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“I thank my Father for His gifts to me.”
One of the sentences that stood out to me in this lesson is “give thanks as well that you are changeless.” This means that the only part of me that is real is changeless Love. This also means that the only part of everyone in this world that is real is the changeless Love, as God created them. This makes everything very simple. All the complications of this world disappear. There is only one reality. Everyone in this whole world is still as God created them.
There are no differences or distance between people of any kind. We are still one Self, joined in the Mind of God. We are still the same Light of Love, joy and peace as we were created. Nothing has changed that reality. Anything else is meaningless illusion. This certainly simplifies my “life.” My only real life is the life I live in God, and that has never changed. For this I am grateful. God’s gifts to me and everyone, the whole Sonship, are eternal. God’s gift of extending eternal Love never ends.
As I open to receive God’s gifts, I give them because giving and receiving are the same. God is changeless. God’s gifts are changeless and I am thankful today that this is so.
Today’s idea is the antidote to the desire for specialness that is the foundation of this world. When I express gratitude for my Father’s gifts to me, I am accepting His gifts. The desire for specialness is the rejection of God’s gifts. It’s saying to God, “What you gave me isn’t good enough. I want more than everything.” This whole world was made to make it look like I could have other gifts than those my Father gave.
As I practice expressing my gratitude for God’s gifts, I’m really practicing accepting my Self. This Self is what God gave me. And it contains all of God. All Love. There is nothing else to give and nothing else to receive. The attempt to give and receive something else blinds me to God’s gifts and leaves me feeling empty and alone. As I affirm my gratitude for God’s gifts, I am recognizing where real value lies. I am shifting my attention from meaningless, empty forms to the only meaning there is. I am moving away from rejecting my Self as I was created toward accepting the magnificent, changeless gift of Love, given me by God. It shifts my attitude from depression to joy, from conflict to peace, from fear to Love.
I am deeply grateful for this Course, which offers me the means to recognize where real value lies and to recognize the meaningless for what it is. Today I will accept God’s gifts with gratitude. With gratitude comes joy and with joy comes the desire to share. And so I experience once again that receiving and giving are the same. They cannot be separated, just as joy and gratitude cannot be separated. Thank you Father for your gifts to me.
I have something specific to be grateful for. I was doing a meditation the other day and was looking for people I need to forgive. There is a man I work with who really gets on my nerves. I’ve tried to forgive him before, thought I had, and then he would do something to annoy me and I’d realize I had not forgiven.
I had a hard time with the process and resisted it awhile. My mind would wander, I’d find myself unable to focus on him. Every time I tried to see him differently, I would see his face with this expression that has always rubbed me the wrong way. There he would be with his eyebrows raised, his eyes widened and this self-satisfied smirk on his face like he knows something no one else knows. He looked like some kind of demented elf. How was I supposed to forgive this ridiculous image?!
I stuck with it, though, and finally I started thinking of him as an actor playing a role. I thought about how an actor is not his character. When the play is over, the actor walks away from that character and goes back to being himself.
Suddenly, my mind quit fighting the process. I realized that this person I didn’t like was just a character in the script that he wrote for his life. It was like he was wearing a mask and if he took it off, I would see his holy self completely unchanged. When I tried to take that step and see him without his personality self, I was unable to do so. In my frustration, I finally said, “Holy Son of God, show yourself to me!” and he did! It was like a mask falling away and there was his splendid beautiful light self, minus all the annoying habits and many faults I had always seen in him.
Then suddenly I saw the raised eyebrows, the widened eyes, the smirk and it was like he was winking at our shared secret. I almost laughed out loud. I came out of that meditation feeling differently about him and hoping the feeling would last.
Yesterday, he was listening to one of my presentations and corrected something I did wrong in front of my customers. I was amazed that I didn’t feel angry with him because I used to use any excuse to dislike him. Later when I had the chance, I thanked him sincerely for pointing out the mistake and told him that it gave me the chance to rewrite that part so that it was better now. The pleased look on his face was my reward. The real reward, though, is harder to put into words. I feel like someone who has had a chronic illness and is suddenly healed. It is a real blessing.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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