Life isn't supposed to be this hard. There is another way. We are not supposed to be suffering; we have been created for loving.
BUT. When we live against our truth- when we live against the Love we are created to be- we feel pain and suffering. We join the world the ego made and it is not happiness for us.
There is a simple way out of all this. All it takes is a simple change of mind. The answer has been within us all along. All we have to do is change how we see the world, God, and each other. Sounds easy, right? As difficult as this change in mind may appear, there is a huge motivation within us to do this. When we lift our grievances from our mind and see only Love within all people, the Voice for God can be heard and He will restore our memory of Who We Are. All we need to do is silence the ego so God can speak. His Voice is peace, and peace does not barge in where it is not wanted or welcomed.
ACIM T.pg.62 Chapter 4 IV. This Need Not Be
"If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen. That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior. Yet this is what you want. This is what you are fighting to keep, and what you are vigilant to save. Your mind is filled with schemes to save the face of your ego, and you do not seek the face of Christ. The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed." (1.1-6)
"I have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind. When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be. In every case you have thought wrongly about some brother God created, and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass." (2.1-3)
"When you are sad, know this need not be. Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. Remember that you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.
When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be. You can be as vigilant against the egos' dictates as for them.
When you feel guilty, remember that the ego has indeed violated the laws of God, but you have not.” (3-5.1)
“While you feel guilty your ego is in command, because only the ego can experience guilt. This need not be." (5.5-6)
"Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it." (6.1)
"The habit of engaging with God and His creations is easily made if you actively refuse to let your mind slip away." (7.1)
"Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused?" (8.1)
"The First Coming of Christ is merely another name for the creation, for Christ is the Son of God. The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego's rule and the healing of the mind." (10.1-2)
We must remember the truth of Who We Are. We are Love, and Love holds no grievances. Our grievances actually block the light of understanding from our mind. They are in direct opposition to the truth of our peace.
ACIM Workbook Lesson 68: Love holds no grievances
"You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget whom you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. To hold a grievance is to let the ego rule your mind and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not fully realize just what holding a grievance does to your mind. It seems to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him. It makes you believe that He is like what you think you have become, for no one can conceive of his Creator as unlike himself.
Shut off from your Self, which remains aware of Its likeness to Its Creator, your Self seems to sleep, while the part of your mind that weaves illusions in its sleep appears to be awake. Can all this arise from holding grievances? Oh, yes! For he who holds grievances denies he was created by love, and his Creator has become fearful to him in his dream of hate. Who can dream of hatred and not fear God?
It is as sure that those who hold grievances will redefine God in their own image, as it is certain that God created them like Himself, and defined them as part of Him. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is a sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.
Would you not be willing to relinquish your grievances if you believed all this were so? Perhaps you do not think you can let your grievances go. That, however, is simply a matter of motivation. Today we will try to find out how you would feel without them. If you succeed even by ever so little, there will never be a problem in motivation ever again." (1-4)
So, to hold a grievance is to see ourselves and others as bodies, and not the love God created us as. What is this doing to our peace? What exactly is the body?
To see our self as a body is to feel constantly under outside threat. It is a defense mechanism we’ve set up as a barrier between God and ourselves. To let go of the idea we are a body, is to accept that God is our refuge and security- not the body- a device we have never felt safe in anyway. To let go of the idea everyone is the body we see, we must be willing to see no differences between us. We must see everyone as God sees them, and allow His holy Vision to show us that all things are pure. We are surrounded by nothing but the Love of God at all times. Creation’s gentleness is all we see when we allow our vision to be changed by Christ. It is through this transformation in seeing the world outside of us that we will realize our united holy Self abides within one another- God’s Son. We are each a part of His holy Sonship. Our hearts are truly beating in unison in the peace of God. So we must allow the truth to come into our minds by laying all grievances aside and thus allow all things to be as they are. We do this by not forcing our opinion on what we see. We know not Who we’re looking at when we see bodies. Bodies hide the fact that we’re actually staring at the face of Christ in everyone around us. Therefore, do not use the body’s eyes to judge reality.
