On January 1st this year, I began doing the workbook of A Course in Miracles. The Course is a spiritual text that was translated in the 1970’s with the intention to help us unlearn some of the habits and thoughts in our lives that create chaos. It talks in great detail about the role of the ego, the role of God and the goal is to bring us back to a state of love and peace of mind.
I was introduced to A Course in Miracles several years ago by some very influential teachers like Marianne Williamson, Gabby Bernstein and Robert Holden to name a few. Several times I would listen to excerpts from The Course but wasn’t able to fully absorb what was being communicated.
This year I decided was the year I follow it completely, starting on January 1st. The workbook that goes along with the course can be done as a stand alone practice and each day it gives a mental exercise to again, help us train the mind to function more from a place of peace and love as opposed to fear and thoughts of the ego.
So I’m pretty new to A Course in Miracles, but over the past few days, I have already noticed major shifts in my perception of the world around me.
Today, the lesson in my workbook advised that ‘I am never upset for the reason I think.’
I read that statement first thing this morning and it struck me hard. Immediately my mind started to gather situations that are currently nagging at me. Several of these situations seem pretty heavy… the need for a more permanent living situation, more stable income for my family, finding better communication with my 5 year old daughter, and helping her transition into a new school on Monday – just to name a few. So I sit and read what the workbook is telling me and my mind starts to play with these “problems” if you will.
Then, I softly apply the message.
I am not upset because of my living situation. I’m upset because of something else. What is it that I’m really upset about? I’m upset because at times I question my decisions. I’m upset because I wonder if things will ever get better. I’m upset because I feel guilty for the situation my family is in right now. There are deep layers underneath the things that are bothering me, but at the core of it all is usually a feeling of blame, shame, doubt or guilt.
That being said… I’m realizing more and more that those emotions are not real. They are of the ego mind, and they really only have meaning when I assign meaning to them. The Universe never blames. God doesn’t condemn or tell you that you should be ashamed of your decisions… instead there is correction assigned to every decision we make that is not made out of love. That is the goal… to return to that place of love, where we make our decisions out of peace instead of out of misery and fear.
A few weeks ago, without intention, I practiced something in my mind that felt like I was chasing my thoughts. Quite unconsciously, as I was falling asleep, I began to harness some stressful situations in my life. I then started to trace them back, similar to this exercise in The Course, realizing that I wasn’t upset because of the stressful situation… that what was really bothering me was the blame I was assigning to myself and others. I was upset because I felt guilty. I was upset because I was confused.
Without severity, let your worries bubble up in your mind and then repeat to yourself that whatever is upsetting you isn’t the real reason you are upset. Even if you don’t believe this mantra, just let it stir around for a while. Your subconscious mind will begin communicating with you and allow you to see deeper layers. You may notice some of those painful emotions attached to your upsets… and just as easily as you can assign that pain to yourself, you can let yourself off the hook, and know that the Universe never blames you, never criticizes, only corrects and reorganizes.
We all have the choice to run our lives from a standpoint of fear, to make our decisions based on guilt and blame, or to steer our destiny from the place of love.
Sooner or later, we all learn to choose love.