Saturday, May 16, 2015

Personal Examples Of The Truth Of ACIM

At our recent Course in Miracles (ACIM) group the discussion centered around one of the profound Truths in the Course: Namely, change my perception and the world I see changes. When I think depressing dark thoughts, I’ll see a depressing dark world. When I think thoughts of love, acceptance and oneness I’ll see a world chock-full of love and oneness. A dark fearful world does not make me feel at peace. A world full of light, tolerance and acceptance does.
Why, then, do I continue to think fearful, dark, defensive thoughts?
Answer: Because I think aggressive fear and angry thoughts, I have trained myself to expect attacks, aggression, fear, and anger. Okay, then why don’t I begin to retrain myself to think thoughts of oneness, forgiveness, acceptance and love?
Is it really that simple? Retrain myself.
Yes, it really is that simple because the Holy Spirit only asks that I be willing to really see the world as He does. He’ll do the rest for me. I know this to be true because I’ve experienced it first hand, although I didn’t have the language of ACIM at my disposal then.
As I began my recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous I hadn’t “officially” said to God, “I am very willing to see Your world differently because I can no longer tolerate the world I see and have been trying to escape through the use of vodka.” All I had actually said (and meant!) was “I can’t do this anymore.” That was enough. I still thank the good Lord and His Grace for the openness and willingness I began with as I started AA’s suggested program of recovery. Instead of fighting and resisting and analyzing this simple Twelve-Step Program, I embraced it and all its recommendations.
If the old-timers said “Jump!” I might have asked “How high?” but I jumped. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t ponder it. I simply jumped. I had never done that before.
I began to get better.
Early in my recovery – perhaps 90 days along – someone suggested I stop wondering why others seemed to be having a hard time with this or that Step or suggestion. “They ought to be “this-ing” or “that-ing,” I would comment after a meeting. Their suggestion was that I begin keeping track of all the oughts, shoulds, woulds, coulds, why-aren’ts, and why-ares that I was thinking. It didn’t matter whether I was thinking about someone in the Program, politicians, or thinking about my own behavior. “All those are judgment words,” I was told. Try to stop doing that. It was also suggested I stop apologizing for everything that came up. “Stop saying ‘I’m sorry,’ all the time.” If someone says they’re having a bad day, say “I regret….” Rather than  “I’m sorry …” unless I had really done or said something I needed to apologize for.
So, I did just that. I began keeping track of the judgment words I was using or thinking. I started saying I regret rather than I’m sorry. That’s all I remember doing. And I changed. I wasn’t aware of it, but others were and said so. God bless ‘em. I needed that feedback.
As I became more and more conscious of my use of judgment words, I began to soften around the edges. I began to curtail the use of my tongue and pen. I began to focus on the people in front of me rather than parsing what they said through the filters of my internal (and perfect!) logic. I began seeing more and more of myself in them. As I stated, I softened.
Although I no longer jot down the times I use judgment words, I still use feedback. I remember, recently, after railing to a friend about all the myopic bigotry that seems to exist in our politics, he said, “You really enjoy hating those who hate, don’t you?”
BAM! I am a work in progress.
I remember a woman who would say quite often, “I used to think only in black and white. Everything and everyone (including myself) was right or wrong, good or bad, wise or foolish, appropriate or stupid. Then I began to see myself and everyone else in shades of gray. Now, I’m beginning to see in pastels. It’s quite beautiful. I am quite beautiful. You are quite beautiful.”
That pretty much sums it up.
As perception changes, reality changes. If I don’t like what I see, I don’t try to change what’s out there. I don’t try to change you. I try to change me by asking the Holy Spirit for help in seeing things differently. To help things along I am willing to try to do things differently, as well – like keeping track of my judgment words.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#3 May 2015

Copyright 2015

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