The body’s eyes will never see Christ. In order to see Christ, we must use Christ’s vision. Otherwise, all we will see is illusions, and we know from experience that no illusion has ever satisfied us. To welcome Christ’s Vision, we must welcome the stillness and peace of God into our heart. Remember whenever you are tempted to hold a grievance that each moment belongs to love. Do not fear. God’s healing Voice lies within you, and protects you in all ways from this world of illusions. You undo the illusion and the fear it brings through speaking God’s Word. His Word is Love, and remember that only love exists and nothing else. All that is un-loving is simply a worldly law we have invented to bind God’s Son to a body. And if we bind our brother to a body, God is not free either. We will not see Him if we hide Him behind a body. When we free God through forgiving the body, we free all God created. And creation’s freedom promises our own. What limits can we place on God’s Son? Let us not limit Him to a body and be free. Forgive yourself the guilt over trying to imprison God and make your own world. We are all innocent because what is impossible to do is not done and never happened in truth. We made sandcastles on a beach and called it our kingdom. That is all. Now let us find peace together in our guiltlessness and the invulnerability of our Union with God and each other.
ACIM T.pg.237 Chapter 13 I. Guiltlessness and Invulnerability
"Peace and guilt are antithetical, and the Father can be remembered only in peace. Love and guilt cannot coexist, and to accept one is to deny the other. Guilt hides Christ from your sight, for it is the denial of the blamelessness of God's Son." (1.3-5)
"In the strange world that you have made the Son of God has sinned. How could you see him, then? By making him invisible, the world of retribution rose in the black cloud of guilt that you accepted, and you hold it dear." (2.1-3)
"As you look upon yourself and judge what you do honestly, you may be tempted to wonder how you can be guiltless. Yet consider this: You are not guiltless in time, but in eternity. You have "sinned" in the past, but there is no past. Always has no direction." (3.1-4)
"The journey the Son of God has set himself is useless indeed, but the journey on which the Father sets him is one of release and joy. The Father is not cruel, and His Son cannot hurt himself." (4.1-2)
"The Holy Spirit stands at the end of time, where you must be because He is with you. He has already undone everything unworthy of the Son of God, for such was His mission, given Him by God. And what God gives has always been." (4.4-6)
"You will see me as you learn the Son of God is guiltless." (5.1)
"For the idea of guilt brings a belief in condemnation of one by another, projecting separation in place of unity. You can condemn only yourself, and by so doing you cannot know that you are God's Son." (6.3-4)
"As you perceive the holy companions who travel with you, you will realize that there is no journey, but only an awakening." (7.1)
"Let the holiness of God's Son shine away the cloud of guilt that darkens your mind, and by accepting his purity as yours, learn of him that it is yours." (7.6)
"You cannot dispel guilt by making it real, and then atoning for it. This is the ego's plan, which it offers instead of dispelling it." (10.1-2)
"For attack makes guilt real, and if it is real there is no way to overcome it. The Holy Spiritdispels it simply through the calm recognition that it has never been." (11.3-4)
The whole separation occurred when we decided to have a thought of our own. We tried to have a thought separate from the Thought of God, which is us. Since God's Thought is us, and we are One, then our thought had to be something different in order for us to experience something different from His Thought. We had a thought of separation instead of Unity. And so our separate thought gave us exactly what we asked for; separation; because God denies His Son nothing. To remedy this error or the "original sin" of the idea of separation, we must now have thoughts of Unity. We must love one another as our own; just as God loves us; in order to return our mind to His original Thought of Unity. The unifying Thought we all share in common is: the Holy Spirit. Remember He Unifies us all and He is the only remedy to our single problem of separation. And therein lies the miracle of our collective healing and restoration of Heaven here on earth. Forgive this world, and you welcome God’s Reality. Let go of all grievances. This world cannot bind you to a body capable of being harmed. Do not accept this as replacement of the truth of Who You Are: an unassailable holy Son of God unified with all creation through the Holy Spirit.
So let all your grievances be healed. Hold no one hostage to your ego, lest you bind yourself to them in suffering. You do not want to suffer. You want to be free. So set them free and find your own freedom in return.