Thursday, April 26, 2012

Course Note #148: Healing Misperceptions

In my Sunday teachings the last few weeks, I’ve been inspired to stroll through the pages of two journals I am currently keeping.  I am finding this helpful because it reveals just how practical spiritual teachings can be.

In the audio that follows this writing, I share quite a bit more about relationships and healing than I shared here, so you find that helpful as well.
This week I was guided into spiritual practice that I have not used in awhile.  Some of the stories in the mind this week that involved relationships, were such that doing the mantra practice was not effective.  In years past, frequently I used a prayer from A Course in Miracles that I credit to facilitating much healing in me, and thus my relationships. 

We cannot heal ourselves by ourselves.  By giving our mind to Love within we experience healing.  I was prompted to use a few prayers from the Course this past week, and the practice made a major difference for me in being able to let go of the dramas playing out in my mind. 
If you are feeling pain, guilt or any such feelings, you may want to join me: 

I desire this holy instant for myself

that I may share it with my brother ______,
whom I love.

It is not possible that I can have it without her,
or he without me.
Yet it is wholly possible for us to share it Now.

And so I choose this instant as the one to offer
to the Holy Spirit,
that Love’s blessing may descend on us,
and keep us Both in peace.
                                                                                 (ACIM T-18.V.7)

            In the previous blog: “Focus on the one true thing” I shared another healing prayer that I call the “forgiveness prayer”.  In it, there is this line: “I know that you will be released, unless I want to use you to imprison myself. 
As I shared this in the talk, what became highlighted for me was this:  …unless I want to use you…
In the Course there is a great teaching that says that your brothers were not created to enable you to hurt yourself through them.  We do this – we use other people to hurt ourselves. 
So often we make up stories about what other people have done to us, not even realizing that it is going on in our own mind.  Recently someone told me about something I supposedly had done to her, and I was shocked because it did not even happen!  Later I thought about why she would want to tell herself such stories about me, and believe them, especially when they didn’t even happen. 

It’s because we want to use other people to hurt ourselves.  We must be honest and admit that we want to feel unfairly treated.  We want to feel guilty and attacked and betrayed.  We truly are doing this to ourselves.

We recognize the truth again contained in lesson 39:

My unloving, anxious, fearful thoughts about ______are keeping me in hell.
My freedom lies in joining my mind with Love.

Through years of working with the lessons and prayers in the Course, I found that through my willingness to give my mind and my relationships over to Love, slowly I begin to heal the wounds of the past.  

I talk to many people about all kinds of relationships, and there can be so much pain in them as we bump up against one another with shadows from the past.  All relationships give us the opportunity to look deeper within, and thus to peal off another layer of the proverbial onion. 

Inner healing may or might not lead to a change in all relationships in form.  I received guidance recently that I was to let go of attachment to how certain relationships should look in form, meaning that I can heal on a deeper level but this may not lead to hunky-dory relationships. 

Many people are carrying a lot of pain regarding relationships with people who have passed on.  We can still heal because relationships are really going on in our mind.  Forgiveness is not about another person; it’s not about changing the past, rather, it’s about healing our perceptions of the past.  Such healing is an inside job and does not require the presence of another person.  It requires willingness and Love.


            As I move on in the journal, quote #143 from RDA’s 7steps journal stood out for me:*
            “A desire is an enticing thought, one we are easily drawn into.  However, all thinking feeds thinking.  Therefore, desire…no matter how pleasing or enticing it may seem…is a path into more thinking and away from the open emptiness that is Self.” 
            We think of a desire, an enticing thought, as something nice, something we would like to have or to be.  What came up for me as I worked with this quote was in regard to the thought-stories I have been listening to of late with the theme of guilt, anger, and feeling unfairly treated.  Holy Spirit showed me that these thoughts of guilt, anger and resentment are also enticing thoughts, otherwise, I would quickly and easily let them go.

Contemplate that.  How easily are we drawn into listening to stories that support the false self?  I wrote in my journal: Why do I still entertain the desire to not know thy Self?

            In our willingness to listen to these guilt stories, the fault-finding stories, we entertain the desire to not know thy Self.  RDA’s quote goes on to say:

“Notice when thinking is engaged by desire, and let the desire go.  This lets go of the path of thinking.”

            I was prompted this past week to return to certain healing prayers in the Course to help me to let go of these enticing thoughts, other times the mantra is most helpful for this.
            We have forgotten who we are, our true identity.  And so, we believe the stories about me, my body, my relationships, my world…that support the lie that I am separated from God-Source-Love.  We like these stories – they are enticing. 

            But now…many of us have decided that we don’t want to live in these stories any more, and that’s why we do this spiritual practice.  It’s time to leave the “house of fantasy”* and return to our true home, Self.
            I need not try to fix myself; I need only focus my attention on the true Self, within.

            Another quote that I found helpful, is also from RDA’s journal, quote #11:
            “If I give attention to a story or concept as true or meaningful, I must want to give attention to it.  If there were no interest, attention would not go there, just as it does not go to many things in my field of perception.  And so if my attention is going there, I must look carefully and question, “Do I want this?  Do I want attention here?  Is this what would take as real or do I prefer to know the truly real?” 
            “Such question enables me to willfully and with recognized desire (wanting), gently refocus attention on the Self-inquiry and Self-attention that leads to the knowledge of Self.”

            As I ask these questions, my teacher becomes my own awareness.  Where is my attention? What am I focusing on?  Do I want this?

            This reminded me of a teaching in NTI 1 Peter, chapter 2:

            “By looking at the world, you find your misperceptions.  Look now in willingness with the desire only that misperceptions be healed.  Remember that nothing is brought to your attention except that you asked it to be brought to you.  So when that thing that you do not like stands before you, and you feel the pain of seeing it as if it were something real, remember this:

What you are seeing is not real, but it is your gift to yourself.
You have given willingness to let go of misperceptions,
so this one has stepped forward in gratitude.
It is the symbol of your willingness to let misperception go.

What you see is what you see,
because it is a reflection of what is in your mind.

            “What you see is not fact in that it cannot be changed or cannot be seen differently.  What you see is only fact in that it is a fact that it is a reflection of what is in your mind now.

Accept this fact.

I have been experiencing a certain amount of emotional pain in regard to past wounds and relationships.  But of course, it is not an accident that this is coming up at a period in my life when I am actively and diligently delving deeper to know my true-real Self.
            It’s coming up so that I can take another look at my perceptions of guilt and betrayal, anger and unfairness.  It is coming up so that I can look at stuff that I thought was long healed, to see what in me is not healed. 

This world, our relationships…are the classroom to learn the lessons that return us to the remembrance of our true Self.  Whatever is going on in your life right now, remember that it is a gift to yourself to enable you to know the Truth of You.

            It’s been interesting to travel through my journals over the last few weeks, to really see the guidance that is ever-present, and how practical it really is.  Where is my attention? What am I focusing on?  Is my attention on the story or the Self.

            And yes, it must be said that as we do this deeper inner work, we see the ego in us arise more fiercely, and yet, we can also recognize that it is a distraction.  We have been given Holy Spirit-Love to guide us to the practices that are most helpful at any given time to refocus on what we truly want.   As I rest in the present, I receive guidance that is for the present moment.          

I must turn inward, introverted,
clothed in the silence of Self
and abide there humbly,

The Audio was recorded on 4-22-12 and is 56 min. long


    MP3 File

* “house of fantasy” shows up in RDA’s journal, quote #355

* excerpted from RDA quote #16

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