In December, I wrote a blog about writing a letter to Santa Claus. Some people probably thought I was nuts, fair enough.
However… I took that act pretty seriously, and more important was what I asked for for Christmas last year.
There were 2 things.
A new laptop…
And a better relationship and understanding of God.
I am pleased to say that both gifts have come and are continuing to unfold.
I’m sitting in my new favorite coffee shop on my new laptop and writing about what I have learned about God since 2018 started out.
In late December, a few days after I wrote my Christmas letter, I began listening to a lot of Marianne Williamson’s work. She is a teacher/student of A Course in Miracles which I will discuss in this article. Marianne is an amazing speaker and up-lifter and a major reason I think that I finally took the jump into the Course. After listening to her speak while driving to and from Virginia and New York (right before my family moved 700 miles north!) I made the decision that on January 1st I would start the Course. As my New Year Resolution.
Yesterday was a major milestone.
On April 10 2018 – I celebrated my 100th lesson in the Course workbook for students.
I’m going to be honest… I’m pretty sucky at keeping track records going for very long. I wish I could commit better, but if something feels too tedious, it loses me.
I wondered if it would happen with the Course, but it didn’t.
A Course in Miracles is a book that was channeled by Helen Schucman in 1976 to aid students in a self study that would assist in understanding God and developing spiritual practices. The book has several parts, including a text and workbook section.
So I want to tell you about what I’m learning. Maybe my lessons will resonate with you and you can start this life changing practice.
- God wants me to be happy.
First things first… when I say God, I’m not a ‘man in the clouds’ believer in God. I believe God is our source energy, an inseperable part of us that helps us create that is expressed through love.
With that… comes the profound realization that one of my major functions, if not my only function, is to be a happy person on this planet. Happiness is contagious. I have realized in the short few months of my practice that there is no God up in the clouds condemning me, demanding I suffer, instilling sadness and pain. If anything, I see now more strongly that God is CONSTANTLY trying to reroute me into peace, into happiness and love.
The ego however, wants misery. It’s mantra is ‘seek, but do not find’. It will stick itself into any thought I create and offer the option to see guilt, shame, pain. God is there in those same options… always moving toward happiness, peace, ease and love.
2. What I wish for my brother (or sister) is what I wish for myself.
Last night one of my Course mentors reminded our group that there is no such thing as a ‘win/lose’ situation. In any situation where you wish ill will on someone, you are also wishing that ill will on yourself. When you see someone suffering, you suffer with them. The Course teaches that we are all one, that there is no separation between us and our brothers/sisters and God. When you see someone experiencing joy, it brings that same joy to you. Our relationships are projections of parts of us. So when we see someone ‘get what they deserve’ we are also saying that we deserve to be punished for what we do too. We cannot assign blame to someone without assigning blame to our self when we’ve “sinned”. Which leads me to #3…
3. There is no such thing as sin.
Sin is an archery term. It means ‘to miss the mark’.
God does not ever focus on our sins and figure out a way to punish us for missing the mark. God is only ever focusing on how we can reroute, how we can make our way back to love. God would see us condemn our brother and then move us in the direction of forgiveness and then even further to a place of love for our self and self acceptance. God does not punish us. The ego is the one that believes in punishment, in judgement, in condemnation and of sin. We are always given a platform from which to act. If you do the worse thing imaginable… you are still on a platform to make a decision in the direction of love and forgiveness and move in that direction.
4. I am here to love. I am here to know God.
Several months ago I was in distress. I honestly didn’t know what would be an appropriate ‘thing’ to pray for. So I prayed for a clear prayer. It came to me very early in the morning and what it encouraged was that I learn how to love myself. Lately… I’ve been praying to feel God, to see God’s work, to know that I’m never (ever) alone. I ask that God open me up and show me what I am sometimes completely oblivious to. I pray that I can flow and channel my love because God is love. When I act out of love, I am acting with God and everything that comes from that point is perfect.
5. I am never angry for the reason I think.
I’m getting pretty good at tracing my thoughts and realizing more and more that most of my ‘problems’ are that I don’t trust. I put so much stock in the things I need to be, do, have – that I get upset when I can’t control them. I forget that the real reason I’m upset is that I am relying too heavily on my own will, my own wits and knowledge to make things happen and that’s not how things happen. Underneath my anger there are always trails of problems leading me back to the idea that things aren’t happening the way I want them to. God knows the way. My job is to trust in that knowing and go with what is presented to me – situational – or through inspired action.
6. My plans won’t work. God’s plans will.
Several years ago I was laid off from my corporate job. It was actually the most amazing experience… it was divine intervention. Several weeks prior to that I was contemplating resigning and then it was done for me, and it was done with pay! One of my favorite inspirational quotes says ‘if you want to make God laugh, make plans’. This is sometimes a hard lesson. It’s a lesson in surrender, in knowing that there is a divine plan and that it’s our job to trust and go with the flow. We see a world that is so focused on forcing things to happen, on trying so damn hard… when what we should actually be doing, is being. We don’t have the slightest idea what is going to happen, where, when or how. We need to just embrace that. The plans are always changing. Chill. Let go and let God.
7. You have to let go of grievances. Learn to forgive.
This one is hard. I know. I’ve been ‘wronged’ in my life too… or I thought I was. Forgiveness is one of those things that comes with understanding. There is no concrete manual on it. Forgiveness is not allowing yourself to be a doormat. It’s a releasing of resistance, a releasing of grievances, an opening up to peace. When you judge someone, you hold your anger and anger blocks love. Sometimes forgiveness means that we just let that person fade out of our memory. When we use our current situation as a platform, we are presented with a choice. Do we go forward with our baggage, our grievances, our hurts and pains, or do we go forward fresh – new – open to creating something better. If we move forward without our grievances we are learning to forgive. When we hold the pain, it is ours to bear.
8. Miracles – a shift in perception.
Miracles are in our mind. Like most things actually! We think the miracle is the check coming, or the new house, the new car, the healing, the return of our lover. A miracle is a shift in perception. It is being able to look at our current situation and see it differently than we saw before. Dr. Wayne Dyer was quoted as saying “when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”. That’s the miracle. It’s seeing our self as perfect, as loving. It’s seeing that where we are is exactly where we are supposed to be, and that at any given moment we can choose to see things in a softer, more empowered – MIRACULOUS – way. It’s a miracle when we realize that there is nothing missing outside of us. Nothing. There is nothing we need to buy or bring to our self to make us ‘whole’.
We already are whole.
I spent some time in meditation on Sunday. When I came out of my session, the words “stop searching” bubbled up in my mind.
We look so hard for everything. We look for all of these things that are missing outside of us when where we should be looking is inside. We should be seeking that stillness, the peace, the love, God. That is not outside of us. We see projections of our internal state all around us. When we are in pain inside our body, inside our mind – the world will reflect it back to us and we see a world in pain. When we experience the miracle of seeing our loving self, of knowing God inside, that is mirrored back in our surroundings and the world is beautiful beyond description.
It’s been 100 days and the revelations unfold daily. I wake up each morning, sometimes barely coherent and turn on my lamp, reach for my Course book and read my lesson. Most days I write on a dry-erase board what my mantra is for the day. Although the words are always changing, the lesson is all still the same. The realization that there are miracles opening up in my mind as much as my awareness will allow them to. That God is in me, a part of me that cannot be separated from me. That my work on this planet is to share love, to move toward love, to continue to know God.
I wish that for all of you my friends.